Maggie Nash The Executioner Madeline Smith and Nicholas Garabaldi have a history. A very bitter history. When a new. The Thin Executioner Darren Shan HarperCollins Publishers () SUMMARY: In a kingdom of merciless tyrants, Jebel Rum's family is honored as royalty. Get Free Read & Download Files Darren Shan The Thin Executioner PDF. DARREN SHAN THE THIN EXECUTIONER. Download: Darren Shan The Thin.
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The Thin Executioner. View PDF. book | Heads will roll In a harsh, unforgiving world of slavery and glorified executions, one boy's humiliation leads him. This outstanding The Thin Executioner By Darren Shan is published to provide the reader an Get them for data style pdf, word, txt, rar, ppt, zip, and also site. Read "The Thin Executioner" by Darren Shan available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get £3 off your first download. A brilliant story of swords, sand and.
A quester had to be pure. It would be shameful to trick a slave. While Jebel considered his dilemma, the cloth over the doorway was swept back and an um Wadi staggered out, a woman on each arm. He was laughing, and the women were pouring wine into his mouth. He was drunk but not entirely senseless. The man laughed. They yelled angrily, but he ignored them and walked over to grasp Jebel warmly. He waved a hand at the women.
He cast a curious eye over Jebel, then clapped his hands. This young um Wadi requires my advice. Wrapping an arm around Jebel, he led him to a quieter square, where they could sit on a warped bench and talk without having to shout. You want me to share a few travel tips with you?
A few seconds later, he blinked again. Never been farther north than Disi, and that was by boat. Dangerous country, Abu Saga. Early retirement so his sons might compete for the honor of replacing him. But the way I heard it, he only spoke of his eldest boys. He was an especially dark-skinned man, but his eyes were bright blue, evidence that one of his ancestors had come from a foreign land. Is that the sum of it? My father disgraced me, and I want to be able to walk with pride again.
Have you any close friends who would go with you and lay down their lives on your behalf? You plan to quest via Abu Nekhele? She was his favorite, and he raised Tel the same way as he would have a legitimate son.
His wives were jealous of the pair. They were bought by different owners, and he never saw her again. He has spent the rest of his life as a slave, but he is a noble and just man, a credit to the memory of his father.
I bought him and his family upon our return and petitioned the high lord for his freedom. Since I spend so much of my life on the road or seas, those opportunities are few and far between. One of their chances to spite me came when I asked the high lord to free Tel Hesani and his family.
The family was sold off to one of my foes. When it does, his wife and daughters will be put to work in houses like the one I was coming from when I met you, and his son will be shipped off to Abu Saga to perish down the mines. They came to a large house with small windows and a toilet pit in front. The area around the pit was heavily coated with lime, but the stench was still incredibly foul.
In the second room a couple were kissing. They arrived at a doorway, dozens of long strips of colored rope hanging from the crossbeam. There was a brief pause, then a reply. He found himself in a small room with seven sleeping mats stacked by one of the walls. Each wall had been painted a different color, and paintings hung in many places.
There was a round table in the center, knocked together from an old barrel top.
A feast by Fruth standards. Around the table sat five children—the oldest no more than eight or nine—a plump woman, and a man. Jebel was only interested in the man.
Taller than most slaves, almost the height of an Um Aineh, he had light brown hair cut short, pale brown eyes, a trim beard, broad hands, large feet, and tight, work-honed muscles.
He wore no tunic, only a long pair of trousers.
He was pale-skinned, but tanned from working outside. There were four tattoos on his lower right arm, the marks of various owners. I spent most of my last trip in the al-Breira, and there are precious few women on those mountains!
This is Jebel Rum, son of an old friend of mine—Rashed Rum, the executioner. Tel Hesani spoke in low tones of life on the docks and the work his wife and children—the three eldest had all been assigned jobs by their owner— were forced to endure each day. We believe God rested there when he came to Makhras. From the peak he observed all the suffering in the world. He was moved to tears, and his tears became the waters of the great river.
If Tel Hesani had spoken to him like this anywhere else, Jebel would have had him whipped. Virtually all questers die on the way or return defeated. They must quest on foot. And he has a point. But this is his home. We are guests here. He has the right to voice his opinion in this room. Our laws allow for those few privileges at least. To petition Sabbah Eid, he must make a human sacrifice. Sometimes a friend will travel with him to offer himself up—the victims are guaranteed an afterlife and a prominent place by the side of their favored god.
