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

Russell Blake
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 13.36
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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 (Jan. 14 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006HVW2H0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #60,501 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first one Aug. 3 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I must say this has been a bit disappointing after the first book of the serie, focussing mostly on the policeman who was pursuing the assassin rather than seeing things from the assassin's perspective. Plus he fails at the end in quite a dumb manner, and walks away from it with a shrug which doesn't make sense.
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4.0 out of 5 stars King of Swords April 1 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book immensely. It was an excellent read and kept you guessing until the end. I could not put it down.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  372 reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Continuation of the Series Jan. 26 2013
By Michael Gallagher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To begin, while not completely necessary I highly recommend you read the prequel to this book titled Night of the Assassin (Assassin series prequel).

Blake writes a thriller that immediately grabs your attention, gets you into the action and heads of the characters, and you're not calling "b.s." on some of the situations in the book. That's exactly what you get with this book and you won't want to put it down - in my case, similar to the first book in the series, I stayed up way too late as I lost all track of time finishing this book.

Blake does an excellent job of moving between characters and scenes, and describes the environment and people situations in such a way that you feel like you are personally right in the middle of it and I could feel the high s and lows as I was reading.

I picked this up for free during a Kindle promotion, and as I type this review the book is still free vs. its normal pricing of $4.97: you'll certainly get a heck of a lot more than $4.97 of entertainment value out of this one. As for me, I've already purchased the next book in the series!
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gritty Thriller Sept. 29 2012
By GAE-LYNN WOODS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One of Russell Blake's many gifts is his ability to take current events and twist them until they squeal. He does it again in KING OF SWORDS with the fight against the Mexican drug cartels, blurring the line between justice and vengeance. El Rey is the legendary assassin whose expertise is in demand by the cartel leaders. Captain Romero Cruz is the detective whose burning goal is to bring down the cartels and save Mexico's future. The passion of both men was born in brutal violence, and Blake leverages their hate and need for retribution to maximum effect.

Cruz becomes entangled with El Rey when a captured cartel boss hints at an assassination that, if carried out, will irretrievably alter the North American political and military landscape. As he and his small team dig deeper into the possibility that this claim is true, Cruz grows more certain that the elite assassin has been put into play and that the entire scheme has been created by one of the most powerful entities in the world. The implications of this murder and its origins are so vast that Cruz cannot trust even his own government to help him stop El Rey.

As always with Blake, this is a fast paced read that left me breathless. I'm looking forward to the next match-up between El Rey and Cruz. Highly recommended.
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare treat May 18 2012
By bananas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read every single book by Mr. Blake out there now. I happened to read the Assassin series the last, and I have to say what a way to complete Blake reading spree.

King of Swords, in my humble opinion, is the best work by Mr. Blake so far. It's a lot darker than any of his other works - and for this reason, it's not my favorite book by him. See, I don't like dark grim tales in general. They make me depressed... more. But how beautifully and richly dark it is! Like a kind of rich dark chocolate. It's the perfect analogy for me. I don't like chocolate. But I do and can appreciate a great piece of dark chocolate, a very rare occasion. King of Swords is one of those phenomenal rarities. What a treat.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book this year! Nov. 21 2012
By Mick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a subject it has been done before - super assassin doing the business, but the story that unfolds keeps the reader hooked. Frequent flashbacks to build a picture of the 'King of Swords' brings the character life. I wanted to read the entire book in one go, but am rationing myself to enjoy & savour it. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys this type of genre.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable action with a Spanish accent Jan. 1 2013
By Brooke Frederick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I highly enjoyed King of Swords. The entire book except for two or three short scenes takes place in Mexico, whether in Mexico City, various cities in Baja California, or other locations. Together with the author's obvious command of the local language, his knowledge of the way things work in Mexico made the plot extremely credible. I like feeling like I'm really there, wherever the story takes place, and in King of Spades you're treated to an insider's view of modern Mexico.

The other great strength of King of Swords is the character Cruz. Cruz is the unflagging chief investigator of the big drug cartels, and he takes on the investigation at the center of this thriller as his life's quest. Of course, the action gets personal, and as events unfold we get to know Cruz very well. He's a tough cop, but somewhere in there is a human being, too.

Highly enjoyable action with a Spanish accent - I wasn't disappointed with King of Swords.
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