Cole Glassad couldn't care less about the upcoming palace ball meant to find a wife for the prince. Her life is down in the dangerous Sparkstone mines, slaving away for a few coins that her stepmother and stepsister promptly steal. With life a living hell, she has barely enough energy to care for the injured animals she tends in secret, much less a party for the royal family that cares so little for her and the people like her. It isn't until a mysterious man appears out of the shadows, claiming to be one of the long-lost faeries and offering her a chance at freedom, that she begins to see hope. In exchange for enough money to free herself from her family, the faerie asks only for one thing in return-- that Cole attends the ball in order to get close enough to the prince to assassinate him and bring an end to the corrupted royal line. With her mission clear, Cole enters the world of the palace to learn about the prince and find a way into his ball. But dark secrets, violent plots, a strange sense that perhaps the prince isn't as bad as the faerie makes him seem, and a life-changing discovery about her past, all conspire to make Cole's shot at freedom messy and difficult. She must find the strength to get close to the prince, or else the mysterious faerie will send her back to the mines and her dreadful family. Once the clock strikes midnight... she must fulfill her end of the bargain. Once the clock strikes midnight... her hands must be red with the prince's blood.