This is the first book I've read in this series and I have to say I REALLY LIKED IT! - It didn't make me feel like I was missing anything except I didn't know who John Matthews' father was until the end. I assume, Darius is one of the first characters in the books beginnings. There were whole Chapters written in Italics to convey some sort of past life either of Darius and Tohrment or some other strange scenario that I didn't quite understand having not read the other books. Around the first encounter with John Matthews we see him as a warrior type and I was really impressed with his two bodyguards shall we say :) Qhuinn and Blaylock. They entered a tattoo place for John wanted to write Xhexania as a tattoo across his back.