When the last drop had fallen, he brought the bread to his mouth and bit into it. He spoke while chewing. His first impulse was to grab a weapon and strike the slave dead. But there were no knives on the table. He rubbed a long, fresh welt on his back. But his offer was rejected. The table shook from where he gripped it. Your wife and daughters will be sold to the vilest bordello-keepers in Wadi, and your son will perish down the mines in the al-Tawla. They were staring at him expressionlessly.
I can free them. Your wife and children will also be assigned to him. Jebel will grant them their freedom before you leave. He said nothing, only set his steady gaze on Jebel Rum and observed the boy silently.
This is the price of his obedience. Jebel lowered his head and placed his palm on his forehead. He must have a real assurance. The slave shrugged. Whether I die on the docks or on a crazy quest is of no consequence. But if I can save my family by going on the quest, then obviously I shall.
All of the men looked at her in surprise. She was studying Jebel. Her eyes were bright green and her cheeks were fiery red. But her lips were pale as ice when she spoke. If not, an Um Aineh witch will try to contact your spirit. They say what the person paying them wants to hear. Also, if the worst comes to the worst, I would rather die cleanly, with my children by my side, than perish slowly and in degrading conditions, cut off from them, alone.
Tel Hesani is a faithful husband and father. There are some things I wish to say to my family before we depart.
A reluctant Jebel did the same. Then the pair withdrew, leaving Tel Hesani to bid farewell to the wife and children he would never see again after that night. He deserves respect. If we dismiss him, Rashed Rum might feel insulted. We should let him quest. Rashed Rum will thank us for this. The boy has been an embarrassment since birth. With our help, he can redeem himself and die for the glory of Wadi.
Wadi Alg wavered. But if he rejected the request, Jebel would be humiliated, which in many ways was even worse. This morning he had been thinking only of kissing Debbat Alg. Now here he stood, facing the high lord, asking for permission to go on a quest that would almost surely result in his death.
Tel Hesani walked close behind Jebel, head bowed, no fear in his heart. He had accepted his fate and would go wherever it led him.
Jebel stopped opposite the high lord. When I heard that you were here, I thought you had come to ask for her hand. Her father pretended to cough, so he could cover his mouth and hide his smirk. By claiming she had an interest in the thin youth, he had taken her down a peg or two. His spirits soared at the thought that she might be in love with him, and his confidence flourished.
I ask that he and his family be signed over to my ownership. Where have I…? Has he put you up to this? The decision to quest was mine alone. He is fit for sacrifice. What else matters? If successful, will you settle for the post of executioner? Only the high lord, his most trusted servants, and questers ever set foot there. Jebel had heard many tales of the hall, that it was a vast cavern lined with human skulls, guarded by a monstrous hound. But in fact the hall was a cramped, dark cellar, with a thin chimney rising from the center above a small fire.
Wadi Alg moved closer to the fire, where two men were working on a pair of bellows. They were the only four people in the room—Tel Hesani waited outside with Debbat. The fire was kept burning at all times, but usually it was a dim glow. It was only fanned to life when it was needed to heat a branding iron. If you swear to quest, you swear it to Sabbah Eid himself.
If you are to change your mind, change it now before you give your word to a god. Wadi Alg took hold of the handle. The head glowed white-hot. Wadi Alg held Jebel firmly, only releasing him when the stench of burning flesh tickled the inside of his nostrils. Jebel fell away from the high lord, clutching his arm to his chest, squeezing the flesh above the mark left by the brand, trying to cut off the pain.
It was an ugly red color, but the lines were solid —a coiled, fiery cobra. Even if you fail, you can be proud of the choice you have made. All who see this brand will know you are a true um Wadi, and your family will boast of you from this day forward. Gritting his teeth against the pain, he wiped sweat from his forehead. If the mark had come out smudged, he would have had to be branded again.
You must leave Wadi immediately. Your quest starts now, Jebel Rum! She was sure that he would back out at the last moment, and had prepared a number of insults to hurl after him as he fled the palace like a whipped dog.
But when the boy staggered out of the hall of quests, shaken but upright, she realized this was for real, that he was truly going to quest in her name. She almost raced forward and kissed Jebel. But then reality reasserted itself.
And a hound? Jebel accepted the gifts silently. The path to Tubaygat is never easy. Keep your wits about you too. Instead he clapped Jebel on the back and dismissed him. Jebel retreated with Tel Hesani. Debbat slipped out after them. When Jebel released her, he was beaming dreamily. Debbat glared at him, then giggled. Jebel watched the high maid leave, wishing he could kiss her again. We need to study a map, decide on our route, download supplies….
