I can't help but think I might have liked this better had I red the trilogy that preceded it.I'm not certain of course, but I found the first third largely dull. A guy is in the woods, with his wolf and a kid, and a couple times he gets some visits from old friends. He spends a lot of time telling one of these friends what he did since they parted. He thinks about magic. He thinks about getting old. He thinks about the chickens. He thinks about the kid's apprenticeship. He thinks about a lot of things.Maybe if I already knew this guy all this would be exciting, but I found it kind of... draggy? Slow. But once it shifted into new plot gear, it actually turned into a pretty enjoyable read. I like the types of magic used, and I like the stigmas involved. I liked the conflicts. I liked the politics. And there were enough pieces of unexpected plot decisions that the whole thing was fresh.Except for that first third at least.