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The Thin Executioner

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  5,405 ratings  ·  471 reviews
In a kingdom of merciless tyrants, Jebel Rum's family is honored as royalty because his father is the executioner. But Rashed Rum is near retirement. And when he goes, there will be a contest to determine his successor. It is a contest that thin, puny Jebel has no chance of winning. Humiliated and ashamed, Jebel sets out on a quest to the faraway home of a legendary fire g ...more
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published April 2010)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,405 ratings  ·  471 reviews

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Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely thrilling! Many people that have also read this book are saying things like it didn't live up to the standards of Shan's other books, or that there weren't any twists in the plot, but that's what made this book even better! People are missing the meaning of this book! Yes, it was a fantasy. A nice one at that, there were plenty of gorey details; executions, whippings, slaves, etc. But the best part of the book was that this spoiled brat, Jebel Rum, became a hero. Not som ...more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
This one is the most enjoyable book I have read lately. I was expecting to find a really engaging book from Darren Shan and was not disappointed at all! The imagination of lots of cultures, the adventures the protagonists experience, the character development of the main boy... The ideas and throughts they exchanged about life, death, religion, society... I loved every aspect of this book and I gladly recommend this to everyone!
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess its a bit too late for my first Darren Shan book, but better late than never I suppose.
I was pleasantly surprised. Great balance of adventure and life-changing revelations :D
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Thin Executioner
The book im reviewing is The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan. Shan has talked in many interviews talking about how “writing The Thin Executioner has been one of his favorites so far..”. Normally Shan sticks to making sequels to his novels, but The Thin Executioner is one that stands alone with how much time he's put into it. Much like his other books but different in its own amazing way The Thin Executioners context is that of a young scrawny kid with an unlikely mentor can
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was a very creative, original, enjoyable book in every way. I was fascinated by the Jordan-inspired names. It was very interesting to see darker-skinned and -haired people as the beautiful upper-class, and lighter-skinned, fairer-haired people as the slaves. The religious take was very thought-inspiring as well. I only remembered about halfway through that the book was inspired by Huckleberry Finn, and that remembrance brought even more meaning to an already wonderful story. It's about bein ...more
Justin Mazurek
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
If I could give this more than five stars, I would give it all the stars in the night sky. This was such a beautiful and wonderful novel and I urge anyone who wants a brave story about rights and wrongs with an enormity of action and adventure and horror—to purchase this book and be absolutely consumed by its magic. This book deserves so much more praise than it has. Thank you, Darren Shan for a brilliantly plotted novel that made my heart ache with adrenaline, sadness, and joy.
Liv Brandström Edlund
I know that if I would’ve read this when I bought it in 2014 I really would have loved it. But I still think it’s really solid, even if it’s not my cup of tea anymore. I especially liked how this handled slavery, morals and religion, way deeper than I thought it would be. (I guess I see one of the reasons why I loved Darren Shan so much when I was ~14)
May 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
5 stars. THWACK!


Jebel Rum is a thin kid. Even if he eats like me, he still remains thin and small and weak.

His father, Rashed Rum, is the EXECUTIONER! And that's not a fact to sneer at. Executioners are only second to the Ruler of the Abu Aineh.

Rashed is the best Executioner they ever had ir ever would have. Only one chop and heads roll. In Abu Aineh, Every crime, whether it was murder of a king or stealing a piece of moldy rotten bread, was punished in one way and one way only
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 axes out of 5
Odette Brethouwer
No other book has been sitting on my shelves unread for so long as this one. But I had no idea what to expect of this story, this is an author-buy for me.

It turns out, I really like the idea of this story. It has a whole lot of character development, which I love in books.

It also has a wild range of other cultures and religions, the authors mind has spun wildly to think this all up. I really like that as well.

There were some gruesome parts in this. But it is a Darren Shan book, so I did not ex
Lör K.
From young adult horror author Darren Shan, comes the wonderfully dark and tense story, The Thing Executioner.

Meet Jebel, the executioner's son. He's scrawny, has barely any strength, and is considered a mockery. A weak son of an executioner? Hard to believe. But then, a quest arises, that allows Jebel the possibility to become the man he's always wanted to be.

When this first came out, I was really excited to read it. The moment my library got a copy, I got it out before anyone else could. Unfor
Sep 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jebel is one of the sons of the executioner in their town (I forgot the name), a thin and accused as weak unlike his brothers. Time has come for his father to retire from being an executioner, so he endorse his two sons excluding Jebel to join a competition to become the next executioner.Because of his pride, Jebel think of joining the competition, but he knows it himself that he can't win the game.

There is only one way for him to gain the strength he needs to win the competition, Jebel need to
Jan 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pouya KHD
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 out of 5
while it had a slow and boring start it got momentum by the middle of the book , i am glad i read this book . its one of best works of Darren shan . Its fantasy was not over the top but made sence ,and in the end showed me being good and following your heart is better than doing as your told .
i recommend it
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that really drawing me in! Darren Shann never fail to attract my attention of reading his books. I like his Cirque Du Freak books and this one is also is a very good premise. It starts with an awful beginning as the head rolling and also the sound of how the head cut from the neck of the prisoners. I thought, "I'm not good with with this dreadful reading stuff". Turn out, it is not so bad at all.

