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King of Swords: (Assassin Series #1) [Kindle Edition]

Russell Blake
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The first book of the Assassin series, King of Swords an epic assassination thriller framed against a gritty backdrop of brutal drug cartel violence in modern Mexico.

The G-20 Financial Summit is planned for San Jose Del Cabo. The world's pre-eminent finance ministers will attend, along with the presidents of the U.S. and Mexico.

Captain Romero Cruz of the Mexican Federal Police uncovers an assassination plot against the attendees. In a roller-coaster race against the clock, Cruz must track and stop El Rey, the "King of Swords" – a faceless super-assassin responsible for a string of the world's most spectacular killings, before he turns the G-20 into a slaughterhouse.

King of Swords is an intelligent, rule-breaking rush that shatters convention to create a richly-drawn story that's sure to shock and delight even the most jaded intrigue/adventure thriller fans.


A Q & A for King of Swords with bestselling author Russell Blake

Question: King of Swords is a no-holds-barred suspense thriller set in present-day Mexico. What books influenced you in creating it and how did you come up with the idea?

Russell Blake: Day of the Jackal, Shibumi, and The Ninja. I wanted to create something that would give a nod to those works, but kick it up a notch – modernize them; crank them on steroids, leave readers gasping & cringing, and revitalize the genre. I saw the G-20 taking place in Cabo San Lucas, and thought it would be an ideal event in which to frame the quintessential assassination thriller, but with a "24" style storytelling sensibility & an unflinching description of the cartel violence pervading Mexico.

Q: King of Swords blends fact & fiction. What was the inspiration for using the drug cartels as the framework for the story, & where does truth end & invention begin?

RB: Mexico is fighting a civil war; the government against the narco-trafficking cartels. Around 8,000 people die every year as a result of cartel violence, including cops, military, cartel members, family, and innocent bystanders. It's a brutal industry that throws over $50 billion a year into cartel hands – more than the GDP of many nations. I want readers to see the very real cost in human terms, so the truth/fiction line is deliberately fuzzy. Everything I write is based loosely in fact, & it's up to the reader to determine where it leaves off.

Q: King of Swords is not for the meek, & is controversial in its graphic depiction of cartel violence and government complicity. Aren't you afraid you'll offend with it?

RB: The trafficking business is a bloody, vicious industry perpetrating horrific crimes against humanity. I wanted to capture the casual savagery that typifies it, the willingness of ordinary men to engage in extraordinary brutality. I wanted to highlight the psychological making of the monster. Readers' sensibilities should be offended. I want them squirming, pulled out of their comfort zone. If they aren't, if they sleep peacefully after reading it, or can put it down, I didn't do my job.

Q: King of Swords is much faster-moving than many thrillers. How did you achieve that effect, & are your other books anything like that?

RB: It's a pacing thing. I wanted to create an experience, not a book - to hurtle the reader along and leave them shaking from the adrenaline rush. King of Swords for me is the ultimate expression of that "high-velocity read" approach to fiction.

Q: What made you want to write?

RB: I grew up on a steady diet of Ludlum, Forsyth, Cussler, and Le Carre. That evolved into an interest in telling those sorts of stories. When I decided to try my hand at fiction, it never occurred to me to write anything else. My entertainment reading has always been action thrillers, so it was a natural when I sat down to write.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 507 KB
  • Print Length: 232 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Reprobatio Ltd (14 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006HVW2H0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,319 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King of Swords 20 Jun. 2012
By Maz
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
WHOA!! This does what it says on the tin. Pulp Fiction/Scarface/The Godfather/death/revenge/drugs - brilliant.
It is fast paced and pulls no punches. I have just read 'Night of the Assassins' which is the PREQUEL to this series and was written to flesh out the main character 'EL REY' and that was brilliant too. Infact, that is why I bought this book and I will be buying the rest in the series.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air. 12 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
To furnish my new Kindle, last month i downloaded the top 40 'Action-adventure' free on Kindle and the author's "Night of the Assassin" was included. I found it to be cleverly written, pacy and it pulled me along - unlike the other downloads (less said the better, but many Indie authors need to learn English).

So, though i have been put off Indie novels in the main, i thought i'd give the follow on novel (this one) a go. We learn more about El Rey in this one, he's a bold character with little to endear him to the reader other than his almost alien attributes and his sheer determination and ingenuity - set that against his tamed-by-society lessers, the powers who seek to tame him, and you have a latent tension bubbling beneath the narrative.

