What a dreadful disappointment! This book, that I'd been so looking forward to reading turned out to be so bad, I was surprised it could have been written by Diana Wynne Jones at all. Not only wasn't it as well written as all the other books by her that I've read, I had two major reasons for my disappointment.
One: so many animals are being used and killed and eaten. Ok, so not everyone will agree with me about that, but you should. (This is my review, I'll write what I want in it!). It pretty much ruined the book from the start.
Second reason: A girl gets raped by a number of murderers/soldiers (murderers taken from prisons to be turned into soldiers of a kind) and DWJ treats that as an inconvenience, that the girl (admittedly with the help of a dragon magic worker/king) just shakes off like a migraine. I simply couldn't believe it. And then the rape is just ignored. The girl is shown being more upset about not being allowed to attend college than about being raped. She merely ruefully mentions wanting to stay away from the soldiers. I should think she'd want to. Unbelievable. (I also can't believe this gets put into a book marketed as a children's book, but well, I think I've said enough about that already.)
Now I'm really scared that this isn't just about this book, but that it's all part of a bigger problem. What if I've outgrown DWJ´s books for good? What if it's not just her books but every fantasy book? Apart from a few other things, my love for books (mainly fantasy books) is the one thing that keeps me going. My life isn't all that great and if I lose this interest what's left to me?