To start this post, I don't think I could use anything better then the words from the back of the book: "The executioner swung his axe - THWACK! - and another head went rolling into the dust."
Jebel's family has him, his two older brothers (both strong and admired) and his father. Jebel's father, Rashed Rum, "...the greatest executioner Wadi had ever seen.", the executioner, who was valued as Royalty in Wadi, plans to retire. The competition that will take place to decide who will be the town executioner is probably going to be won by one of his sons; even he thinks so. He doesn't think that it will be the thinner, younger son, Jebel, and doesn't even bother to mention Jebel in the speech where he'll announce his retirement. The simplicity of him not mentioning Jebel will cause Jebel to embark on a dangerous quest, one that he'll probably die from the journey of, to prove that he is strong, and ask for invincibility from the god at the end of the quest.
Jebel starts his quest - and starts the story - as a very immature, completely shallow, character that anyone who is at all civilized is probably going to hate. However, during the book he grows up a lot, and gains a conscience. He grows a lot as a person during the novel. That is why I like it. By the end of the book he's a lot different than from the beginning, in a very good way. The emotional journey filled with battles and danger is an interesting read. I'd give it 4 stars! It was a deep book, dealing with issues like violence, slavery, and really whether it's right to murder anyone for whatever reason
This book is also by the author who wrote the famed "Saga of Darren Shan", or more commonly called, "Cirque Du Freak" series, which I have yet to read (it's on my bookshelf right now though so there.). I've read reviews though that say it's nothing like his other books, and fans of "Cirque Du Freak" will not automatically enjoy this book. It's still good though- pick it up!