Jebel Rum, son of the highly respected executioner, Rashed Rum, desires to follow in his father's footsteps. However, he is humiliated in public by his father, who just announced his plans for retirement. The daughter of the woman who nursed him tries to console him, but she puts a different idea into Jebel's head. Jebel decides to accept the idea to undertake a quest that will take him throughout many lands, as well as enter the upcoming competition to decide the new executioner, in order to regain his honor.
I really enjoyed this title. It had a nice pacing that was not painfully slow or too fast. Like most protagonists, Jebel is quite arrogant and selfish, as most are in a story. Of course, he is also really gullible, but who is not that way in their early life? Seeing him progress throughout the story from not accepting the beliefs of others to questioning the ways he had been taught was the best part. For example, he at first wanted to kill his companion, but instead he mourned his companion's death. It took the two about a year to reach their destination and for Jebel to return and I will definitely say that a lot of things can change within a span of one year. Likewise, Jebel and his companion, Tel Hesani, were together through many adventures and they were bound to grow closer, especially since they were all they had. In addition to changing his views of his companion, he got to meet one of the gods that his nation revered. At first, he thought the gods knew everything, but Jebel learned through the god that he did not know what happened to those whom he ferried from life and that there was more than just his nation's gods, which seemed to open him up a bit. In this, I see the conflict between science and religion. Many times, the two intersect. There are people in this world that think science has the answer to everything, but they have never answer where humans came from, as evidenced by the fact that they never found the missing link between apes and man. As for my view on the creation of man, I believe that we came directly from matter, which does not go against The Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy. Anyway, that is off topic, so we will end there. Finally, I enjoyed the violent scenes. It may be because I am a male, but it did not seem gratuitous. After all, Jebel did learn to fight because of it and learned that executioners were not all as highly skilled or respected as his father. The violence also showed show cruel some people were, which Jebel needed to learn. I enjoyed Jebel's progression in character development as he learned about the world around him.
There were probably bad things throughout, but I cannot think of any that would warrant any mention, so I guess this will be the first time I do not mention anything bad. My only regret in that I only had it in print, as it would have helped to have the eBook version too.
The book was very enjoyed and shown a nice flow of character development. There is not really anything bad that would be worth mentioning, which is a rarity with me in my reviews of stuff. If you dislike violence, even if it is not gratuitous, I would recommend staying away from this book. Otherwise, I would recommend trying the title for yourself and seeing what you think.