The story on grand personal struggles continue giving credence to the feeling that one is reading a stand alone fictional tale rather than a book from an epic-fantasy genre. Exceptional fluidity, gritty and resolved, Le Guin's writing is as distinct as it can be. And yes, labeling this YA does not seem to do it justice. To profound to be a YA.
As usual, the book's delivery depends on the relative experience of the struggle and symbolism and not on the story itself per se.