It has been a year since Gemma Doyle first arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy and much has changed. Having bound the wild, dark magic of the realms to her, Gemma has forged unlikely and unsuspected friendships with Ann and Felicity, and Kartik, the exotic young man whose companionship is forbidden. She has also come to an uneasy, tenuous truce with the fearsome creatures of the realms.
But now the time has come to test the strength of those bonds. As her friendship with Felicity and Ann faces its gravest trial and with the Order grappling for control of the realms, Gemma is compelled to decide once and for all which path she is meant to take. Her destiny threatens to set chaos loose, not only in the realms, but also upon the rigid Victorian society whose rules Gemma has both defied and followed. Where does Gemma realy belong? And will she, can she, survive?