This book begins with a bit of tension between her and Adrian after his confession of love. After a few weeks of awkwardness, he decides that he'll stop being angry and just love her whether she wants him to or not. The majority of this book centers around Sydney finally coming to terms with the fact that she loves Adrian. Which works for me! Adrian is so awesome in this book!
There's a couple main storylines. First, her witch teacher has a sister, Veronica, who is apparently evil and steals the power and youth of young, untrained witches. Ms. Terwilliger is concerned she'll come after Sydney and so she makes her practice lots of offensive and defensive spells. Sydney is hesitant at first but eventually that fades away. She follows leads to find Veronica and warn the girls that she may be targeting. Eventually she discovers that a young girl that was helping them, Alicia, has actually killed Veronica and is now out to steal the power from other witches, namely Ms. Terwilliger. With Adrian's help, Sydney is able to defeat her and save her teacher. Although, Alicia's body is never found, so I expect her to show up in later books.
The other storyline centers around Sydney's suspicions about the Alchemists. She tracks down Marcus, a former Alchemist who has gone rouge. He wants her to join them, but she's hesitant. He wants her to go on a mission to retrieve information that links the Alchemists with the Warriors of Light (the evil off-shoot of the Alchemists that nearly killed her in the previous book - they are more activist than the Alchemists and want all vampires dead, but they're content to start with the Strigoi). She agrees to do it because they also present her with information that the Warriors are looking for a Moroi girl that would cause lots of problems if she was found. She fears they are talking about Jill. After her successful mission, they help her break her tattoo. Now she is no longer bound by the magic in the tattoo. She's always been told that it just keeps her from discussing vampires with other humans. Marcus's group claims that the tattoos also have loyalty-enhancing qualities. They also want her to go to Mexico to get it tattooed over. She's unsure because she thinks she could do more good as a spy within the organization. They think that's too dangerous because if she was caught, they could just reink her tattoo or send her to reeducation. She does call her Alchemist supervisor to warn her that Jill might be in danger.
After lots of flirting and lots of sexual tension, Sydney finally gives in to Adrian's charms. But she's horrified when she discovers that Jill saw all of it through the spirit bond! She tells Adrian that she can't do it and then decides to go to Mexico with Marcus. Adrian is angry and then dodges all her calls. Jill has a big talk with her the morning before she leaves and tells her that she doesn't care that the spirit bond forces her to experience what happens with her and Adrian. She's happy when Adrian's happy and sad when he's sad. And she's sure that she'll eventually learn to control it the way Rose and Lissa have. At the last minute, as she's about to board the train, Sydney makes the right decision. She finds Adrian and lots of making out ensues. <3
When she gets back to Amberwood, she discovers a new "cousin" that the Alchemists have sent to help with the mission - her sister Zoe, who's super pumped to be an active Alchemist now. There's also a new dhampir addition, Neil.