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Authors: Lisanne Norman

Shades of Gray

Table of Contents
At that precise moment, the barrier on both tunnels broke open with a roar that deafened them all.
Kusac barely had time to launch himself backward, not for Valden, but for the Prince, then the wall of water engulfed them all.
As the water hit him, it flung him forward into Zsurtul, allowing him to grab hold of the young Emperor and lock him tight against his body. He felt another body hit them both—Zhalmo—and cling onto Zsurtul from behind as the force of the water tossed them. Briefly, he wondered if Valden was safe, then he was slammed against a boulder, bent around it, and was swept away again.
All it needed was a crack in the visor, and any one of them would be dead. He tightened his grip on the Prince as the water surged between them, threatening to drag them apart as it sucked them backward, swirling them about until they were once again slammed into a solid surface.
This time, his head hit the back of his helmet with enough force to stun him. He felt his grip on Zsurtul begin to relax and gave a low moan of pain as nausea swept over him.
Someone was saying something, but the cries of fear and distress from the others were drowning it out.
DAW Books
is proud to present
Copyright © 2010 by Lisanne Norman.
All Rights Reserved.
Interior art by Michael Gilbert.
DAW Book Collectors No. 1519.
DAW Books are distributed by Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
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eISBN : 978-1-101-18897-2
First Printing, August 2010

To Sheila, for having enough belief in me to let me have the time I needed to settle down in the USA and finish this novel.
And to Marsha, for nudging me just enough to make me keep at it, even when I found it almost impossible to concentrate with all the post-moving to a new country chaos going on around me.
And to Kai and Jackie for being just who they are, my family.
My first thank you is to my readers for waiting patiently for this novel. Moving to the USA and starting a new life out here took more out of me than I thought it would, and it is taking longer than I expected to settle in with a place to live and a job. So my first thanks are to you for your patience.
My next is to Sheila, my editor, for her patience too. I don’t know what I’d have done had it not been for you and Marsha. Love you both.
Now my thanks for help in planning this novel go to several very important groups of people. First is a group of friends who want only their Sholan names mentioned. They helped me with all the military tactics I needed to know, and one, Chayak, even ran a role playing game with the others of my plot to retake the City and Palace to see if it worked. It did. They are: Brandon Jasper and Koshan, Dyaku, Rhyart, and Nezzoh. Thank you, guys, for all you did, and do.
John Van Stry and John Quadling also helped with military scenes. John and Gina Quadling helped design my MUTAC as a fighting machine, and Jerenn drew it for me. Jerenn and M’Nar, both fan club members, also helped work out how it would operate and move. Mapping help came from the Traveller Role Players, and the Campaign Cartographer people. Helping me design the City and Palace of Light were VAIA from the Pharaoh city building game forum, John Van Stry, and Rachel McDonald. More help came from the Tour Egypt web site builder who sent me extra stills of the city of Aketaten—Pharaoh Akhenaten’s desert city to his solar god, the Aten. Yes, the Valtegans’ architecture is based on the Ancient Egyptians.
Thanks also to Bailey A. Buchanan for all kinds of help.
Special mention to Jerenn for drawing the MUTAC for me as his design is the one used by my talented artist for his rendering of it.
Finally, but not least, many thanks go to fellow DAW author and Anglo Saxon and Celtic Historian, Kari Sperring, for all her help with what is actually known about the British legends of Merlin and the Druids. The observatory legend fitted in beautifully, thank you, Kari, as did the story of Gwenhifer and her evil sister.
Once again, thank you all for your help.
Thank you each one.
, Zhal-Arema, Month of Love, 2nd day (March)
A WARNING tone followed by a burst of complex trilling speech through the conference suite’s comm took Kaid’s attention away from the scaled holo image of the City of Light they were studying.
Toueesut, leader of the Touibans quartered on Kusac’s estate, frowned, his mobile eyebrows meeting over his deep-set eyes in a single bushy line. He replied in what for him was a terse, and short, burst of the same singsong language before looking around them, his expression grim.
“We must go. The Prime Prince and the children are causing a serious incident on the emergency Bridge.”

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