Although I have reservation with the previous book, I am glad that Mead was on the right track with this book. I was nearly giving up the series after the second book and like her VA books, she did tone down some of her writing flair in favour for the YA audience. The trade off was the development between Sydney and Adrian where surely the sexual tension would satisfies even the most skeptic of RoseXAdrian fans. It took a long time for me to see Sydney to be in this way (fyi years). So I was pleased that she did something much more unexpected from what we usually see her in. In this book Sydney was divided from her loyalties toward her friends and alchemist. In the midst of it, her talent as a witch has grown when Ms.Terwilliger announced suddenly that another witch is in town and is sucking the powers of potential witches. Worried about exposing Sydney, she began to drill Sydney with preventive spells and shortcuts to advance magic for protection. Other than this, Sydney is troubled by her doubts over her organization's relationship with the Warriors but without proof, it doesn't go anywhere except to raise suspicions. Hence, she began a quest to find the ex-alchemist who had helped Clarence and the rest in the previous events from Golden Lily.I wasn't troubled by character progression but some of the minor character in the book has lost its prominence which made introducing new characters can be redundant. I know that it is crucial in prolonging the book series but I guess its a ploy to keep the fan base going. Somehow I felt there's a dissonance between the plot shifts which can be problematic toward the climax. By the end, it was a bit both predictable and unpredictable but I had wished there was more for me to go on with instead of waiting another year for the next book.