I think I might do my best reading when I'm sick. I get superstitious when I'm ill. I surround myself with the talismans of warding illness: that one hideous, frayed wool sweater, tea with lemon, soup from a can. One of my salves is re-reading books that I love.
It's a brief book, short, the middle of a trilogy (which later sprawled to 6 books). When it starts, our protagonist, Ged, from the first book of the series, is nowhere to be found. It's about a girl, taken to be a priestess as a child, living out her days in the dry, forgotten desert where women and eunuchs worship powers almost forgotten. When Ged appears, it's almost a shock, his maleness, his difference.
I think this book may secretly be about sex, and I mean that both ways: about gender and the act itself. Don't worry, people who like to freak out about what our kids are reading, nothing is explicit. It's just the shock of Ged appearing in the that dry, lonely place...a labyrinth, controlled by women...a cavern opening in the darkness...
I don't mean to make fun of the imagery, seriously, it's just hard to talk about the symbolism of sex without getting a little giggly. It's a sweet story, spare and lonely, with these blinding moments of connection. A good ward against the cold.