The Bright and Breaking Sea

Berkley. (Captain Kit Brightling, Bk. 1). Nov. 2020. 384p. ISBN 9781984806680. pap. $16. FANTASY
Captain Kit Brightling has worked hard to become one of Queen Charlotte’s Own Guards and a member of her majesty’s fleet. Raised in a home for talented girls, Kit is Aligned—having a magical connection with the sea. But being female and Aligned puts her at odds with many, especially the privileged Beau Monde men who feel challenged by a young woman. Kit’s skills place her on a mission for her queen, but she is partnered with Rian Grant, viscount and veteran of the Continental war. With little information or trust between them, Rian and Kit must rescue a spy who has been monitoring the exiled Gallic emperor Gerard Rousseau, who is plotting to retake power. The duo must find a way to work together to save themselves and all of the Isles. Plucky characters abound, especially in the secondary ranks of family and friends that surround Kit, providing thoughtful and charming dialog and sense of connection.
VERDICT Neill’s (“Chicagoland Vampires” series) newest series start is a fantastical sea journey, filled with conflict on multiple levels. Entertaining for its fun, fast-paced action, political drama, and slow-burn romance. [See Prepub Alert, 4/29/20.]

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