This book takes a time jump of six years, so now Evra is a young man while Darren looks around one year older. Thus they aren't as close as they used to be in the third book. Every twelve years, the Council meets at Vampire Mountain, and Mr. Crepsley has decided it's time to present Darren to them. Upon arriving, one of Mr Tiny's Little People delivers a dire warning about the Lord of the Vampaneze. Then it's Darren's turn to see the Council, who are made up of the Vampire Princes. They are upset that Darren has been made a half-vampire at so young, as that's something they have not done in nearly a century. Darren now has to take on strenuous trials to prove himself, which are created to be troublesome for full blooded vampires. There is no going back for Darren. The choice is now to pass the trails and live among the vampires as an equal or die.