Escaping a fire, imprisoning her ex-boyfriend and threatening vampires with a corkscrew is not what a girl normally expects to happen at Christmas.

Resentment and anger at Alec’s privileged position as Daywalker has brought the Brethren to the brink of a deadly war that could spill over into the human world.

To avoid such a catastrophe, Alec is faced with a terrible choice: either surrender Laura to the rebel faction who see her as their ticket to the daylight – not an option – or risk alienating their allies by invoking the Pledge, an ancient ceremony that enforces Brethren loyalty to the Principate.

The last time the Pledge had been used it nearly ended the Principate.

How close would it come this time?

Or will both Alec and Laura fall victim to the dangerous powers wielded by legendary Russian monk-turned-vampire – and Chief Rebel – Rasputin?