Thursday, November 25, 2021

ARC Review: A Swift and Savage Tide by Chloe Neill

A Swift and Savage Tide

Chloe Neill
Series: A Captain Kit Brightling Novel (Book 2)
Publication: Berkley (November 30, 2021)

Description: Chloe Neill's bold, seafaring heroine Captain Kit Brightling sets sail for high seas and high sorcery in this swashbuckling fantasy series.

Captain Kit Brightling is Aligned to the magic of the sea, which makes her an invaluable asset to the Saxon Isles and its monarch, Queen Charlotte. The Isles and its allies will need every advantage they can get: Gerard Rousseau, the former Gallic emperor and scourge of the Continent, has escaped his island prison to renew his quest for control of the Continent.

Gerard has no qualms about using dangerous magic to support his ambitions, so Kit and the crew of her ship, the Diana, are the natural choice to find him—and help stop him. Sparks fly when Kit's path unexpectedly crosses with that of the dashing and handsome Rian Grant, Viscount Queenscliffe, who's working undercover on the Continent in his own efforts to stop Gerard. But he's not the only person Kit is surprised to see. An old enemy has arisen, and the power he'll wield on Gerard's behalf is beautiful and terrible. Sparks will fly and sails will flutter as Kit and crew are cast onto the seas of adventure to fight for queen and country.

My Thoughts: The second Kit Brightling novel was filled with action and new discoveries. Kit is a Navy captain who commands a ship. She is also Aligned to the ocean. She has magical powers that let her do such things as speed her ship along and surround it with a bubble of protection. She is still learning about her magic because there are no teachers and the dangers of Alignment don't encourage experimentation.

The story begins when the former Emperor escapes his island prison and heads back to try to regain his empire. After serious failures of his land campaign, it looks like he is going to try to conquer the sea and the Saxon Isles which is Kit's home country. 

A spying expedition to Gallia to search for the former Emperor's ship leads to the discovery that an enemy believed dead was not and had harnessed a new and surprising sort of magic and was using it to further his Emperor's goals. It also leads to Kit being captured and then rescued by Rian Grant, Viscount Queenscliffe, who had been working undercover. 

Kit and Rian's relationship grows and is tested in this episode. His proposal causes all kinds of conflict for Kit who, as a foundling and a sailor, isn't sure she can be or wants to be a Viscountess and a member of the privileged upper class. Her ideas of what she thinks Rian wants are getting in her way and making both of them unhappy. She has so many questions about her past that she would like to have answered and does get one clue in this episode that can't be explored until the war is done. 

The story is filled with adventures on the sea including accidentally swimming with sea dragons and being marooned on an island. It is also filled with Kit learning more about her magic. The magical system is intriguing and unique. It is also filled with interesting characters.

This is the second book in a series and does end with a largely unresolved ending. There are still many questions to answer and battles to fight though it does look like Kit and Rian will be fighting them together. 

Favorite Quote:
"Life is deadly," he continued, "and our choices all inevitably lead from one to the other."

"That's terribly philosophical. But mostly just terrible."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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