It didn't feel like fantasy throughout and that's part of the magic of how Diana Wynne Jones writes, it's only when I think back on the story that I realise how much magic there actually was in the story. The story opens with Tanaqui's father and brother being taken as conscripts for a war, a war that leaves her father dead and her brother broken. Looking like the invaders who won, the villagers turn on them when the river floods catastrophically, saying that they brought evil down upon them, then there follows a trip downriver, a trip that will change their family and the future. I liked this one, it really felt like there wasn't much magic in it, but then you realise that the magic is all-pervasive, like a world that had magic as normal would be. I liked the characters and how they worked and loved the idea of weaving stories into clothing.