As thrillers go, this was one i'll not forget - i like my thrillers to thrill - not deliver the same old endings.

You may not like it - i see some other reviewers wanted the usual ending - but, for what it's worth, i'll be following the series, intrigued to learn more about this villain (who is certainly not 'Raffles').
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars slick 5 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very impressive read, what I'd call a page turner!
Very well written and you could immerse yourself in the story quite easily.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Carol P
Format:Kindle Edition
As reader for the last 48 years (fairly new to Kindle) I do find it hard to get into novels nowadays because of their often predictable content. It's great that we can sample previews of books on Amazon - because what attracts me starts at the opening sentence (I don't read the synopsis past the opening line) and if I'm still reading by the second or third chapter (rare) I trust the author and buy and read the story to the end.

This is the second novel I have read from R. Blake and the second time I have enjoyed the style, flow of narrative and nicely meshed plot. And it is rare to find an author who is not going to unfailingly deliver 'the man to the Mountie' because 'that's how it always happens in novels/movies' - regardless that the Mountie doesn't always get his man in real life. From the two I have read, I'd say that, with R. Blake, you can never second-guess where the twists are going - and no character in the book is 'safe'. If you're the kind of reader that can handle uncharted territory, you'll probably like this fast yet deep series of portrayals.

4+ stars.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Day of the coyote 1 Jan. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a fast paced thriller. It is well written and has an interesting premise and setting.
It is surprisingly realistic and plausible. Though admittedly like around ninety percent of readers I haven't tried to assassinate any heads of state at a G20 summit meeting.

This has been well edited and could easily have been put out by one of the big publishing houses.
I thought that it was better than the majority of thrillers written by the big names. It certainly made more sense and was a lot more original.

Action scenes and dialogue have all been well handled. It was pretty atmospheric and authentic in its portrayal of Mexico and its current drug wars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is another fantastic book and again I couldn't put it down. I had a weeks holiday and couldn't wait to get back and read it again. Excellent
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting 21 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Need more, a great read and a duel story line from a cop and a killer, both with their reasons to pursue their chosen fields of expertise. I read the prequal first but I don't think it spoiled it at all it just opened up more questions of why and what. Can't wait to read more from this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thriller - pulls no punches 20 Nov. 2013
By djf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
King of Swords is a novel about a ruthless assassin operating in Mexico - not tied to the cartels, but freelancing to the (very) highest bidder.

We get a decent bit of backstory to the antagonist, giving some decent depth too him (although by no means enough). The main protagonist was an interesting character, and the story surrounding his drive for work was of more interest to the reader.

As the blurb states, this novel doesn't pull any punches - there is a lot of very graphic violence, and scenes of rape and torture, including of children, so do be prepared if you are going to have a go.

However as we follow the attempts of the local police to piece the puzzle together and catch El Rey before he assassinates the presidents of Mexico and USA, the tension builds to the end and the exciting denouement.

Good solid novel
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A bit predictable and long winded, but entertaining
Published 4 days ago by J. White
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I felt that the main character was absent for too much of the story, I chose to read the free book as I am a fan of intrigue and mystery and unfortunately found this book lacking... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Gordon Smith
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong catoguary
Nothing like it was made out to be about.
I for one detest science fiction if thats what it was.
Why was it under the heading of "crime murder mystery ??????
Published 22 days ago by Mr. Malcolm Whitbread
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Simmo
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed reading it
Interesting story line, enjoyed reading it, will keep an eye out for this author in the future and would read other books in this series.
Published 3 months ago by Craig feedback
5.0 out of 5 stars but loved this, was one of theses books you don't ...
Never read this author before , I'm a Karen Slaughter fan, but loved this, was one of theses books you don't want to put down. I'm ready for the next one.
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. P. Crossland
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great read
Published 3 months ago by john anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars It was like 'reading' a Hollywood action thriller
It was like 'reading' a Hollywood action thriller - Russell Blake is the King of suspense and all out action. I was hooked right from the start. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars King of swords
Not bad. Not the kind of book I normally read, it was quite enjoyable and exciting. Might read the next one.
Published 4 months ago by Mo Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
great book
Published 4 months ago by denna
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