New alien technology leads to a dangerous fight for political power, in the third in this national bestselling science fiction series. Ever since linesman Ean Lambert discovered strange new lines in an alien vessel, the lines have become symbols of a power too great to ignore. As political tensions over control of the alien technology mount, Ean's former shipmates must unite to avert a disastrous conflict: the Crown Princess of Lancia working from within the tumultuous Alliance, Ean seeking the help of the impatient alien ships, and Ean's close friend and bodyguard, Radko, embarking on a mysterious and perilous mission. But the biggest threat comes from an unexpected source. Someone is trying to take down the New Alliance from within-and will use anything, even the lines themselves, to ensure its destruction.