When I picked up Wolf Brother at age eight, I had two to three friends and three to four pets. I lived in a rural area with more trees around our house than we had neighbors, so I could feel a faint tug of the wildness just outside my window, especially in the summertime when, at night, the crickets sang for hours while the leaves chattered in the wind. There were enough similarities between my world and Torak’s that it wasn’t hard for me to imagine Wolf loping next to me through a dense forest, yet the magical realism that infused the characters’ quests was so alluring that I was both happy to escape to their world yet sometimes too nervous to turn the page. As I progressed through grade school, Torak, Wolf, and Renn grew with me: we became bolder, faced greater struggles, learned harder lessons, and, still, forged on. Sinking into this series feels like finding yourself deep in a forest: Eerie and intimidating. Exciting and primal. Now, seventeen laters, I still owe much of my appreciation for nature to Michelle Paver’s vivid and interconnected world of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. It really is an ageless tale.