New Spring by Robert Jordan
Firstly I must apologise for the lack of reviews – dissertation deadline, exams and then spending two and a half months in Iceland leaves little room for reading and those books I have managed to read, I haven’t had chance to review.
New Spring is a prequel to the WoT series and is set 20 years before the events of ‘Eye of the World’. It follows Moraine as an accepted in the White Tower; the book opens with. Moraine and her friend Siuan waiting on the Amyrlin seat where they accidentally witness an Aes Sedai having a prophecy about the birth of the dragon reborn. Sworn to secrecy, the two girls are sent with the other accepted to collect names of infants born after the prophecy, although the other accepted are unaware of the magnitude and importance of the real task they are undertaking. The book follows Moraine as she is raised to the shawl as an Aes Sedai, leaving the tower in search of the Dragon and eventually meeting her warder, Lan Mandragoran.
I was always curious to learn more about Moraine and Lan due to the significance of their characters in the WoT series and particularly in how the two of them had met. All in all, this book disappointed me somewhat; the plot was quite thin and I didn’t find it particularly engaging compared to the other novels in the series; this is undoubtedly because of the standard of the WoT novels and this book, as it only really followed two characters, didn’t have the same depth and complexity I had come to enjoy so much.
That said, I had never been particularly fond of Moraine as I adore the character Nynaeve (that will make more sense to someone who has read WoT) and this book, seeing where she began, made me warm to her a lot more. I enjoyed seeing where she had begun and seeing her as an inexperienced accepted as opposed to a mature Aes Sedai.
*spoiler* I also learned more about Lan from this novel and I didn’t honestly like what I learned due to my love of Nynaeve – the book touches on relations he has with another woman, how much he loved her and how significant she was for being his well ‘first’. It was odd, I feel like these books are so interweaved into my life, I just couldn’t accept the thought of Lan with another woman. Yes yes he’s fictional blah blah but it took away some of the mysticism around Lan and diminished what I loved about Lan and Nynaeve a little so… That was a failing of this book I suppose but that’s me, that certainly shouldn’t put other people off the book.
Overall, this was a good novel but due to it’s shortness and focus on just two characters, it wasn’t as enjoyable as other books in the series.