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Until the Celebration (the Third Book of the Green-sky Series), by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
"Until the Celebration" was a very difficult book for me to read the first time I read it. I wish I could say that it was a whole lot easier now, but it truly wasn't. It's still a wonderful book and I highly recommend it, but it still was hard to watch what happens to the world of Green-sky and to Raamo's and Teera's families in this volume.
"And All Between" ended with Pomma and Teera rediscovering the power of Uniforce, in which two or more people can join their spirit-skills and accomplish more than the sum of their abilities. The rediscovery of Uniforce finally convinces the Geets-kel, the body of Ol'zhaan that really runs Green-sky, that the Kindar and Erdlings need to be reunited.
And since we now know that the Kindar are good people who were kept in ignorance and the Erdlings are good people who were wronged, and that everything will soon be made right the two peoples become one smoothly and Joyfully.
That's pretty much exactly how it doesn't happen.
The Kindar have to face and get over their terror of the "Pash-shan." Even though the "Pash-shan" are clearly humans just like the Kindar, the terror of generations of indoctrination makes it hard for the Kindar to accept the Erdlings.
The Ol'zhaan step down and are replaced by a council made up of both Kindar and Erdlings. It is difficult for the Kindar to accept that those who ruled them for so long were less than perfect imperfect and doubly difficult to accept that their former rulers are now just Kindar like themselves.
The Erdlings developed an entirely different culture during their time of captivity, and some of these things separate them from the Kindar as well. For example, since the only plant-based food they got was what they could grab with their hands or what fell through the holes, the Erdlings couldn't afford to remain vegetarians and became omnivores. And since they eat meat, they also developed cooking, something that Kindar homes and neighborhoods just are not designed for. The Kindar only associate fire with destruction, so having their neighbors cooking right there makes them nervous. Additionally, not all of the Erdlings can move into the Kindar neighborhoods. Some of the elderly, for example, are too old and set in their ways to learn to glide with a shuba, which would make living in the trees untenable. The Erdlings build cities on the ground for those who are not comfortable in the trees, which makes reintegrating the two cultures even more difficult.
There are also groups that resist the "Rejoyning" as it comes to be called. The Nekom, whom we met in "And All Between" are one such group. Some of the Kindar, former Ol'zhaan in particular, also refuse to "Rejoyn" peacefully.
These are, of course, perfectly understandable problems with mixing two cultures so quickly. When I was younger, I had difficulty comprehending the scope of the difficulties.
While our heroes are trying to resolve all of these difficulties, the situation suddenly becomes much worse. The tool of violence and Pomma and Teera all disappear once again. The Nekom take responsibility for both disappearances, but are they truly to blame? And if they are not, who did take them? And can the newly Rejoyned Kindar and Erdlings get them back?