This is a gritty and dark novel, but it drew me in and didn't let go. Missy was in a lot of pain, and she deals with pain and anger by cutting (self-mutilation). It gets pretty graphic, but it is an accurate representation of what a cutter feels and why. Missy has a pretty good friend that tries to be there for her, her sister and her fight, but you can see her sister cares, and her parents are clueless and works a lot but they at least try to have some family time. Her ex-boyfriend found out about her cutting and made her life hard for her, and this leads to some depression. If you read Hunger, you met the other horsemen, and I was a fan of Death then, but this book makes him even more favorable in my eyes. He is funny, sauve, dark and charming. Him and Missy- who is charged with the seat of War, work closely together and they have a dynamic relationship. There is a big struggle with Missy about control, what she is supposed to do with her charge. She is able to find some sort of balance, and although the ending isn't really a fairy tale ending- I thought that it was perfect for the storyline. It gave hope, but not some unrealistic over-night cure and acceptance.