Readers of last year's future fantasy Below the Root will find this slow to start; approximately the first half covers the same events from a different viewpoint—that of eight-year-old Terra, the little girl from the world below whom novice Raamo D'ok and his two fellow Ol-Zhaan-in-training rescue from the forest floor—but without any of the new perspectives or shattered assumptions that such a doubling back requires to maintain interest. However, Terra's story does Fill us in on the starving Erdlings' underground life and, later, on Kindar history and the current machinations of their ruling Ol-Zhaan priests. After that both idea and action—which become one and the same as things fall into place—crackle with revelation, reversal and excitement. In the end the young people are on the way to freeing the populations both above and below the root, and there is no longer any question that the innocence of the Love, Peace and Joy-loving Kindar has depended on enforced ignorance and subtle enslavement. Snyder leaves us with a firm, concrete impression of her created world and some teasing thoughts about our own.