Jebel Rum’s family is famous and respected because his father is the royal executioner. Jebel, however, is a thin runt that is dishonored when his father forgets to even consider him as a possible replacement in front of the entire village. Jebel decides on an insane and foolhardy quest: to go to the legendary cave of the fire god and sacrifice a slave named Tel Hesani in exchange for inhuman powers. However, the quest is so dangerous that almost none have returned alive and there are only legends of those that have returned having completed the quest. Jebel will face death from all sides if he is to complete his quest, but his greatest challenge will be if he can bring himself to sacrifice Tel Hesani, who had become Jebel’s first and only friend.
This is a really fun and exciting dark fantasy in the vein of the old Conan books. The world is a violent, cruel warzone and only the strongest survive. Which is why making the main character a weak runt is so fresh and fun. The characters aren’t super deep, but they are interesting and move the story forward well. You may know Darren Shan from his super successful series The Demonata and Cirque Du Freak. If not then The Thin Executioner is the perfect book to check out Shan’s style, because it is a standalone novel that highlights his strengths. He builds believable and dark fantasy worlds with short thrilling chapters, so even though this a long book you will find yourself tearing through it saying “just one more chapter” again and again. His horror worlds are dark and violent without ever geeting overly gross or depressing. Shan’s work is more aimed at guys than girls because his main characters are male and the focus is often on action and violence, but really any reader that likes dark fantasy that isn’t too dismal will enjoy Shan’s books.