The prolific and hugely popular Darren Shan will be familiar to many parents for the Vampire’s Assistant (adapted from his 12 book Saga of Darren Shan for the big screen last year and starring John C. Reilly) and the bestselling Demonata series. Shan turns his hand to a standalone book here and shows another side to his talents. The Thin Executioner is a fantastic read that proves once again Shan has always been a master of exquisite flights of fancy and not just the gore his Demonata books became infamous for. Think of it as The Hobbit crossed with Arabian Nights if you’re so inclined.
When skinny Jebel Rum, the youngest son of the Executioner (a coveted position), is publically humiliated he must go on a quest to restore his honour, win the hand of the girl he loves and learn to wield unimaginable power. Along the way the arrogant Jebel learns some difficult lessons about making your own mind up about why the world is the way it is. After adventures, including being kidnapped into slavery and slaying monsters, Jebel will return to become the Thin Executioner - and remake his homeland in unforeseen ways… Recommended!