Kit Brightling, rescued as a foundling and raised in a home for talented girls, has worked hard to rise through the ranks of the Isles’ Crown Command and become one of the few female captains in Queen Charlotte’s fleet. Her ship is small, but she’s fast—in part because of Kit’s magical affinity to the sea. But the waters become perilous when the queen sends Kit on a special mission with a partner she never asked for.
Rian Grant, Viscount Queenscliffe, may be a veteran of the Continental war, but Kit doesn’t know him or his motives—and she’s dealt with one too many members of the Beau Monde. But Kit has her orders, and the queen has commanded they journey to a dangerous pirate quay and rescue a spy who’s been gathering intelligence on the exiled emperor of Gallia.
Kit can lead her ship and clever crew on her own, but with the fate of queen and country at stake, Kit and Rian must learn to trust each other, or else the Isles will fall….
“The Bright and Breaking Sea” is an adventurous and bold beginning to a new series featuring the character Kit Brightling, captain in Queen Charlotte’s fleet. Chloe Neill has woven a tale of the high seas that avoids the boring parts and jumps you straight into the adventure and intrigue. Both the main characters, Kit Brightling and Rian Grant, are complex and interesting with views sometimes at odds with one another even as they are ordered to work together for the good of Queen and the Isles. And each character has a purpose to the story, one that unfolds as their adventure unfolds. While the first in a new series, this novel jumps straight into the story to allow the reader to get to know the characters as they plunge directly into action.
While I’m not familiar with Chloe Neill’s other works, I did think dropping right to the action was the perfect way to introduce the characters and I liked the complexity of the various personalities introduced in the novel. While the full cast is big, you quickly can identify the cast as you go along and each becomes more interesting.
I also loved that the Isles feels like Great Britain but with a different political climate and the introduction of magic. The magic introduced is called Alignment and Kit is one, Aligned with the sea which creates some unexpected scenes and adds to the action. The magic itself has prices and the use of which is restricted. Even more interesting are the slight portrayal of magic in building machines adding a Steampunk flavor to the story without being overdone.
The plot also builds on the relationship between Kit and Rian Grant, demonstrating the power struggle that two strong and independent people will have when forced to work together but also evolving that relationship into friendship and respect. The author deftly weaves in feminism and independence as Kit view with misogynistic fellow captains. The story never lets up as Kit and her crew deal with treachery and fighting on the high seas.
If you love tales of adventure and action with a hint of romance along the way, this is one you may want to read, especially as the beginning of the series. I can’t wait to read more of Kit’s adventures and more from Chloe Neill.
5 out of 5 sails