The Wheel of Time is a series that I really love, so I knew I would love New Spring even before I started it. New Spring is a prequel to the main Wheel of Time series, featuring the Aes Sedai Moiraine Damodred and Siuan Sanche as young women who have not yet been raised to the rank of full Aes Sedai. It also follows the story of al’Lan Mandragoran, the last King of Malkier, who we know in The Wheel of Time as Moiraine’s Warder, and how he ended up bonded to Moiraine.
The book assumes that you’re familiar with The Wheel of Time, the various organisations, countries, etc. aren’t really given that much of an explanation.We meet some familiar faces, primarily in the Aes Sedai – Verin, Elaida, Cadsuane, Sheriam and Leane, among others. It’s kind of hard for me to figure out what information was new to us in the book because I read the Wheel of Time wiki so much.
It’s definitely interesting to see Moiraine and Siuan, both so inscrutable and awe-inspiring in the main series, as young and immature women still finding their way in the world. Their friendship is really affectionate and well-portrayed. Lan is pretty much unchanged, he’s still honourable, sensible, dutiful and proud. We get to find out a lot of backstory, for instance why Moiraine was searching for the Dragon Reborn, how Lan and Moiraine ended up trusting each other so much, what the Black Ajah had been up to, the decline of the White Tower starting to show.
Basically, read it if you love The Wheel of Time. If you haven’t read The Wheel of Time, read at least the first few books in the series before reading this. Skip it if you don’t love The Wheel of Time.
This is book 12 of 25 of my Dec 11, 2011 book challenge.
- “Ringworld” by Larry Niven
- “Climbing the Stairs” by Padma Venkatraman