Childhood is over, and he has received a name: Elenn. But with the new name comes a new awareness of self, and for him it is deeply troubling. As other uedin youths face their futures with hope and excitement, Elenn must try to understand what it means that he is barren. It is a syndrome that not only deprives a uedin of his passing-of-life; it means that he is destined to deteriorate into depravity and die in misery. This knowledge poisons every aspect of life for Elenn--but can he find a way to cope, to bide his time, perhaps even summon the strength to bear his burden with uedin dignity?
In this, Version M, the androgynous uedin are referred to with masculine pronouns. Consider the option of Version F which uses feminine pronouns. Which version to read, Version M or Version F? That is the challenge given to readers before they even begin the Barren Trilogy. At first glance, one might assume that readers who identify as male should read M, and those who identify as female should read F. But who can say? Perhaps male-identified readers should read F, and vice-versa. As you observe and explore your own point of view, the story may take you to a different one altogether.