Rose is already on edge due to her conflicting feelings about the people around her. Worried about the mental health of her best friend Lissa, she also becomes jealous when she doesn't get to spend more time with her anymore now that she spends most of her time with her boyfriend Christian. Things don't improve as her mother Janine Hathaway, whom she hasn't seen in five years, shows up at school with the Moroi she is protecting, creating tension between the two. Moreover, Rose's feelings for her mentor Dimitri have not subsided, and she becomes heart-broken and envious when he appears to show interest in Christian's aunt, Tasha, who has asked Dimitri to be her guardian.
During the ski trip, panic sets in when news of another Strigoi attack on a royal Moroi family spreads, where one of the dead was Mia's mother. During her stay at the lodge, Rose meets a Moroi named Adrian Ivashkov, who shows obvious interest in Rose, and later becomes friendly with Lissa after they both discover they are spirit users. During a Adrian's pool party, Mason, his friend Eddie, and Mia begin voicing their opinions about hunting Strigoi. After a heated argument with Dimitri, Rose tells Mason confidential information that Dimitri had given her before about the possible whereabouts of the Strigoi's hideouts. Using Rose's information, Mia, Mason, and Eddie sneak out of the ski lodge and travel to Spokane, Washington, to hunt down the Strigoi themselves. Rose discovers their plan and together with Christian, run out to stop them.
Rose and Christian find the group and convince them to return to the lodge. However, they are ambushed by Strigoi, who hold them captive for days, threatening to kill them. Rose eventually comes up with a plan to escape, and they all manage to get out of the house into the protection of the light, except Rose, who is left fighting two Strigoi. Mason is killed when he returns and attempts to help Rose. Rose then kill both of the Strigoi by beheading them, and then collapses into shock, as Guardians arrive after being informed of where the students were. Once back at St. Vladimir's, Rose receives two molnija marks for her Strigoi kills. Dimitri also tells her that he turned down Tasha's offer to become her guardian, admitting that his heart is with Rose.