To bring an end to our journey, we must go back to the beginning. What better place for our epilogue to happen then the prologue?
New Spring is probably one of the less interesting Wheel of Time books to me. Which is a shame, because it stars two of my favorite characters from the series! But as a prequel to the WoT, it really doesn’t do much of actual significance or interest. Honestly, if it didn’t have the series’ name on it, I’d have passed on it completely.
Moraine and Siuan, two Accepted of the White Tower, bears witness to the dying prophecy of the Tower’s Keeper: the Dragon has been reborn. Now, the two seek to collect information on the boy so they can seek him out when they become full Aes Sedai. But even if they earn the Shawl, will they be able to escape the Tower’s political plotting? Meanwhile, Lan Mandragoran prepares to face his destiny, knowing full well that it will be his death.
I love this story… in theory. We get to see how Moraine first got started looking for Rand, how she became Aes Sedai, and how she met Lan! All of that should have been really interesting! Unfortunately, I think the series slow pacing ultimately hurt this book more than it helped it.
The actual plot to New Spring doesn’t get started until the 65-70% mark. Before then, it’s a boring slog of repetitive conversations, pointless interviews, and the same old troubles on repeat. It is downright sleep inducing at times! I don’t care about this random peasant woman and her stupid baby that obviously isn’t Rand, can we please just move on?
Luckily, once the plot actually does get started, it becomes much more interesting. Seeing Moraine and Lan go from silently hating each other and pulling petty pranks to becoming more of the duo we saw them as in Eye of the World is really cool! And all of the scenes from Lan’s perspective are interesting! Unfortunately, by the time that happens, the book is basically over.
One point in this book’s favor is its length. It is a fairly short story, probably the shortest in all of the Wheel of Time series. It can feel much longer due to its incredibly slow start, but if you’re familiar with this series, you’ll be used to those by now.
Unless you’re starting with this one. Which… don’t. This is not a good starting point, trust me.
Do I hate New Spring? No, it’s still a perfectly fine book. But it did very little to impress me. In the grand scale of the series, it’s honestly inconsequential. You can skip it and miss out on absolutely nothing.
If you’re a hardcore fan of the Wheel of Time, you’ll get a few kicks out of this book. But if you’re a more casual reader or a newcomer, you can save it for later or just pass on it. It isn’t as god awful as the three Slump books, but it doesn’t even come close to the insane highs the series reached with books like The Shadow Rising or Knife of Dreams.
Man. Kind of a bummer note to go out on. No bangs here, only whimpers.