This is an excellent book. Note that I rarely give 5 stars to anything so I'll have some wiggle room on a review.
Prf. Oliva and her xenoanthropological team are secretly invited to Kal-fa. Why the secrecy? The entities of Kal-fa are considered to be the spiritual guides of the Chu-nesians, the people who live in the same system, but the next planet inward.
What they find there startle, enchant, and disturb the team. The two women, after their initial shock at the nature of the Kal-fas (not sure if this is the plural) proceed with their studies of the low-tech folk. A third member of the team doesn't get over his shock, but, instead, sinks deeper into a loathing of the Kal-fas. To tell you why here would be too huge of a spoiler.
Lorinda Taylor presents a unique situation in the encounters between humans and aliens. Presented in the form of the Proceedings to investigate what had occurred on Kal-fa. Much of the transcript is based on personal journals of the team. This allows for a unique multiple POV presentation, especially interesting because the personal journals are spotty and incomplete.
I was fascinated from beginning to end. This is a wonderful novelette well worth your time. Ms. Taylor's background as a librarian and teacher must be partly why her story seems as well-researched as if the Kal-fas and Chu-nesians were real rather than the highly imaginative output of her imagination.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)