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The Assassin - King of Swords: (Assassin Series #1) Kindle Edition
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"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, RussellBlake has clearly taken the best of his previous novels and combinedthem into an honest, often brutal, heart-stopping thriller that left megasping for air and squirming on my couch. I know this sounds overlydramatic, but in reader-speak...this book kept me glued to the Kindlescreen.
In King of Swords, the reader is taken on ajourney through drug cartel-ruled Mexico, where violence often trumpshard cash as the dominant cultural currency. Blake clearly draws on his own knowledge of the political and cultural climate in Mexico topresent 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
- ASIN : B006HVW2H0
- Publisher : Reprobatio Ltd (January 14, 2014)
- Publication date : January 14, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 696 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 235 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #212,195 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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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!
El Rey is the "King of Swords", a freelance assassin employed by the cartels to do their dirty work. He is endowed with a sympathetic backstory, but he is still a ruthless killer with extraordinary skills. Cruz is the police captain at the head of the anti-cartel task force, constantly at odds with government corruption and inefficiency, lack of resources, and in this story trying to prevent the assassination of the presidents of Mexico and the United States by El Rey, despite stunning complacency from the concerned agencies of both countries.
This sets up a cat and mouse situation that reminded me of Frederick Forsyth's The Day of the Jackal , except that since this launches a series the reader already knows that the ending will not result in El Rey's death. Like "Jackal", this book is full of gritty details that help draw the reader into the world of the story. Unlike its predecessor, however, "King of Swords" occasionally goes just a bit over the top, in my opinion, with respect to the action. It is also more graphic in its brutality, but that goes with the times, I guess. This is a very good book.
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.
I feel the author did his research in discussing the drug cartels and crime scene in Mexico. It felt real. It also achieved the sense of being slightly foreign in locale without alienating the reader from the familiar.
Stylistically Blake is quite tight. I felt there were no wasted words and no gratuitous scenes. The entire book just marched on at a relentless, logical pace. I appreciate all this in an author. The plot was pretty straight forward and Blake is proof that a novel does not need to be overly complex to be good.
All told, a big thumbs up from me.
Above all, the story unfolds against of backdrop of modern day to day Mexican life which is in sharp contrast to that portrayed in Hollywood films or mainstream media-work of an author with first hand experience of life in Mexico.
Top reviews from other countries
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
If you haven't read any of the Assassin Series of books this would be the first one to get, as they do span over a fair few books, it will have you hooked into reading and the hours will pass without realising how long you have been reading, This is a great read, and it takes you back to the childhood of the assassin, and how he progressed through military training and then how he became the most feared assassin, No job is impossible.
It is full of suspense with a good plot line.
It leaves the way open for a follow up book.