Thin executioner is actually introducing us a very thin young man who is on a quest wi
Amy Vitt
Mar 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
A great book for when you want to read Uncle Tom’s Cabin, but the gritty YA fantasy version, and you wish it had less character development, more cannibalism, and that the names were impossible to pronounce.
I didn't finish because the main chara was a complete asshole and I just couldn't. I really want to finish it and maybe discover that he changes, but not right now. ...more
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you are the usual fan of darren shan, this one will probably suprise you!
Thin executioner was on a whole new level! So much more mature, so much more meaningful, and ofc symbolic...the historical background of the book was awsome and oh let's get to the book itself...


The plot was simple, a young weak teenage boy in need of power!
But the way plot twists itself somehow proceed the simplicity of the plot, and the way the other story elements came together was so good and was done reall
Jonathan Currinn
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Darren Shan books, I just don't read enough of them. I've read his self-titled series, all 12 books and that's what got me into his writing, but I so need to read more of his books, for sure, and reading this one just proved my thoughts.

This was more of an adventure novel, which isn't something I expect from Darren Shan - I'm used to his paranormal/supernatural novels - yet this was addicting and it fully took me on a journey. It's a story I'm never going to forget, but I feel that it cou
Callum Biggs
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
For my first Darren Shan book, my experience was one mixed with highs and lows. Initially the story took a while to get me interested as it lacks detail and any meaningful relationships between the characters from the offset.

As Jebel Rum's journey got going I was intrigued to see where it would go as there was lots of room for creativity along the way. The many populations of people scattered across their path made for an interesting read as they all held differing customs and beliefs which help
Mar 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
I love this book, as I loved it in 2010 when I first read it. It is written almost like an epic and I really appreciate this as an adult. It is more violent than I remember- not gory, just depressing. There are a lot of good lessons to be learned from this book and I feel like if I reread it another 6 times I would learn something new each time. This book made me very anti-death penalty as a young teen, so it is interesting to see that as an adult [spoiler warning ahead] (view spoiler) ...more
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 - Is the Bush and Blair thing a reference? Made me smirk when I was first introduced to the pair, even if it is just a coincidence.
Jennifer Wardrip
Dec 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen for

Regardless of his size, Jebel Rum has always wanted to be the successor of his father as the executioner for his tribe, a profession that is somewhat honored and entertaining. It doesn't help when you have two older brothers who would be better fitted for the job. To make things worse, Jebel's dreams are quickly crushed when his own father does not see him as a contender.

What is Jebel's solution to this problem? Find the god wh
Xustine Yee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I wouldn't have laid eyes on any of Darren Shan's works if it wasn't for my sister, who was the one who borrowed it for me. Initially, I was hesitant to read the book since I haven't heard of the author. Another reason why I was skeptical is because Jebel Rum wasn't exactly a protagonist that interested me to the very least. Unless of course he happened to be ran over by a tractor and bitten by twenty thousand eight hundred poisonous snakes. Jebel was arrogant, conceited and to put it bluntly, e ...more
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allison Aldana
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Okay so.....
I liked the premise of the book. And the beginning of Jebel's journey was interesting. It kinda lagged in the middle when Shan really rubbed it into your face that Jebel was suffering. It was too much telling and not really enough showing.
Once Jebel reunited with Tel Hasani it picked back up again.
The last few pages were a little cheesy but I reminded myself that this book seems to be aimed at a younger end of YA so I can't expect it to not be heavy handed.

I had put this book down f
Nicholas Morgan
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Thin Executioner. Review made December 15, 2013

This book is about a young man named Jebel who is very thin and weak looking compared to his brothers. After his father dis-honored him by not saying him as a potential new executioner for when his father retires Jebel goes on a dangerous journey to prove himself worth a executioner. He gets his slave, Tel Henassi, and leaves for his journey. He gets through many blocks in his trip changes a lot over the book but he changes very slowly. I would
Andres Ortiz
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
In the book The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan the story begins with Rashed Rum’s announcement of retiring from the post of the executioner. J’An and J’Al , sons of rashed rum were both mentioned as true warriors but Jebel wasn’t mentioned even though he was in the same family. Jebel, humiliated by his father decided to go on a quest to the lair of the fire god in determination to revise his honor, wield unimaginable power and become the thin executioner.
The thin executioner is a good fantas
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Librarian's note: Also writes books for adults under the name Darren Dash. And in the past he has released books for adults under the names D.B. Shan and Darren O'Shaughnessy.

Darren Shan (born July 2, 1972 in London, England) is the pen name of the Irish author Darren O'Shaughnessy, as well as the name of the protagonist of his book series The Saga of Darren Shan, also known as The Cirque Du Freak

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