Review of Russell Blake’s Revenge of the Assassin

As a loyal reader and fellow author, Russell provided me with an advanced copy of his newest release, Revenge of the Assassin. How do I repay his trust? By taking forever to finally get around to a review. I did have a vacation to Scandinavia to enjoy…that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. Check out my review of Blake’s follow up to the smash sensation, King of Swords. It goes without saying that I continue to be impressed by Russell Blake’s offerings. I know you will too.

“Russell Blake continues the blistering, “no holds barred” saga of El Rey in his smashing sequel to King of Swords. Demonstrating his unmatched versatility as a writer, he once again shifts gears and delivers a gritty, unapologetic look at the dark side of the Mexican drug war and its most feared instrument, El Rey. As a reader familiar with Blake’s works, I anticipated nothing less than an engaging thrill ride for this follow up to King of Swords. Blake clearly delivers more. Rarely has a sequel exceeded my expectations like Revenge of the Assassin. As I clicked past the last page on my Kindle, I said to myself…”@#!% if he didn’t do it again. Even better than the last one.”

As with every Blake novel, the description, settings and detail bring you right into the book. I hate to be repetitive in my reviews, but I felt it was worth mentioning again. Whether you are witnessing the stark brutality and ugliness of the drug cartels’ day to day “business” on the outskirts of a border town or sipping cold beers with the leader of the Sinaloa cartel at a plastic table overlooking a quiet cove on Zihuatanejo Bay, you’ll be immersed.

Where Blake raises the bar in this novel is the way he fully fleshes out the cat and mouse chase between El Rey and Captain Cruz. He builds on the history established between the two characters in King of Swords to bring the tension to new heights. For fans of Forsyth, Captain Romero Cruz is Claude Lebel…methodical and obsessed with bringing his assassin down against nearly insurmountable odds. Beyond this, I particularly enjoyed the behind the scenes politics between Mexican federal agencies, which adds another layer of complication for Cruz to navigate.

Blake’s Assassin series occupies a prominent place in my e-bookshelf, and I eagerly await the next installment…which is rumored to be close at hand. If your a fan of relentless action, unpredictable twists and immersive writing, this series is for you.”


  1. Nancy says:

    Russell is too dang prolific! I finished Night of the Assassin last month, and Delphi Chronicles and The Voynich Cypher this month. But, I’m glad he is out with his latest El Rey novel, as I’ve been missing something of his to read.

  2. Russell Blake says:

    Even worse, Nancy, I’ll be releasing Return of the Assassin in May. So there will be 4 in the series – Night, King of Swords, Revenge of the Assassin and Return of the Assassin. Yikes. They’re breeding like bunnies…

      • Russell Blake (@BlakeBooks) says:

        Have it whipped up in a week. Just fill out the form choosing one from each category.

        XXXX, the (crusty, conflicted, deadly, in-crisis) protagonist still grappling with his past as a (ex-commando, ex-CIA, ex-cop, ex-line dancer), must face (an event, a villain, a looming situation) that imperils (his family, the world, humanity, his peace of mind) with an impossible scenario involving (nukes, terrorists, clowns, Lady Ga Ga) and (the president, rogue factions of the government, uber-powerful interests, chimps). In a race against time, XXXX must discover his (ability to love, compassion, love of kitties and puppies, enjoyment of nude ice dancing) in order to save (his soul, the mysterious and sensual YYY, his children, a few bucks on his insurance) while foiling the disastrous plot using only (submarines, high powered weapons, his wits, bare hands, pepper spray, psychic power) and (kryptonite, a sharp knife, his rapier sense of humor, halitosis). Sweeping (the globe, our world, across eons, the hall), XXX must bet it all in the ultimate showdown that will put everything (he/she) holds true on the line against an impossible adversary. Critics are saying (your name here) is a masterful, visionary raconteur, a fresh exciting new voice who is making waves on the (indie publishing, thriller, bestseller) scene, reminding one of (John Locke, Nora Roberts, Amanda Hocking, SNOOKIE).

  3. Steven Konkoly says:

    What’s really sad, is that you just wrote more words than many indie authors write in a day. Do you provide titles? Please, nothing like the ones we discussed yesterday. I believe we both overlooked “Pump Action.”

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