Publication Date: November 30, 2021
Series or Standalone: Captain Kit Brightling #2
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
After reading The Bright and Breaking Sea, did you want more romance, swashbuckling, magic, and intrigue? Well, Chloe Neill delivered in its sequel A Swift and Savage Tide! This book was everything I wanted it to be and more. Neill takes the readers on an unforgettable adventure, and I cannot wait to see where the story goes next.
Gerard Rousseau, the former Gallic emperor, has escaped his island prison and this time plans to take advantage of every weapon at his disposal in his campaign to take the Continent and Isles – including magic. To prevent widespread destruction, the Saxon Isles need all the help they can get, and Captain Kit Brightling, with her crew on the Diana, are standing by ready to help. Aligned to the sea, Kit’s an incredibly valuable asset to the Isles as an old powerful magically reemerges. With the help of Rian Grant, Viscount Queenscliffe, who’s working undercover to undermine Gerard, Kit and the crew set out on an adventure that involves magic, pirates, sea dragons, romance and intrigue.
My one minor complaint with The Bright and Breaking Sea was that there was only a hint of romance. I was desperately hoping the romance would be amped up in book two, and boy did Neill deliver! Neill manages to reunite Kit and Grant early on in one of my favorite scenes of the book while he’s undercover and she’s trying her hand at espionage. The chemistry between them is electric and continues to grow throughout the book, and it comes to a peak on a deserted island. But it’s not all sunshine and daisies when it comes to Kit and Grant being together. I found the conflict in their relationship incredibly realistic. Kit has some issues with giving up control that she needs to work through and has some deep-seated prejudices as to what type of wife she thinks Grant wants for a viscountess. Grant calls her on this but also gives her the space to work through it on her terms once he notices her hesitation, which I really appreciated.
Outside the romance, I loved how Neill expanded the world and magic in this book. In The Bright and Breaking Sea we know relatively little about the full capabilities of those who are Aligned, as magic is to be feared. However, Neill delves into the nuances of the magic system and elaborates on the rules in place in a way that I found really satisfying. I enjoyed learning more about the power Kit wields as she learns about it and sees what she’s capable of. Magic plays such an incredibly important role in the plot as La Boucher, the big bad, wields it in unseen, destructive, and deadly ways.
As with The Bright and Breaking Sea, Neill seamlessly blends the story together with scenes of swashbuckling seafaring adventure while hitting all the right emotional beats and pushing the plot forward. I love the balance Neill strikes between the action, intrigue, romance and revelations. No single element of the story overpowers the other. I found myself in awe of her storytelling and loving every minute of the journey. Neill kept me on my toes with how the main plotline would wrap up. I can safely say it was a satisfying ending with just enough of the unexpected thrown in to make me gasp, and I’m really excited to explore the mysterious cloaked woman in future books.
I feel this series is seriously underrated even though it is so good and so FUN! Not only does it have magic, romance and swashbuckling, but it also has exquisite characters, beautiful writing and superb storytelling. There is a little bit of everything in these books for different types of readers! If you haven’t picked the Captain Kit Brightling series up, I highly recommend you do!