"All Ava wants to do is become a Jedi. There are quite a few obstacles in her way, and not just the Jedi Trials. How is she supposed to contend with vicious Flesh Raiders, rogue droids, and learning to fly a Starship, not to mention the rise of the Sith Empire? Attacks by Sith Agents are common, and it's only a matter of time until a full scale war breaks out, again."
The book begins with a short scene on the planet Belsavis, featuring Jedi Master Nix Morrow discovering a Force sensitive girl in the middle of a battle. The first chapter picks up as Master Morrow brings the child back to the Jedi temple at its current location, Tython. When Ava arrives at the temple, she meets six other Jedi Younglings, becoming friends immediately with another human boy, Michael Lecta.Kyra Pritt, a human was among the group, along with the Talz Gazar, the Weequay Tem, the Quarren Tira Jekk, and the Twi'lek, Bara Su'k.
We jump ahead in time eight years, then, the next several chapters follow the main character as she creates her lightsaber and continues training under a variety of Jedi Masters, learning what it takes to be a Jedi.
She discovers a waterfall somewhere on Tython, and she and the other Younglings turn it into a game to leap off the side and into the plunge pool below the falls. They frequently played there in their downtime from training. Ava, Michael and Bara Su'k end up rescuing Gazar from the grip of the savage Flesh Raiders, a primitive species rumored to be of Rakatan origin.
As the four returned to the temple, they were called in to be told they would not be permitted to be Padawans training under a Master until they turned sixteen, due to increased activity by the Sith empire. Ava was only fourteen at the time, and was upset by the news, but redoubled her efforts and trained even harder, leading the council to allow her to be promoted to the rank of Padawan anyway.
It was then that Ava met the Jedi Knight Marc Jiron, a human, who was to be her Master. They trained together for a while, but did not get to go on any off planet missions. Jiron suspected attachment between his pupil and her friend Michael, and called her out on it. Ava assured him he had nothing to worry about.
Not long after, Michael told Ava that he and his Master Cyrol Krie would be leaving to provide relief to a planet plagued by natural disasters. The night before he left, Michael kissed Ava. However, while on the mission, a Sith showed up, and engaged Master Krie in battle, killing him, then proceeded to murder Padawan Lecta as well. Ava was devastated by the news. After being in mourning for several days, she continued with her Jedi training.
While on an assignment on Tython, Master Jiron was injured by am ancient rogue droid, one of the many that swarmed that area of the planet. Ava discovered a cave full of the droids being reprogrammed by an Imperial officer to attack the Jedi, as instructed to by a mysterious Sith. She blew up the droids using a rigged explosive, and later defeated the Imperial officer when he came back to reprogram more droids.
As a result of her bravery, Ava and her Master were sent on a mission to an Imperial base, which ended successfully. The went on many more missions together, but the Master and Padawan were separated when Jiron had to leave to negotiate a small treaty with the Empire. Ava was put under the care of the Jedi Calan Izumi, who mistreated her, ignoring her visions foreseeing a Sith attack on their ship. The Sith killed many crew members before being chased off the ship by Izumi.
Ava found out later that Izumi mistreated her because she reminded him of a secret daughter he had that had been killed. Not long after, Ava returned to the care of Marc Jiron, was then promoted to the rank of Master.
She and her Master were assigned to track down the Sith who attacked Master Izumis ship, also the Sith who was plotting against Tython. After several setbacks, they were successful in discovering Darth Tyral, and Ava faced him alone and defeated him.
The defeat of the Sith earned her the title of Jedi Knight. Ava then decided to go on a search for the identities of her parents, who she had never known. A search led her to find out her mother, a Jedi named Liria Pelnnor, had been killed shortly after her birth. But her Jedi father, Samlif Tonsan, was still around, and thought she was lost to him. The two reunite and return to Tython, and the book ends, concluding with an epilogue giving a glimpse into Ava's life as a Master with her own Padawan, and showing and mentioning several characters from throughout the book.