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King of Swords

(Assassin #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,471 ratings  ·  118 reviews
King of Swords is 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
Kindle Edition, 306 pages
Published by Manana Publishing (first published December 3rd 2011)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,471 ratings  ·  118 reviews

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Dec 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Amber by: An absolute genius
If there's one Blake book you should read (and that's just crazy talk... buy and read all of them, they're wonderful!), make it the King of Swords. It grips your mind and pulls you into the story immediately, and doesn't let go until the very end. The twist and turns continue until the very last page.

If there was any way for Russell Blake to trump his previous excellent novels, this is it.
Toni Osborne
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book #1, in the Assassin series

This is one brutal and heart-stopping novel I read in a long time. In “King of Swords” we are taken on a violent journey through drug cartel of Mexico. This thriller is definitely not for the fainthearted, it is a blend of facts and fiction and strange enough, we will never know where the truth ends and where Mr. Russell’s inspiration kicked in, the fine line between is a little fuzzy.

This thriller is cranked up on steroids and has left me gasping and cringing more
Steven Konkoly
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 Sw
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
King of Swords pitches Captain Romero Cruz of Mexico's Federal Police against a ruthless killer known as El Rey as he attempts to prevent an assassination plot targeting the American and Mexican presidents at an upcoming G-20 summit.

A gritty, brutal thriller that takes its readers into the world of drug cartels, murder for hire and dirty politics.
Nick Fields
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jim A
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very well put together thriller involving a world class assassin and the Mexican Federal Police captain trying to prevent the assassination of the President of Mexico and the President of the United States at a G-20 summit meeting. Throw in some political intrigue in the United States and the lack of help from his own government, Captain Cruz has his work cut out for him.

As another reviewer mentioned, without looking at the author's name, I could have though I was reading something by Ludlum,
I gave this book three stars even though I chose not to finish it. I picked it up in the first place because it had a good many very high ratings and seemed to be the type of book that I might enjoy. But I chose not to finish it because it was a bit tedious although it wasn't really an awful book. It did not, however, appeal to me so I chose not to invest any more time in it. There are a ton of great books out there written by authors whose work I truly enjoy so it just didn't make sense to fini ...more
Teresa Collins
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and all the ones in the series. Night of the Assassin is actually the prequel to King of Swords, King of Swords, and Revenge of the Assassin. These books are definitely not for the squeamish because Mr Blake tells it like it is in the world of the drug cartels. Living in Mexico himself, he has a pretty good view of that world. Even though the books are a bit, (ok, quite a bit) violent, Mr Blake still creates characters you really learn to care about. Even the villain, El Rey, w ...more
Frederick Brooke
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 stre
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
King of Swords is the second in the Assassin series, but first in publication date as the author wrote this book first and then wrote the prequel. This book tells the story of El Ray, the notorious Mexican assassin. El Ray works his way up by using his brains to become the top paid hit man for the drug cartels, or anyone who has the money. But there is a Mexican policeman hunting for him who is just as smart. The action is good and very well thought out. Highly recommend the series.
Christopher Alderson
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Not Enough El Rey

I'm glad I read NIGHT first. Got me excited for this book which unfortunately I was disappointed in.
Too much time spent on Cruz and Briones. There just wasn't enough of El Rey action in this one for me.
Had I started with KING, I may not have continued the series.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Well I went into this thinking that since the book is called King of Swords: Assassin 1 that this would be a book told from the point of view of the assassin or at least mostly be about an assassin. There's an assassin in the book but this book is primarily told from the point of view of the federal officer trying to catch the assassin. ...more
Kip Gochenour
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book by Russell Blake!
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellently written, with strong character development, vivid descriptions, and effective twists and turns. This book is very violent and graphic; definitely not for the faint of heart. Yet the violence is realistic, not gratuitous. The lead character (protagonist) is easy to identify with, a decent, hard-working law enforcement officer trying to make a difference in his country. The “other” lead character (El Rey) is fascinating and intricately developed. Despicable and deplorable, yet in a tro ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was a tough one to review.
About a third of the way through and I was thinking it might have been a 2 star book. I did not like Cruz and was puzzled why a novel that was supposed to be about El Rey would barely feature the man.

But about half way through, I realised Cruz and El Rey were opposite aspects of the King of Swords Tarot card. One is the protector why the other is the Destroyer. Once I looked at the characters this way, I enjoyed the story much more and would give it a solid 4 s
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 los
Terje Fokstuen
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book in a series about the drug wars in Mexico. The hero, Cruz, is a honest cop, and head of the Federales in Mexico City. His opponent is, generally, the Mexican drug cartels, and specifically a Mexican assassin who is so good at what he does that no one has successfully stopped him yet. This is an exciting, fast paced novel, but it's real strength is in the descriptions of Mexico, and what the drug wars are doing to the country. Mexico is the principal character, and as excit ...more
Pat Hopson
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is really well written and the plot is good and it’s the kind of book that I enjoy a lot. However, for whatever reason I just couldn’t get into this book. I thought that maybe there was just too much verbiage, maybe. I don’t know but instead of enjoying the book and wanting to get to the next chapter to see the story unfold I was finding that reading this book felt like work. I will read this author again just not this book.
Glen Robins
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has everything you have come to expect from Russell Blake - an array of compelling characters, each with his own set of strengths, motivations and flaw, competing against forces seen and unseen and often each other. The story moves along nicely and keeps the guessing what will happen next. A fun, fast-paced read.
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Russell Blake is an outstanding writer. King of Swords is a fast action believable book and I guarantee you will like it. Great characters and not too many to remember them all. Give it a try and enjoy the action.
Tim Botsford
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great one...again.

Great one...again. Great one...again. Great one...again. Great one...again. Great one...again. Great one...again. Great one...again. Great one...again. Great one...again. Great one...again. Good book that I loved.
Lana Mccall
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hard slog through the first sixty percent of the novel but picks up and becomes very intriguing. Unfortunately there is little to no character development. More attention is given to weapons than the characters.
Robert Romberger
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This was an excellent and entertaining book.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Peggy Pancherz
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Good book

Read all of the books in order to really enjoy. Storyline continues to grow and develop. Characters are realistic and get better and better.
Gareth Williams
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent Book

An excellent, well written book.
It is full of suspense with a good plot line.
It leaves the way open for a follow up book.
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very good easy reading book. Interesting information about Mexico and the drug cartels. I did not like the end, it could have told more about the characters. Nothing like the JET series.
Joel B Champagne
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent Intro

An interesting beginning to a great series. Although the first book "Might of the Assassin" should be the intro to the series.
Lee-sa Day
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Interesting series

New series for me. So far so good. I am ready for the next book in the series. Highly recommend this author.
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Other books in the series

Assassin (6 books)
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