That is, after all, one of the reasons why you chose me. Jebel was certain the slave loved his wife and children and would help the um Wadi for their sake. But slaves were savages at heart. He might forget his vow and strangle Jebel if pushed too far. He thrust his arm out at the servant girl so she could admire his brand. Murasa put an arm around the girl and hugged her, glaring at Jebel accusingly. The trouble is, you cry most of the time—when people are beheaded, when slaves are whipped, when questers set off.
The slave looked at Jebel neutrally, awaiting his command. He glanced at Tel Hesani, then Murasa. He exchanged a look with Murasa, then with his children. They all gazed at him silently, fighting back tears. Tel Hesani gulped, then turned and pointed to a street. From there we can follow the path north to where the early-morning traders pitch their stalls. Sniffling, she put her hands together and bowed. He nodded at her roughly, then hurried after Tel Hesani, who was already several strides ahead and moving swiftly.
A breeze blew in off the asSudat, cooling those who labored nearby.
Jebel and Tel Hesani had walked all night, arriving at the huge market on the northern outskirts of Wadi a few hours before daybreak. Jebel was fit to drop by the time they stopped, and he dozed until dawn, sitting on a stone bench, head bobbing, watched over by his slave.
Jebel awoke sluggishly, got up, and stretched. His branded arm still felt as if it was on fire, but he clenched his teeth against the pain. Lots of traders were laying out their goods on tables or hanging them from overhead hooks, but others simply placed them on a mat or on the ground.
It helps to know where you are going before you set out. He had never been to this market, but he had visited many like it. A short while later, the pair were seated around a table in an outdoor tavern, studying a map of the Great Kingdoms. Tel Hesani spent a while familiarizing himself with the names. Um Kheshabah had different names for many of the rivers, mountains, and towns of the Eastern Nations. Then straight through Abu Safafaha to the eastern entrance of Abu Siq.
But it would be madness to risk capture by the Um Safafaha. They eat their own babies. It might be wiser to enter Abu Nekhele after Shihat and head for Hassah, then make for the western entrance into the siq. Your nations are not currently at war, but old hatreds linger, especially in the central areas of the country.
And it would take much longer. If we follow the asSurout, we should reach the western entrance of Abu Siq in two months or thereabouts. It will take at least two months, maybe ten weeks. But if we follow the asSudat, it will take four months. The mountains were sometimes referred to as the Great Wall, since legends claimed they were created by the gods in the time before mankind, to separate two violent, warring factions.
But we are on a quest. They might respect that and grant us passage. He does live there. We cut west, then follow the as-Sudat up to where it meets the al-Meata, then track the river back to its source in Tubaygat.
How can we guarantee safe passage? Tel Hesani scratched his beard. The weather might work against us—if we get delayed on the way to Abu Siq, it will be winter, and the siq might be impassable. And it will definitely be winter or early spring when we hit the al-Meata. Snowstorms or floods could bar our progress…. If we manage that, we should be able to sail back in time for the mukhayret.
I will be staying in Tubaygat. He was thinking hard. What happens after that is your concern. If we can cover a few miles before midday, it will be a good start. The reaction from the um Surout—those who lived by the banks of the river—was the same everywhere. Men and women greeted Jebel politely but with no great interest at first. Their gaze flickered to his arms, searching for the tattoos that would tell what family he was from, if he had a job, and so on.
But eyebrows were raised when they saw the tattoo of the axe on his left shoulder, then shot up even higher when they spotted the coiled serpent on his lower right arm. As soon as people realized that Jebel was on a quest to Tubaygat, word spread like wildfire. Within minutes a crowd would form.
Everyone wanted to offer him a bed or food, to touch his hand and earn good luck. If any thought it curious that such a skinny boy had undertaken so hazardous a quest, they kept their doubts to themselves. He was due their unreserved respect, and they afforded it him.
He had been withdrawn and sullen when they left Wadi. Tel Hesani had taken control of the quest, organized their supplies, decided how far they marched each day, when they slept and ate. But he was clearly in charge, and Jebel felt the way he did in school. He was lonely too. Tel Hesani was a man of few words at least around Jebel , and there was nobody else to talk with. Jebel missed his friends, his brothers, Debbat Alg, even the melancholy Bastina. The days were long and dull.
They marched steadily, the scenery unchanging, stopping only to eat, rest, and sleep. He was also sore from sleeping on a rough mat. He had seriously started to think about abandoning the quest and throwing himself into the as-Surout.
