The book follows Sydney Sage, a young Alchemist that is forced to hide inside a ritzy boarding school in Palm Springs, California so that she can protect Jill Dragomir, a Moroi princess. The Alchemists one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. There are those who want Jill dead by an assassin's hand in order to provoke a civil war within the Moroi court. The assignment provides Sydney a way to redeem herself from previous disgrace but her close proximity with Jill, Eddie, and Adrian cause her to question everything she thought she knew about herself, Alchemists, and the world in general. During all of this Sydney finds herself also questioning her relationship with Brayden, someone who is seemingly perfect for her in every way. Even as she cares for him, Sydney finds her attentions also being drawn to someone that she can never be allowed to be with. As secrets come to light and loyalties are given a trial by fire, Sydney has to find a way to make it through all of this with herself and all that she cares for intact.