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The Red Cross of Gold I:.: The Knight of Death (The Assassin Chronicles Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Brendan Carroll
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

If anything can go wrong… it will and does in the Book One of the Assassin Chronicles. Mark Ramsay has never had so much trouble executing a simple extraction/assassination mission. Are the years getting to him? Eight centuries in the same job is a long, long time. Maybe he needs a vacation. Maybe he needs a new occupation. But maybe he just needs to get his head on straight before he loses it.
(This is the first book of the thirty installment, epic fantasy series.)

Todd Barselow, Editor: "Writing is an art form and Brendan is a true master in all senses of the word."

Lucy Liu said of the series only recently on Facebook: “Finished #22 and immediately started #23 because I HAD to know what happened. Left 5* review at Amazon. Here's a sample: I am in awe at how these books just keep getting better and better. I finish one and say Wow that was a great book! and then I read the next and say Wow THAT was really a great book! # 22 delivered the same impact. In fact, the last quarter had me on the edge of my seat and completely fixated.”

Editorial Reviews


Lucy Liu
Finished #22 and immediately started #23 because I HAD to know what happened. Left 5* review at Amazon.

Brendan Carroll can be reached at:
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From the Author

The Assassin Chronicles has taken about twelve years to complete as far as first drafts for all thirty volumes.  Currently, there are twenty-seven of the thirty available on  I'm working on polishing up number twenty-eight, and then I'll have two more volumes to publish before the series is complete.

Writing and publishing this series has been a wonderful trip through the ever-changing world of eBooks, including the publication process, the promotional aspect and the editing mechanics necessary to make a book as nearly perfect as can be expected from a serious author with poor math skills and a Texas twang.  I have always had faith in myself and my supporters, my fans and my family, who have allowed me to get this far in the series with the end in sight before I had an aneurism, a heart attack or a nervous breakdown.

There were many trying times, and I almost quit on several occasions, but perseverance and time has shown that success can only be measured by how we feel about ourselves and not by what others say about us.

I do want to thank all my fans for buying and reading the series, first of all, for the wonderful fan mail, the reviews (both good and bad) and the patience you have had with all of my shortcomings.  I want to thank those who helped me with the actual work:  Dave (Harry); Lori; Sue (Amber); David; Margaret and Pippi! Without these wonderful friends, I may have bit my pencil in two, thrown my computer through the window and went running through the backwoods bare (wait!  That's CCR, but it still holds true in my case because I was truly born and raised on the bayou and never would have had a chance to get my work published and 'out there' at all without Amazon's publishing opportunities). 

I hope that you will all continue to follow me on this odyssey, reading and commenting on my books, my blogs and my lunacy at Facebook and Twitter and other forums I frequent. 

Thank you!  Thank you all and may God (or the Gods) (or whomever you follow) bless you with all you need and desire!

Product Details

  • File Size: 867 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Brendan Carroll; 2 edition (October 25, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001J6ORUI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #494,045 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/4 Stars August 6, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Plot/Storyline: 4.75 Stars

This was an amazing, epic tale from an author with tremendous talent and imagination. I was enthralled with the storyline.

I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the timeframe of this novel. With the 'cover' and the description, I made the assumption that it was a medieval novel. However, it actually takes place in present day with flashbacks to medieval times.

My favorite parts were the flashbacks of Mark's past. They were done with terrific style, making the reader breathless for more.

About 25% of this book should have been left out. There were pages of passages that did not forward the storyline. However, I must add that it was all still very interesting.

Character Development: 4.75 Stars

I found Mark to be an absolutely fascinating character. All parts of the book told from his viewpoint were simply wonderful.

I wasn't enthralled with "Merry". She was just a bit too insipid for my taste. I think she should have been a stronger character. However, I will grant that perhaps that was part of her allure for Mark?

Writing Style: 4.75 Stars

The sentence structure was very well done, creating any easy flow throughout. This author also excels at dialogue, writing realistic speech.

The descriptions, while good, were a bit verbose at times.

