Diana Wynne Jones' books are as fabulous and inventive as any young adult fantasy novels. I recommend them all.
This last book in the series was my favorite in the bunch! I love the Dalemark world Jones has created and how everyone in the previous books is united to form one strange, rag-tag group that saves the day one final time.
In this last book, many of the elements of The Spellcoats become more clear, as it is shown that many of the characters and gods mentioned in that story have become part of Dalemarks mythology and legends it explains why it was decided to print it there, out of chronological order!
Here, Maewen, a young girl from modern Dalemark is convinced/tricked to go 200 years back in time and impersonate a young woman who has disappeared but who was convinced that gods spoke to her and that she was destined to be Queen of all Dalemark, reuniting the conflict-riven North and South. Maewen has doubts about this, as she meets characters that she was familiar with from paintings that she saw displayed of famous people from Dalemarks history but she has never heard anything about this supposedly-important young Queen.
Still, she feels she has very little choice but to go along with it, and as time goes on, she finds herself becoming emotionally involved in the situation she finds herself in one that, for the reader, is yet more entertaining, because it involves characters weve met before in the other novels of the quartet.