The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The last Diana Wynne Jones? Sigh. At least we have her other books to keep us going. That's not to imply that this isn't good - it's just, well, you always want more from your favorite authors, don't you?
The journey Aileen takes, both physically to the various islands and emotionally from girl to young woman, is enlivened by some of the peoples inhabiting Chaldea. The Red Queen, Plug-Ugly and the bards were all Wynne-Jones at her best (although at times I did wonder how much of this was influenced by some of the peoples in Oz).
This was good. Better than good in places, actually. But there was something slightly missing, something that moved it down from a five to a four. The magic was slightly dimmed and I think I'll blame this on the fact that it wasn't completed by the author but by her sister.