Editing/Formatting: 3 Stars

There were many editing type errors throughout the book, mainly missing words or extra words that seemed to have left out or forgotten in a deletion. One section confused me when an incorrect pronoun was used, 'he' instead of 'she', several times.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book! August 6, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. I took my kids swimming, and sat there for 3 hours engrossed and on the edge of my seat. They had to beg me to take them home, because I didn't want to stop reading. Every time I got a free minute, I wanted to get back to this book. I am so glad there are many more in the series!

Our hero is Mark Ramsay, immortal Templar Knight, alchemist and assassin, rough and tough and oh so gorgeous. He finds himself kidnapped and without his memory, and discovers who he is and what he is about, along with the reader. Just when you think things can't get any worse for our hero, his Brothers come to his......rescue? Murder and mayhem, sword fights and brawls, flashbacks to life during the Crusades, love and loss and sex and even some unexpected humor all abound in this terrific tale.

I highly recommend this series!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared to become addicted... March 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading this first book in the series, I was enchanted. After the second in this series, I was addicted. Each book further develops and expands the personality of the characters and spins a tale that is easy to read and entertaining. Each book in the series gets better and better, and I can hardly wait to see what happens next. Mr. Carroll's knowledge of the scriptures is impressive, and adds dimension and interest to the story line. Love this series and hope someday to see it as a movie!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Heidi
I have read all of the Red Cross of Gold: Assassin Chronicles that have been written to date. After the 1st book, I HAD to have the next and then the next one after that, until I have finally read 26 books and am waiting "patiently" for the 27th! If you read Mr. Carroll's books with an open mind and if you have a good imagination, they come to life. Fantasy, romance, and an interesting interpretation of religions all make up this fascinating series about immortal Templar Knights, fairies, dragons, and love.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Red Cross of Gold 1: The Knight of Death November 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is my first time to read Breandan Carrol, I was pleased with the style and the plot. Looking forward to more reading
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Cross of Gold Assassin Series Books I thru XXVI March 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am thoroughly enjoying this series. Carroll writes well and his characters have depth, color and meet challenges that compell me to continue on with the next book in the series immediately. This series balancing historical fiction with fantasy in a most delightful way. The premise is intriguing and expands out into a complex weave that reaches back in time to the Beginning and forward to the End. In between we follow the struggles of angels, wee folk, dragons and all manner of mystical creatures, all well researched and beautifully represented in the pararama. I found myself nipping out to dive more deeply into Babalonians and egyptian mythologies and appreciate the dexterous treatment of the bible throughout, framing plausible scenarios that even an historian would be tickled by. I anxiously await the next book in the series. In the meantime I am exploring other works by the same author that are equally impressive. Really a must read if you love fantasy and holistic treatment of the mysteries.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 800 years old, and still flawed. September 30, 2010
By R. Reed
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Living for 800 years doesn't make a person wise and self assured, according to Mr. Carroll. His hero, one of the legendary Knights Templar, not only escaped the purge of his order by the King of France, but he has survived all the years since then, along with a small group of his fellows. As we meet him, he has ventured to Texas, of all places, on what he thinks is a routine mission to retrieve a missing apprentice. He is dosed with a potion that steals his memory, and has to re-learn who he is and question everything he always assumed about his unusually long life and devotion to his order. When his brethren come for him, all hell breaks loose as they bungle their way through a rescue.

This is the opening book in a long series, and I look forward to meeting Mark Ramsay when he knows who he is. I'm sure he will still question his mission and existence.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Slooooooooooooooooow start
Easy, fun, and entertain in read. Very slow start to this book. The plot stalled and took about 7 chapters to get moving. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Matthew Schneider
3.0 out of 5 stars Quick and fun.
A quick fun read. So much sex that it detracts from the story. I loved the overall concept of the Templar order presented here.
Published 22 months ago by James Lindsey
5.0 out of 5 stars Rip Roaring Start
This is a long overdue review I read this book a few years ago and loved it. I am somewhat of a slow reader it seems but for that I am thankful. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Vuree Impressed
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it! Your mileage may vary....
As you can see from the other reviews, this is a book readers either love or hate. Some who've read (and reviewed) several works of Templar fiction have written very critical... Read more
Published 23 months ago by E. King
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst book I 've read
This without a doubt the worst book I've ever purchased and subsequently tried to read!

