Darren Shan is the author of the Cirque Du Freak series. This book is quite a departure for him. First of all, the book I read is an advanced copy I received from one of my students. This book will be out in August 2010 - and I will be lining up to buy it for the media center.
Jebel is the third son of a respected executioner. His father has told the village that his two older sons will battle to see who will have the honor of succeeding him - poor, thin Jebel is left out. He decides to go on a perilous quest to petition the fire god for invincibility and hopefully return to his village a hero.
This book has it all - a hero, plenty of villians, and a romance. Plus, be aware this book is plenty violent and gory in parts.
On the back cover it states that Darren Shan was inspired by The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: after I finished reading The Thin Executioner, it was interesting to see how many similarities I could find. I think more mature readers will devour this book!