Jebel Rum is a thin, scrawny boy. His father is the famed executioner in the city where they live. When Jebel is humiliated in public, he sets off on a quest to gain great strength and invincibility. If successful, he will be able to compete in a gruelling contest to prove himself and replace his father as the wielder of the axe. Failure, on the other hands, means certain death.
To win the favour of a fire god, Jebel must make a human sacrifice. He finds a slave who is willing to pay this grisly price, and the pair set off on a trek through lands deadly and unwelcoming. In the course of their travels they will encounter hatred, bigotry, slavery, death and a whole lot more. It is the nightmarish adventure of a lifetime…
(Source: Darren Shan's site)