The grammar was awful. Character development was nonexistent. Read more
Published on December 24, 2012 by Pammerys
1.0 out of 5 stars No story
I found this book so bad I could not finish it. There was no real story line. I was looking for alot and did not get it
Published on September 21, 2012 by Barry Mcnally
4.0 out of 5 stars Son's smartphone purchase
Son' smartphone purchase again, I am glad he reads but have to watch his selection which can be borderline thriller/creepy for a 17 yr old. What kind of title is this?
Published on August 4, 2012 by G. Lilly
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly written
I was anxious to finish the book because I couldn't bear to continue to read it. But, out of respect for literature and the templars, I held my desired to delete the book from my... Read more
Published on June 2, 2012 by Jhony
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book and wonderful series
Brendan Carrol begins an odyssey of epic proportions. The book moves fast, character development is great, descriptions are wonderful, makes you feel like you are there. Read more
Published on March 8, 2012 by Oso Grande
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More About the Author

Professional Note About Brendan Carroll:

Brendan Carroll spent his first fourteen years running free through the deep woods of the East Texas Pine Forests. During the early part of his life, he had the great fortune to live next door to his grandparents on a small family subsistence farm where he learned about nature, farming and story-telling from his grandfather. Throughout his childhood and early schooling, his first love was reading and after he learned to write, he found a new love... writing. Growing up in the late fifties and sixties, he watched the rock and roll and sexual revolution unfold all around him with a sense of something profoundly precious being thrown down by the onslaught of progress and plastic.

After high school, Brendan joined the Navy to see the world; unfortunately, the world he saw was confined to the Southeastern United States and his short but interesting military career carried him no further than Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. But his limitless curiosity about everything and anything took him straight from the Navy into college where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in teaching, graduating with honors, hoping to make a secure place for himself in Middle Class America. This dream did not play out as expected when he found himself employed as a Middle School Science teacher in a very small Texas town. Of his 140 or so students, he found only three actually interested in learning anything other than how to annoy each other, the faculty and still play football on Friday night in spite of failing grades. The former, they excelled in and the latter, they accomplished by convincing their parents that their failing grade was a completely the fault of the teacher.

After one year of teaching, Brendan changed careers from teacher to Correctional Officer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice where he knew he would be safe from irate parents.

Eventually, he worked his way up to an administrative position with the State of Texas and spent twenty-three years serving as a public servant. In early 2010, he retired and took up writing full-time.

Brendan Carroll has been an avid reader and student of such subjects as mythology, quantum physics, environmental science, geology, archaeology, paleontology and astronomy. He has taken courses in astrology, numerology and other arcane subjects including alchemy, tarot and dream interpretation. His interests have taken him from the sterile labs of absolute science to the dusty attics of conspiracy theorists.

Always seeking to learn more and more, his varying interests and curiosity took him on a odyssey through religion as well. As a young boy, he attended a Pentecostal church. From there, he became a Baptist. Dissatisfied with those two, he studied with the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mormons and eventually took catechism classes, intending to convert to Catholicism. When the conversion failed to take, Carroll had to look elsewhere. Naturally, Catholicism, or rather, the history of Catholicism drew his attention next and he began to study the religions of those persecuted and pushed into oblivion by the Church of Rome: the Cathars, the Egyptian Coptic Christians and the practitioners of the so-called Black Arts.

Eventually, Brendan discovered the amazing history of the Crusades and, in particular, the mythos and legends surrounding the Knights Templar. After devouring every documentary and book available on the subject of the poor Knights.

Brendan Carroll currently has twenty-nine books published through non-traditional channels at for Kindle, for various other eReaders and through Amazon's print on demand paperback program.
The Assassin Chronicles series is drawing to a close with twenty-six of the thirty projected novels published. The series falls into the epic fantasy genre and details the adventures of the members of the Order of the Red Cross of Gold, poor Knights of Solomon's Temple. The series starts off with a relatively non-mystical, non-fantasy story of an Assassin/Alchemist warrior monk, who just happens to be around 800 years old. He loves the quiet life, working on turning base metals to gold providing the financial wherewithal for the Order, but his Assassin missions take him out of his comfort zone and into trouble. When he runs afoul of a woman bent on extracting the key of immortality from him, he loses his memory just long enough to fall from grace and bring on the wrath of his own Brothers of the Order.

