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

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Length: 235 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Matchbook Price: $0.99 What's this?
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Complete Series

Editorial Reviews


NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author

As Seen in The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and The Times!

A sadistically good writer."
- The Kindle Book Review

"Russell Blake writes with a brisk intensity and pulse-pounding power. Jump in and hang on for a nonstop thrill ride." - Scott Nicholson, Liquid Fear

"Russell Blake is no stranger to the thriller genre. His previous thrillers have turned the headlines inside-out, with gritty, no-holds-barred, edge-of-your-seat plots. With King of Swords, Russell Blake has clearly taken the best of his previous novels and combined them into an honest, often brutal, heart-stopping thriller that left me gasping for air and squirming on my couch. I know this sounds overly dramatic, but in reader-speak...this book kept me glued to the Kindle screen.

In King of Swords, the reader is taken on a journey through drug cartel-ruled Mexico, where violence often trumps hard cash as the dominant cultural currency. Blake clearly draws on his own knowledge of the political and cultural climate in Mexico to present a realistic and stark backdrop to a thriller in the fast-paced, intelligent tradition of Frederick Forsyth's, "Day of the Jackal." - Steven Konkoly, Amazon bestselling author of the Jakarta Pandemic and Black Flagged

From the Author

I'm often asked about the right sequence to read the Assassin series. It's not as obvious as it sounds, so perhaps a little explanation is due.

The series runs as follows:

Night of the Assassin - Series prequel
King of Swords - Book 1
Revenge of  the Assassin - Book 2
Return of the Assassin - Book 3
Blood of the Assassin - Book 4
Requiem for the Assassin - Book 5
Rage of the Assassin - Book 6

I plan at least one more installment before the series is finished, possibly two. Depends on how much more of El Rey's exploits require telling.

I should also warn readers that this series is gritty, and is an unflinching portrayal of the realities of the drug cartel violence in modern Mexico. As such, it's not for the faint of heart, so if you're looking for cozy mysteries wherein a spunky grandma puts clues together with her quilting club's help, this ain't it.

Hope you enjoy the read.

Russell Blake

Product Details

  • File Size: 969 KB
  • Print Length: 235 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Reprobatio Ltd (January 14, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 14, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006HVW2H0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,800 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Times, and The Chicago Tribune, Russell Blake is The NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of dozens of action/adventure and mystery novels, 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, Rage of the Assassin, The Delphi Chronicle trilogy, The Voynich Cypher, Silver Justice, JET, JET - Ops Files, JET - Ops Files: Terror Alert, JET II - Betrayal, JET III - Vengeance, JET IV - Reckoning, JET V - Legacy, JET VI - Justice, JET VII - Sanctuary, JET VIII - Survival, JET IX - Escape, JET X - Incarceration, Upon A Pale Horse, BLACK, BLACK Is Back, BLACK Is The New Black, BLACK To Reality, BLACK In The Box, Ramsey's Gold, Emerald Buddha, and Deadly Calm.

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 is co-author of The Eye of Heaven and The Solomon Curse, with legendary author Clive Cussler. Blake's novel King of Swords has been translated into German by Amazon Crossing, The Voynich Cypher into Bulgarian, and his JET novels into Spanish, German, and Czech.

Blake writes under the moniker R.E. Blake in the NA/YA/Contemporary Romance genres. Novels include Less Than Nothing, More Than Anything, and Best Of Everything.

Having resided in Mexico for a dozen 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:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gallagher HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 26, 2013
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!
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By GAE-LYNN WOODS on September 29, 2012
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.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By bananas on May 18, 2012
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.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mick on November 21, 2012
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.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Brooke Frederick on January 1, 2013
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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By divinemessenger on February 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've only been to Mexico as a tourist (Cancun) and I had only heard about cartel operations on the news. King of Swords offers a picture of the complexity of the cartel culture, repleat with graphic descriptions of the violence that permeates that world. Blake uses the character of a crafty assassin for hire to paint a picture of this ghastly world within a world. I was saddened to discover Americans are the largest group of customers for the illegal drug trade from Mexico, a bloody enterprise that has birthed a tragic and fearful atmosphere among all the citizens of Mexico. Thousands have been murdered because of this ugly business, many of them innocent civilians. I have just begun reading the sequel, 'Revenge of the Assassin' and I have not been disappointed. Russell Blake writes well.
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