Zeljan Kurst is a Yugoslavian businessman and a leading member of the terrorist organization Scorpia. In the novel Snakehead, he supervises Major Yu while he is coordinating and executing operation "Reef Encounter," an operation in which they would use a powerful, British-made, non-nuclear bomb called Royal Blue to cause a tsunami, and also to pleasingly destroy an Australian Island where an anti-poverty conference would be held. Kurst advises Yu to not underestimate Alex Rider's abilities, since Kurst was impressed by Alex's abilities to thwart operation Invisible Sword during the novel Scorpia.
Kurst was the head of the police force in Yugoslavia during the early 1980s, and had been famous for his love of classical music(particularly Mozart)and extreme violence. It is said that he would interrogate prisoners with an opera or a symphony playing in the background. Seeing the breakup of his country on the horizon, he had decided to quit before he was fired. Lacking any family, friends, or anywhere he could call home, he needed work, and he knew that Scorpia would pay him extremely well. He rose up on the organization's ranks until he became the head.
Kurst is introduced at the beginning of Snakehead when he assigns Yu the job of coordinating operation "Reef Encounter." Many times through the book, Kurst has small meetings at public places with Yu, so Yu can brief him on the progress of the operation. Kurst owns and operates a funeral parlor business which has a secret room that serves as a conference room for Scorpia. Kurst is the only member of Scorpia who treats Alex with caution, despite his age, knowing that he was responsible for many of Scorpia's failures. Kurst and Yassen Gregorovich are the two major antagonists not introduced and killed in the same book.
In Scorpia Rising, Kurst masterminds a new plot: a Greek millionaire asks him to return the Elgin Marbles to him. Kurst plans to use Alex Rider and MI6's use of him to obtain that objective. The plan is to use the clone made of Alex during Point Blanc, who wants revenge against Alex, to assassinate the American Secretary of State in Egypt and frame Alex for it, killing him along the way, and then blackmail the British government with the knowledge of MI6's use of a teenage boy unless they turn over the Elgin Marbles. He assigned a new member of the Scorpia board, Abdul-Aziz Al-Razim, to carry it out. Board member Levi Kroll expresses opposition to the plan in the meeting and asks out. Kurst orders his assassination throught the use of a sniper before using his body to attract MI6's attention on a school in Cairo where they will inevitably send Alex.
The plot later fails and ends in the deaths of Razim, Grief and Erik Gunter, although along the way, Jack Starbright, Alex's caretaker, is killed by Razim. Kurst is arrested by Interpol and put on trial for various criminal charges and Scorpia is disbanded.
Rated: Not suitable for young children
Summary: Final part in the Blood & Fire arc. Having once again escaped Scorpia, Alex finds himself in a different sort of trouble. But if Alex is going down, he's determined on taking everyone with him.
Categories: Action/Adventure, Angst
Characters: Alex Rider, Scorpia, The Gentleman, Yassen Gregorovich, Zeljan Kurst
Series: Blood and Fire
Chapters: 13 [Table of Contents]
Completed: No • Words: 32893 • Views: 2402