Release-Day Review: The Bright and Breaking Sea by Chloe Neill (Captain Kit Brightling #1)

The Bright and Breaking Sea by Chloe Neill // VBC Review

The Bright and Breaking Sea (Captain Kit Brightling #1)
Chloe Neill
Published: Nov. 17, 2020 (Berkeley)
Purchase at: Amazon or Bookshop
Review Source: Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Foundling Kit Brightling has worked hard to earn her spot as Captain on a ship in the Queen’s Crown Command fleet. It helps that she loves the sea and is also Aligned to it—someone who has a magical bond with one of the elements.

When the queen sends Kit on a mission to rescue a spy whose cover has been compromised, she jumps at the opportunity to help queen and country. Even when those orders include tagalong Viscount, and veteran of the Continental War, Rian Grant.

Kit doesn’t know Rian or his motivations, but she does know others of the Beau Monde—New London high society—and she’s not about to let him take control of the mission. But, as they both learn, titles can be deceiving, and what they discover will have them both setting aside their preconceived notions and working together as the fate of mankind hangs in the balance.

I like the different direction Chloe Neill is taking with a high-seas adventure that is firmly seated in the historical fantasy category, which is a departure from her various urban fantasy series. 

The Bright and Breaking Sea works so well as a setup to the new series and it was one that almost went by too quickly. I wanted to savor the time in this first book, but Chloe Neill pretty much sets things off running right out of the gate as Kit and Rian search for a traitor and try to thwart potential war on the horizon.

Honestly, I would have loved more time fleshing out characters and setting. In particular, the magic system was one such area where I could have used a bit more background on how it works, its limitations and advantages. I think it would have been especially helpful seeing as how one of the main conflict—and one I assume will be overarching—stems from magic use. But there’s enough so far that I at least have a rudimentary understanding of what’s good and what’s bad. I have no doubt Chloe Neill will continue to build upon this beginning and familiarity will come with more reading. I guess I can’t fault her for not putting all her eggs in one basket.

Probably my favorite aspect of the story was the fact that Chloe Neill puts Kit and Rian on pretty equal ground when it comes to working together on this mission. Despite Kit being Aligned, their skills and capabilities are on pretty level, but it’s their varying experiences—Rian being part—although an almost outside part—of the Beau Monde, Kit being a foundling, etc. that really brings that something extra to their interactions.

Which of course leads into the lovely opposites-attract slow-burn (hopefully) romance we have going on. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a series that develops a relationship over a number of books, and as we should all know by now, Chloe Neill is a pro at this. One of the things I look forward to most is how things continue to develop between Rian and Kit.

If you’re a fan already of Chloe Neill, you’ll be delighted to have a new world from her. It’s a great departure from what we’re used to but still full of all the things we know we can count on from Chloe Neill.

 Sexual Content: Kissing

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