But then came the villages and towns, the gasps, the admiration, the fine beds, clothes, and food. Feasts were dedicated to him, and vintage wines uncorked in his honor. After his first few glasses, he would regale his audience with fanciful tales of why he had undertaken the quest. If his listeners sensed the hollowness of his words, they never challenged him. Girls also looked at Jebel in a new way.
Wherever he stopped, he found scores of young women clad in their finest blouses and dresses, fussing over him, fighting among themselves to carry a tray to him or pour his wine.
They smiled at Jebel all the time, fluttering their eyelashes, artfully pursing their lips. The advances took Jebel by surprise initially. He blushed and kept his eyes low. But now he accepted the flirting and openly ogled the girls who paraded before him, choosing the prettiest and beckoning her forward, gracing her by letting her wait on him in front of her friends.
In the morning, Tel Hesani would be waiting for him outside the hut where Jebel had spent the night.
After a long, late breakfast and an extended series of farewells, they would take to the road again, often not until early afternoon, and make their leisurely way to the next settlement. Jebel was sipping wine on a veranda overlooking the as-Surout. The high lord of the town had a collection of wines from all over Makhras, some from countries Jebel had never heard of.
A greeneyed, willowy maid had danced seductively for him earlier and topped up his glass more often than was necessary, breathing softly in his face as she leaned over him with the bottle. He was thinking about the way she had looked at him, and her whispered promise to bring him more wine in his hut later, when he was alone. But all the time his gaze was on the girl with the green eyes.
After another glass of wine, he excused himself and slipped down to the river to relieve himself.
Once he was done admiring the ripples he had made, he turned to head back to the veranda, only to find Tel Hesani blocking his way. Replace them with a tunic. In my country, this is how men dress. I expect you to be wearing a tunic in the morning.
Perhaps you are sober enough to heed my warning and be saved. Forget about morning. If I was whipped, I might cry out and tell them a different story of a sorry boy who wants to reclaim his lost honor. They tell me she had a boyfriend. They were very close, but he left when she pressed him to marry her. I think she plans to come to you in your hut tonight, then claim that you attacked her.
If her accusation is accepted, she will still be considered a maid by law. Such plots are not uncommon. I am your guide and guardian.
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Our path is lined with danger, but not all of the dangers are obvious. It is my duty to protect you from every possible threat. I have gone in search of gossip among the servants of each house where we have sought shelter. He felt like he should thank Tel Hesani, but that was ridiculous. As a young boy, he had once thanked a slave at his school for cleaning his wound when he fell and cut his knee. A teacher heard, whipped Jebel, and sent him home in disgrace.
But to Jebel, the risk is worth it. To retrieve his honor. To wield unimaginable power. To become. The thin executioner. Inspired by Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, international bestselling master of horror Darren Shan takes readers on a thrilling, fast-paced journey into a nightmarish world where compassion and kindness are the greatest crimes of all.
Based loosely on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, it takes readers on a hero's journey through a harsh world filled with ignorant, brutal people, competing pagan religions, and the occasional supernatural being.
Like Huck, Jebel Rum undertakes a dangerous journey accompanied by a slave. And just like Finn, his long-held beliefs are challenged by his experience with the lesser man. He and his slave, Tel Hasani, also suffer at the hands of con men posing as royalty. But this story is merely a pale shadow of Twain's classic.
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Jebel Rum sets out not to free his slave but to sacrifice him at the altar of one of his gods in exchange for invincibility. His goal is to compete for the right to replace his father as his city's executioner. Shan's characterizations and dialogue are weak at best, and Jebel's conversion is predictable and artless. The overriding message is heavy-handed and unsatisfying. Despite all of that, readers who cut their teeth on Cirque du Freak and moved on to the Demonata will most likely gobble up this lengthier, slightly more cerebral novel.
There is just enough brutality to keep the pages turning. Anthony C. All rights reserved. From BooklistThough its basis on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn provides a potential inroad for educators, the nonstop action and violence make Shans latest best suited for reading with no strings attached. It is the saga of young Jebel Rum, the weakest son of the best executioner in the land of Wadi. When Jebel is publicly shamed, he embarks upon a quest to mythical Tubaygat, where legend holds he will be granted invincibility if he makes it through alive and sacrifices a slave.They must quest on foot.
The Thin Executioner
ZOM-B Mission. Wrapping an arm around Jebel, he led him to a quieter square, where they could sit on a warped bench and talk without having to shout. When Tel Hesani let go of the rope, Jebel stood. He was thinking about the way she had looked at him, and her whispered promise to bring him more wine in his hut later, when he was alone.