Tuesday, November 17, 2020

ARC Review: The Bright and Breaking Sea by Chloe Neill

42430922. sy475 Title: The Bright and Breaking Sea
Series: Captain Kit Brightling #1
Author: Chloe Neill
Source/Format: Netgalley; eARC
More Details: Fantasy; Historical
Publisher/Publication Date: Berkley; November 17, 2020

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Synopsis from Goodreads...
Chloe Neill brings her trademark wit and wild sense of adventure to a stunning seafaring fantasy starring a dauntless heroine in a world of magic and treachery. 
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 was a promising beginning to a new series by Chloe Neill. It was a high-stakes, action-packed adventure of a novel, and it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year—and it’s one of my top-favorite sea-faring books of all time. From the first page, I was drawn into the story by the characters and world building. There was plenty of action, something of a mystery, a dash of romance, and plenty of time spent aboard the Diana with Captain Kit Brightling.

The prologue set up the stakes of the story with the introduction of the main characters, and who is, for much of the story, the big antagonist among the villains. Gerard’s shadow seemed to loom as large in the text as did the war, which ultimately saw him into exile. The threat of the post-war peace being on the brink of ending—and the evolving role of magic—set the stakes sky-high. It was a great introduction to the story, and an even better way to introduce the characters, world, and the way the magic functioned.

The magic system in The Bright and Breaking Sea was quite interesting. Its function was incredibly limited, and its benefits often didn’t outweigh the risks. So Kit, who was Aligned to the sea, was somewhat of an anomaly at the start of the story. She used magic to aid her ship by increasing its speed, but that was about it. I did like how the views and uses of magic differed greatly depending on the character, and how the gradual shifts throughout the course of the novel changed those perspectives.

Kit Brightling was a capable character. She was competent and confident in her skills as an Aligned and as the captain of the Diana. Some of the standout moments in the story were when Kit was thinking on her feet while engaging in combat. I also liked her family. Hetta was a wonderful character, and the same could be said for Kit’s sisters. Rian Grant was another complex character. Even though he was a viscount, he was also a soldier and had his own share of secrets. As for the other characters, I also liked them. I particularly enjoyed Queen Charlotte’s characterization.

The Bright and Breaking Sea was an exciting story. I had a lot of fun reading it. Plus the implications of the ending were something of a cliffhanger, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.   

About the author.....

Chloe Neill is the New York Times bestselling author of the Heirs of Chicagoland, Chicagoland Vampires Novels, Devil's Isle Novels, and Dark Elite novels. Chloe was born and raised in the South, but now makes her home in the Midwest. When she's not writing, she bakes, works, and scours the Internet for good recipes and great graphic design. Chloe also maintains her sanity by spending time with her boys--her husband and their dogs, Baxter and Scout.

Disclaimer: this copy of the book was provided by the publisher (Berkley) via Netgalley for this review, thank you!

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