60 pages 2 hours read

Neal Shusterman


Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2018

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Part 1, Chapters 1-7Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1: “Nothing If Not Powerful”

Part 1, Chapter 1 Summary: “Lullaby”

Honorable Scythe Brahms enjoys playing music for those he chooses to glean or permanently kill. Scythe Brahms “enjoy[s] gleaning immensely” (5), much like the late Scythe Goddard, whose personal views were controversial until his death almost a year ago. One evening as Brahms returns home, he is attacked by someone wearing a black scythe’s robe. The attacker is none other than Rowan Damisch, although he is more often referred to as Scythe Lucifer these days. Rowan accuses Brahms of “abusing [his] position and multiple crimes against humanity” (9), which Brahms denies. Rowan points out that on this very night, Brahms gleaned a woman as a favor for a friend, which shows bias and goes against the scythe commandments. Rowan has killed many corrupt scythes already without the Thunderhead intervening, but he decides to give Brahms a chance to change his ways and avoid his wrath. Rowan disappears, and Scythe Brahms is indignant but still shaken. He decides to take Rowan’s threat seriously, and he goes home to ponder the vows he took to be an honorable scythe.

Part 1, Chapter 2 Summary: “The Fallen Apprentice”

Rowan stands in front of a mirror in his small apartment and wonders about his identity and life. Since the events at the Scythe Winter Conclave last year, Rowan has been in hiding, using a fake name and hoping he isn’t discovered by the scythedom.