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King of Swords: (Assassin Series #1)

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

Russell Blake
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.45
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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

More About the Author

Featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Times, and The Chicago Tribune, Russell Blake is the USA Today bestselling author of thirty books, including Fatal Exchange, The Geronimo Breach, Zero Sum, King of Swords, Night of the Assassin, Revenge of the Assassin, Return of the Assassin, Blood of the Assassin, Requiem for the Assassin, The Delphi Chronicle trilogy, The Voynich Cypher, Silver Justice, JET, JET - Ops Files, JET II - Betrayal, JET III - Vengeance, JET IV - Reckoning, JET V - Legacy, JET VI - Justice, JET VII, Sanctuary, Upon A Pale Horse, BLACK, BLACK Is Back, BLACK Is The New Black, and BLACK To Reality.

Non-fiction includes the international bestseller An Angel With Fur (animal biography) and How To Sell A Gazillion eBooks In No Time (even if drunk, high or incarcerated), a parody of all things writing-related.

Blake co-authored an action/adventure novel, The Eye of Heaven, with legendary adventure author Clive Cussler, to be released by Penguin in September, 2014.

Blake writes as RE Blake in the NA/YA/Contemporary Romance genres.

A resident of Mexico for over twelve years, Blake enjoys his dogs, fishing, boating, tequila and writing, while battling world domination by clowns. His thoughts, such as they are, can be found at his blog:

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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
By The Emperor TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
gripping book that once started can not be put down
Published 22 days ago by MR ARTHUR DAWBARN
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An excellent read
Published 1 month ago by cowake41
5.0 out of 5 stars He created a great series.
He created a great series.
Published 1 month ago by David Kliber
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A good holiday read
Published 1 month ago by Diane
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good Read - Action Packed
Published 1 month ago by Steve P
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by miss Astrid Terlouw
4.0 out of 5 stars Good and easy read....
Enjoyable, easy to follow story...
Not as in depth as expected , more foundation of characters in this book which was explained by author in previous books.. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Blacksheep
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series of Assassin thrillers.
Highly recommended series of books. Great characters and thrilling stories.
The characters are well thought out and it makes for very compelling reading to get the next... Read more
Published 2 months ago by gerryalec
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read but another one were there is a follow-up.
Not bad read but there is a follow-up to this book sand also a follow-up to the next book so I think there is also a follow up to that to.
Published 2 months ago by Albert
1.0 out of 5 stars King of swords
Good fast moving thriller with good independent plots revolving around the main plot
Will read the rest of the series
Published 2 months ago by glen macbryde
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