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Authors: Anne McCaffrey

Damia's Children

Praise for the bestselling novels of
Anne McCaffrey's Tower and Hive series

THE ROWAN

“A reason for rejoicing.”

—
The Washington Times

“One of the best McCaffrey novels.”

—
Locus


The Rowan
introduces readers to the Gwyn-Raven dynasty . . . complete with an interstellar love affair steamy enough to attract those not usually interested in science fiction.”

—
Calgary Herald

“A well-told tale . . . McCaffrey's popularity is immense and justified.”

—
Booklist

“Charming . . . a warm and vivid picture of a struggling frontier society.”

—
Publishers Weekly

“McCaffrey weaves believable characters with a well-written story to produce this entertaining science fiction romance.”

—
School Library Journal

DAMIA

“[H]olds the reader spellbound [with an] artful weave of romance and humor that infuses her characters.”

—
Calgary Herald

“McCaffrey interweaves an engrossing romance with a coming-of-age story as she examines the issue of responsibility in a society where survival depends on the abilities of a gifted few.”

—
Publishers Weekly

“McCaffrey is in fine form . . . interesting . . . amusing . . . tempestuous.”

—
Locus

“[A] well-crafted universe . . . [
Damia
] both refines and extends characterizations, especially in interrelationships and the use of mental powers . . . a winning choice for the author's legion of fans.”

—
Booklist

“Well-written . . . McCaffrey has created another memorable, independent female protagonist and fully fleshed-out secondary characters who behave in a believable manner . . . a superb science fiction romance.”

—
School Library Journal

“Anne McCaffrey has created worlds whose elements elude the imaginations of most other writers . . . [
Damia
] is a perfect example of what makes McCaffrey's writing so much fun.”

—
The Globe and Mail
(Toronto)

“McCaffrey's special talent is creating sympathetic and endearing characters.”

—
The Toronto Star

DAMIA'S CHILDREN

“Winning, carefully developed young characters, an attractive alien society, and an enemy drawn with more than a touch of mystery.”

—
Publishers Weekly

“McCaffrey's fans won't be disappointed . . . hugely enjoyable . . . fascinating in its exploration of the brain's potential and untapped powers.”

—
The Calgary Sun

LYON'S PRIDE

“Another exciting episode in the thrilling epic of the Rowan . . . Read and enjoy!”

—
Romantic Times

THE TOWER AND THE HIVE

“Readers looking for intelligent, heroic adventure will find it here, and Rowan fans will be especially pleased at this felicitous closing of a popular SF series.”

—
Publishers Weekly

“McCaffrey maintains the high quality of characterization of humans and aliens alike, and, once again, she skillfully interweaves the plot threads, making it easy to follow the action on all fronts. A rousing conclusion to a most satisfying series.”

—
Booklist

“Fans of the series will plunge right in.”

—
Kirkus Reviews

Ace Books by Anne McCaffrey

The Tower and Hive Series

THE ROWAN

DAMIA

DAMIA'S CHILDREN

LYON'S PRIDE

THE TOWER AND THE HIVE

The Freedom Series

FREEDOM'S LANDING

FREEDOM'S CHOICE

FREEDOM'S CHALLENGE

FREEDOM'S RANSOM

DAMIA'S
CHILDREN

A
NNE
M
C
C
AFFREY

THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England • Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.) • Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.) • Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) • Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

DAMIA'S CHILDREN

An Ace Book / published by arrangement with the author

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Ace/Putnam edition / January 1993

Ace mass-market edition / February 1994

Copyright © 1993 by Anne McCaffrey.

Cover art by Danny O'Leary.

Cover design by Lesley Worrell.

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

ISBN: 978-1-101-65960-1

ACE

Ace Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
ACE and the “A” design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Reverently Dedicated to

R
ICHARD
W
OODS, O.P.

aka
Pendragon, Fullfret Faxdragon,

Captooth Fangbite the Whistler

Hurryfast Rushdrake

Sir Walter McDragon

Slipknife Ouchblend the Reckless

Shortblast Spleenfume the Apoplectic

Dragonrabbit Eggsnitcher the Wily

Thickhead Diddlewit the Forgetful

Snatchfinger Jewelheist the Avaricious

Snapdragon Fastsnatch

Harpmaker, Story-Teller, GOOD Friend

Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER
ONE

L
ARIA reined Saki in at the curve, to let Tlp and Hgf catch up. She deliberately kept her eyes forward, curbing Saki's intention to gallop up the last hill to home, because she knew the 'Dinis would have dropped to four legs to make the steep climb. Tlp and Hgf were awfully sensitive about being caught on all fours. Like Humans, the Mrdinis assumed bipedal stance as soon as their back muscles were well enough developed to support the long trunk. Her father said that he thought the 'Dinis had been much relieved to learn that Human children also had to learn how to walk upright.

When Saki's twitching ears and a waft of a musky leathery scent on the breeze announced their arrival, she acknowledged them with a whistle/click. She couldn't quite make the sound as well as her brothers Thian and Rojer, but she
did better than Zara who hadn't the hang of it at all yet. Kaltia wasn't even trying though she signed well enough to be understood by the 'Dinis, as Morag did. Her youngest siblings, Ewain and Petra, were too young to have more than the most rudimentary contact with their pairs.

Despite saddle bags full of the day's catch, Saki marched vigorously uphill, careful not to tread on the flipper feet on either side of her. Tip and Huf—which were Laria's mental tags for her 'Dinis—had taken holds on Laria's stirrups to assist them up this steepest part of the climb. Well accustomed to hauling 'Dinis, Saki accepted the additional burden.

Dropping the reins now that Saki was behaving, Laria had hands free to sign to her companions in excitement over their success hunting. They'd never hear her well enough over the clopping of Saki's hoofbeats if she spoke aloud. Tlp and Hgf clicked and clacked happy sounds which echoed in their skulls. They could produce any number of identifiable noises that way, ranging from fear to bravado, agreement, dislike, curiosity, concern, enjoyment, and what passed for 'Dini laughter.

Neither species could quite manage the varied sounds needed to reproduce the subtler nuances of the other's speech, but Human body language could add emphasis to words and so could 'Dini body movements. Their five fingers were as dextrous in reproducing arbitrary patterns as their oral cavities were in producing understandable pitched noises that Humans could copy. Both languages, as spoken by the other species, were refined to somewhat limited vocabularies that fortunately could be extended into quite a few
technical areas: such as space travel, basic engine design, biological and meteorological sciences, metallurgy, and mining.

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