It received mostly positive reviews: Kirkus called it "an elaborate, fascinating, and suberbly crafted adventure", School Library Journal praised it for its "knife-sharp prose" and for being "marvelously mind-stretching", while Booklist said it was a "satisfying tale" and that "[t]he action is fast paced, the mysterious circumstances are compelling, and there's even a nice bit of humor."
Books For Keeps were more noncommital, noting simply that it would need a "doughty readership", describing the novel as "a demanding read" with "page after page of challenging ideas". But Publishers Weekly were critical of the novel, due to its "muddled narrative" and "confusing finale".
"Why don't you be a tiger?": The Performative, Transformative, and Creative Power of the Word in the Universes of Diana Wynne Jones
May 01, 2010; I am knowledge, force That words of power have, science deep In the head, the arrowpoint that's made Exactly for its target,...