• King of Assassins

  • The Wounded Kingdom, Book 3
  • By: RJ Barker
  • Narrated by: Joe Jameson
  • Length: 17 hrs and 18 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (188 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Twenty years ago, Girton Club-Foot began his journey to become the Tired Land's finest assassin and now he'll face his greatest challenge yet in the riveting conclusion to RJ Barker's fantasy trilogy. 

Assassin Girton Club-Foot has lived in relative peace for many years, but now his king, Rufra ap Vthyr, eyes the vacant High-King's throne and will take his court to the capital. In a viper's nest of intrigue, the endgame of 20 years of politics and murder will be played out in the bid to become the King of all Kings.

Friends become enemies, enemies become friends, and the god of death stands closer than ever, casting his shadow over everyone Girton holds dear. 

©2018 RJ Barker (P)2018 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about King of Assassins

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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The Best of the Series and a Satisfying Conclusion

While the books before this were solid, Barker steps it up to another level with the final book in the series. Much of epic fantasy written today is broad in scope, sweeping across different lands and settings, shifting from character to character. One of the things I particularly like about The Wounded Kingdom Series is the much more intimate, focused story we're given, with one of the most satisfying, emotional and, at times, tragic character arcs I've read in fantasy in recent years. In spirit it's reminiscent of Robin Hobb's original Farseer Trilogy, (though with different beats) and that has long been a favorite of mine. Like that story we get to see the maturation of the main protagonist from boy to young adult and finally a more experienced man. There's humor and heartache, mystery and suspense, heroism and tragedy, and very satisfying conclusion to the book and the trilogy. To say much more I think would spoil the story, but it's a world with characters I'd happily return to, and a series I'm sure I'll want to reread over and over again, which I think, is one of the best marks of a good story.

Joe Jameson as narrator was once again fantastic, with lots of range, and an emotive voice that added depth to the story and characters.

5 people found this helpful

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Thoughtful and Realistic character development!

What astounded me, and what I appreciated most, is how thoughtful and realistic the character development was throughout the series.

By spacing out the timing between each book the author was not required to create artificial setbacks for each character to overcome. In each subsequent book characters are older, if not necessarily wiser. This also allows the reader the ability to truly immerse themselves in the narrative.

Characters are allowed to grow and develop between books. Relationships are allowed to change. They mature. They sour. They are mended. I could not more highly recommend this series.

2 people found this helpful

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A good ending

The author was able to create new twists as he spun his way to the end of the trilogy which kept my interest level high throughout. Even so, there were a few areas that were glossed-over in such a way that while providing closure on some primary characters relationships, didn't provide a plausible explanation for it. Also, the title didn't seem to match what transpired in the novel.

Still, it was a solid book and I'd recommend it and the series for those who might be interested in a woeful and somewhat dark story.

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Great series

I travel 50k miles a year and listen to many books on tape. This was one of the best series I have listened to.

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entertaining ride

Engaging well developed characters dealt with in an empathetic narrative in a fascinating world. Joe Jamison delivers the narrative expertly, you focus on the characters not the narrator.

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Satisfying

The story makes sense, is much more realistic than usual. interesting characters. just right. this is a worthy writer.

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A beautiful dance

So like all the fantasy books we read. However done exquisitely. I loved it.

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Another great rj barker book

If you made it this far in the trilogy, it’ll be no surpise that this one is also great. Girton is less whiny than in book 2 thank god.

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Could not put it down

This review contains minor spoilers.

King of Assassins is the riveting final installment in the Wounded Kingdom trilogy by RJ Barker, read by Joe Jameson. The trilogy is about Girton Club-Foot who was bought at a slave auction at age five by one of the finest assassins in the Tired Lands. She trained him in every aspect of the killing art: sword fighting, knife fighting, stealth and the use of poisons.

King of Assassins is set 15 years after the second book, Blood of Assassins. Girton is the heartblade or bodyguard for his childhood friend, Rufra ap Vythyr. The friendship that began twenty years before has become very chilly after Rufra's long fight to become King of Maniadoc. Aidor, bully in the first book, Age of Assassins, and wanna-be King in the second book, Blood of Assassins, is now a loyal follower of King Rufra and best friend of Girton.

To be honest, I found the first half of the book a bit slow as Girton tries to navigate the intrigue and plots of the nobles at the court of the High King. But I kept listening and I'm so glad I did. RJ really knows how to build up the tension slowly but surely, and build it up, he did and it really paid off in the second half.

Why did I love it?
It's more than the just the story which, after the slow build-up at the beginning, was action-packed and exciting. It's more than the just the characters, even though I love these characters. It was the emotion of it. By the time I listened to this final book in the trilogy, I'd gotten to know those characters very well and was fully invested in their story. Like Girton, I was a bit angry about how Rufra had distanced himself from his friend, but I loved how the friendship with Aidor had grown and strengthened since the second book.
Aidor was a real bright spot in this book and I ABSOLUTELY adored the way Joe Jameson gave him his voice. Aidor is magnetic with a huge love for life and everything in it. He does everything with such gusto and the way Joe Jameson gave voice to Aidor's huge personality was absolutely perfect.

This book literally made me grind my teeth in frustration, laugh out loud at the jokes and it even made me cry. RJ's beautiful writing and Joe Jameson's emotional and touching performance as the narrator are a perfect pairing in this emotional, action-packed book. The finale of the Wounded Kingdom trilogy might have gotten off to a bit of a slow start for my tastes, but it ended with a hugely satisfying finish.

I give this book 5/5 stars. For the great characters, great ending and the amazing narration.

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Excellent!

I don't write reviews on books, but I'll make an exception here. Loved this whole series! Excellent characters, captivating story lines, and all the emotions you can have in a series! To the author, excellent work sir! Keep it up!

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