Tempo Rubato ~ Stolen Time is a stand alone adventure novel with touches of Sci-Fi, Romance and Humor and was written before the Assassin Chronicles. The novel is a tribute to Mr. Carroll's favorite classical composer, Wolfgang Mozart.

The Hounds of Oblivion, another stand alone novel is a venture into the horror genre pitting a small town constable and a murder/mystery writer against the supernatural perpetrators of a string of gruesome murders while they are both under suspicion by the FBI. They must work together to find the murderers, solve the crime and clear themselves before the loves of their lives are killed or worse.
Personal Note About Brendan:

Brendan Carroll is probably the most eclectic person I know, having been his invisible friend for the past thirty years. He can never be relied upon to do the same thing twice simply because he can never remember what he did the first time. I call this the "Goose Syndrome". It is a common ailment found in humans with short attention spans, loose morals and infinitesimally small short-term memory banks. Everyday, he wakes up in a new world and has a great deal of trouble remembering where the coffee pot is, but if you were to ask him a question about, oh, say black holes or quasars, he could talk long and hard about them whilst he searched the kitchen for coffee filters. Ask him a question including a date such as an anniversary or a birthday and this terrible look of "Duh?" comes over his face. After scrounging for his date book and calendar or looking on-line for a few hours, he might come up with the answer. I said "might" because if he gets on the computer, he will immediately forget what he went there for and soon be surfing the web like a professional geek. This is... not good since he is certainly not a geek and has learned everything he knows about the computer from friends, relatives and incarcerated felons. So much for personality.
Brendan asked me to write these articles for his "About" page because he couldn't remember what he was "About" half the time. He explained that his "About" is normally defined by what others think he is "About". He has often expressed confusion and aggravation because friends, acquaintances, co-workers, family members and pets often make assumptions "About" him based on some random utterance and applied them to his overall Profile. This he finds highly amusing, yet sometimes disturbing and ofttimes troubling.
I would venture to say that Brendan is all "About" writing and entertaining his readers. He is NOT "About" worrying with details such as grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, flow, plot, French words designed to impress, continuation, etcetera, etcetera. He is all "About" the story, not about those bothersome little details. He leaves those entirely to his critics, reviewers and random comments left by drive-by, would-be editors looking for poor, grammatically undernourished fledgling authors just trying to get along in this dark, dark world... but I digress!
What is he "About"? He's about making people smile (both inside and outside his books). He's about making people laugh and making people cry (but only when necessary... I mean really, his main character or protagonist for all you literary perfectionists, is after all the Chevalier du Morte, Assassin and Alchemist for the Order of the Red Cross of Gold, poor Knight of Solomon's Temple.) If you have an assassin as a hero, then there is necessarily assassinations in the offing. Of course, Brendan's hero is sometimes a little less heroic than one might generally expect a hero to be. He is in fact, a bit grumpy, lacks a well-developed sense of humor, dresses mainly in black and carries a wicked broadsword along with a couple or three knives, discreetly placed of course and has a penchant for finding trouble at odd hours of the night. He also believes in faeries, much like Brendan in that respect and blames them for any number of noisome caprices. These are simply natural occurrences in my humble opinion, but I've never been able to convince Brendan or his precious Knight of Death otherwise.
Brendan loves nature as long as it is on the other side of the glass or fence or bars as the individual case may warrant. He loves zoos, for instance, where the larger and/or more or less friendly animals might be confined for closer viewing. He likes aquariums and he especially likes botanical gardens with indigenous life forms enclosed inside glass buildings such as the flora and fauna at Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas. This is a fine place in his opinion to get to know the dangers and trials and tribulations associated with trekking through the rain forests.
He loves the beach. He likes looking at it through tinted glass windows with the AC on high from behind dark sunshades. (He is allergic to sand.) He loves whales, porpoises, seals, walruses, penguins, eels, nudibranchs, jellyfish, coral reefs, sharks and sunfish and is extremely glad that they all have a nice place to live... in the ocean where they belong.


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