by Chloe Neill
Series: Captain Kit Brightling #1
Narrator: Danielle Cohen
Length: 10 hours and 55 minutes
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4 cups Speed: 1.25x
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....
A seafaring fantasy with a female captain? Yes, please. The Bright and Breaking Sea by Chloe Neill is the first in the Captain Kit Brightling series. Batten down the hatches and prepare for adventure, danger, magic and a budding romance.
I first read the novel and enjoyed it immensely before diving into the audiobook edition narrated by Danielle Cohen.
Kit Brightling was rescued and raised as a foundling at Brightling House; a home for talented girls. Kit has a magical affinity to the sea that allows her to connect and manipulate the waters. She moved her way up the ranks of the Isles’ Crown Command and now is a captain in Queen Charlotte’s fleet.
We learn about the history of the Isles, destruction wrought by magic and the exile of the former King. It flabbergasts her when the Queen demands that she and Rian Grant, Viscount Queenscliffe; a veteran of the Continental war work together to rescue one of the Queen’s men.
This world is an alternate version of 1815’s Europe during the Napoleonic war. The setting is an intriguing one. Neill gives readers only a glimpse of the magic, its history, and of things to come. We know some people magical and aligned to the elements. However, some are against magic and a female ruler. This created some tensions.
The lighter touch of world-building and learn as you go, allowed for a fast-paced adventure as her focus was on our hero, heroine and the crew of the Diana.
I love a good enemies to lovers romance, and while Kit and Rian aren’t enemies, there is a power-play. The back-and-forth banter and denied chemistry was great fun. While I think romance readers will want more focus on the romantic elements, I loved this side dish and am content for things to slowly unfold.
I adored Kit. She is loyal, fearless, and stands up to the men who surround her and dismiss her. Rian is desperately trying to restore his homestead, is loyal to the Queen and protective of his family seat. He is a leader, but acknowledges Kit’s skills and knowledge. I love that he was man enough to support her. Their barbs occurred when they were alone as both are too duty bound to do so in front of the crew, their equals and their Queen. Their inner dialogue made me laugh aloud more than once.
Adventures on the high seas from rescues to outrunning pirates was delightful. The author delivered danger, near-death escapades, and chases that kept me reading into the wee hours.
The audiobook was equally delightful, and I quickly became slipped into the narrative. I even picked up a few things that slipped my mind during the first round.
Secondary characters such as Jin, Hetta, Jane, Tamlin, and Louisa all added to the tale. I found myself vested and felt like I was a part of the crew and household. I love the foundling house and Kit’s sisters. Jane is delightful, brilliant, and someone I hope we spend more time with.
Danielle Cohen narrates the audiobook. Her lyrical accent and wide-range of voices brought another layer of enjoyment to this high-seas adventure. The banter and budding relationship between Kit and Rian shone through her narration. I intend to continue on audio.
Whether you read or listen, I highly recommend this swashbuckling, seafaring adventure!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: