Why did I love this book?
This, the first full-length fantasy ever written specifically for young adults, remains by far my favorite novel of its kind, both because of the unsurpassed beauty of its style and the depth of the ideas it expresses. I much prefer its conception of magic to that of the Harry Potter series. Magic, in this story, is integral to the world; it is never a mere casual pastime that depends on external paraphernalia. And it has serious consequences, both for the world and for the mage, or student-mage, who employs it unwisely at his peril. Though the story takes place in a vividly-portrayed imaginary world, it is not really about that world but about life, and though this is the aim of all good fantasy, rarely is it so successfully achieved.