This is Diana Wynne Jones’ last book, finished by her sister Ursula after Diana’s death. It was a light, pleasant, fairly generic fantasy: four islands, different from each other and always at war; children with mysterious destinies; magical beasts in the form of pets; a main character who has to learn to trust her own magic. None of the particulars of setting or character lifted it above those tropes for me. I wouldn’t have bothered finishing it if it weren’t by DWJ, and I suspect I won’t remember it very well a month from now. Kids who like British (or British-style) fantasy like Half Magic or Tuesdays at the Castle will find this slots in nicely.