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Blood of Assassins by RJ Barker – Cover Reveal

Age of Assassins (Cover)RJ Barker’s fantasy debut Age of Assassins has been out for just over a month, and already both RJ and the book are making a name for themselves – kind of like how an assassin’s reputation precedes them. And, like a true assassin, when the time is right to strike, RJ and publishers Orbit are striking fast, as the full trilogy will be released within a year, start to finish. Blood of Assassins is due to hit shelves in February 2018, and King of Assassins will follow hot on its heels in August 2018. That’s right, three full length novels, an entire series, in a year!

Much assassins!

Age of Assassins, is a poison-store of fantasy and murder-mystery, with a pinch of coming of age. I wholly agree with the recommendation ‘for fans of Brent Weeks and Robin Hobb,’ but it’s clear RJ Barker has his own distinctive style, voice and brand, and that main character Girton Club-foot stands on his own two feet, club foot or not. With that in mind, Blood of Assassins promises a continuation of Girton’s story as he develops his assassin skillset under tutelage of master Merela Khan.

When I read a book, I like to look for the little bit of the author left behind. The best books, or so I believe, are the ones that the author puts themselves into. Age of Assassins is one of those books. Which is why I am honoured to present the cover art for Blood of Assassins:

Blood of Assassins (Cover)

If you can judge a book by its cover, then Blood of Assassins is going to be bloodier, and maybe a little darker than the first. The cover of Age of Assassins promised, ‘Use an assassin to catch an assassin,’ and boy oh boy did it deliver. So, with the tagline, ‘To save a king, kill a king,’ I know that Blood of Assassins is going to do just that, and then some. It’s great to see Orbit are keeping with the overall design and layout of the covers, which I think will really stand out on the bookshelves and displays.

Here’s what RJ Barker had to say about the cover art:

“The covers have an air of melancholy and mystery that I think suits the books perfectly.”

He also said, “This picture is totally me, despite what anyone else says.”

And, this being RJ Barker, who might or might not have sacrificed to the god Pan for his publishing deal (his words not mine), I almost believe him, particularly when you consider the figure on the cover shares the same hair as RJ; that is, “the sort of flowing locks any cavalier would be proud of.” (Again, his words not mine.)

Now, whilst a picture can say a thousand words, the team at Orbit have been generous enough to share the blurb for Blood of Assassins:

(WARNING: minor spoiler alert if you haven’t read Age of Assassins.)

Blood of Assassins (Detail)


The assassin Girton Club-foot and his master have returned to Maniyadoc in hope of finding sanctuary, but death, as always, dogs Girton’s heels. The place he knew no longer exists.

War rages across Maniyadoc, with three kings claiming the same crown – and one of them is Girton’s old friend Rufra. Girton finds himself hurrying to uncover a plot to murder Rufra on what should be the day of the king’s greatest victory. But while Girton deals with threats inside and outside Rufra’s war encampment, he can’t help wondering if his greatest enemy hides beneath his own skin.

Blood of Assassins, second book in The Wounded Kingdom series, is now available to pre-order on Amazon (UK & US) and will be released in February 2018.


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