|The Thin Executioner|
|Date Released||29th April 2010|
|Series||One off book|
|Number of Pages||336|
The Thin Executioner is the first book written by Darren Shan not to be part of a series.
Jebel is the third son of a respected executioner. His Father has told the village that his two older sons will battle in a competition called Mukhayret to see who will have the honor of succeeding the executioner - due to the skrawniness of Jebel, he is left out of his Father's speech, forever shaming him into disgrace in his villiage. Disgraced in public, Jebel sets out on a journey to petition the fire god (Sabbah Eid) for invincibility in hopes to return to his village a hero and win Mukhayret, and gain the title of the executioner. But the fire god needs a human sacrifice, so he finds a slave willing to pay the price and together they set off for Jebels quest for invincibility.
Jebel Rum is the youngest son of the executioner who is the second most important person in the town. When he announces his retirement, he nominates Jebel’s older brothers for a competition called Mukhayret to see who will have the honor of succeeding the executioner. He is left out, which brings shame upon him. Jebel makes the rash decision to quest towards Tubaygat a holy mountain which is home to the god Sabbah Eid who can grant questors invincibility and long life. But only after they travel on foot to Tubaygat. Before he can set off, he runs into his first problem, in order to be granted this, he must make a human sacrifice of either a slave or travelling companion. A traveller from the village finds a willing slave called Tel Hesani for him. In exchange for the freedom of his family he will travel with him and be willing sacrifice. They face many hardships and come across many different people with many different beliefs and cultural practices both more horrible then his own and those far better than his own. Jebel however is loath to change or view things through a different lens. Yet as they proceed in their journey and face many hardships he comes to see things in a different light. During his journey he is faced with groups of people that live in harmony with nature, that don’t have slavery like his people and those that belief in reincarnation. He also meets two traders that are both more and less then they pretend to be. He is made a slave, gets captured by a murderous cult of cannibals and even meets and strikes a deal with the god of death. As he reaches his goal he refuses to kill his dying slave and instead allows him to die naturally. The god then congratulates him for she is from an ancient race who made the quest to rid the world of cruel people and only the kind succeed. She then has him lead back to his town, where he wins the Mukhayret. Then as the new executioner he refuses to execute people and with an old rule takes the place of all condemned and since he can’t be killed they are all set free. This leads to a natural rise of crime until the new high lord, decides to listen to his wisdom on how to deal with criminals and prisons are built and slowly a more just legal system takes hold not just in his town Wadi but in his entire nation, for prisons are found to be able to be run with a profit. Which his people always have liked.
Darren Shan was inspired by The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Firework Maker's Daughter, many similarities can be found in the book to them.