The Bright and Breaking Sea by Chloe Neill
November 17, 2020, by Berkley
Review by Angela
The cover for The Bright and Breaking Sea is what first caught my attention and led me to read the blurb and then actively inquiring about a review copy. I am 100% here for badass ship captains magically attuned to the sea.
This book was quite unlike any I can remember reading. Sort of a fantasy historical adventure with a dash of romance. The main protagonists were introduced rather quickly and I knew right away I would be ride or die Kit Brightling. Kit, the competent, bright, sharp-edged Captain of the Diana with an affinity for the magic of the sea and the legacy of a wonderful found family. Colonel Rian Grant, Viscount Queenscliffe took a while to grow on me, mainly because he was rather an uptight, rude jerk to Kit in the first few chapters. He does evolve though, and I became a fan by the end.
I was completely delighted by this unique fantasy. The worldbuilding and background were easy to power through and understand, The social structure seemed to be patterned after a more traditional Regency England historical setting, just with less sexism and more diversity. It also feels like it was heavily influenced by the Napoleonic wars. If that seems like a lot, don’t worry it really isn’t. This story was easy to fall into.
While I think fans of hard-core fantasy will really like this first book in a new series, I also think readers of romantic fantasy will enjoy. The romance is one that I feel like Ms. Neill will take her time developing and let me just say, I am here for it. Kit and Rian have a chemistry and a flourishing partnership that is irresistible to me.
I was also completely taken by the secondary characters and the promising sub-plots they represented. Jin, Jane, even Rian’s wastrel younger brother all have me intrigued for what’s to come in this series. It’s been some time since I was this intrigued by an entire cast of characters. I look forward to finding out what comes next.
Final grade- B+