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on 12 January 2004
Firstly, it's nice to see that here, in comparison to the US amazon site, there's only one person reviewing the book who hasn't read it and has given it a one star. I can well understand fans annoyance at having to wait for the next book but no one is forcing them to buy this book, it is not an integral part of the main series, nor has it claimed to be.
This is a prequel to the Wheel of Time series, now 10 books long. In Jordan's most recent interview (Jan 04) he states that he anticipates being able to finish in perhaps two books (he has been saying this since 1994 however, so be warned). While it has been advertised as an entry point to the series, I would not recommend it as such. Concepts are not sufficiently explained and to be honest the Eye of the World, the first book in the series, can work as a stand alone book. Try that before this.
The book comes in essentially two parts; the first concerns Moiraine and Siuan, two young women who feature later in the series. The story documents how they become fully-fledged Aes Sedai after many years of training and how they come to begin a search for the Dragon Reborn. This part of the book is great for fans in that we see a lot more of the White Tower than previously. We also see what could be deemed 'normal' AS training as opposed to that shown for Elayne, Egwene and Nynaeve in the main series. Jordan's writing style, in contrast to his more recent work, is concise yet retaining his trademarks to a sufficient degree to be interesting.
The second part of the novel is essentially the novella in Legends. If you've already read this, then the last 100 pages will simply be the same old material.
If your a fan and haven't got Legends, see this as simply more material. An enjoyable read even if it does not progress the series. As a non-fan, this could be a confusing novel that in the end stops before the real action begins.
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on 15 January 2004
It is almost impossible for a reviewer to seperate New Spring from the main body of the Wheel of time series. However does that do so will realise that Robert Jordan has lost none of his ability to write a good story. Apart from the last chapter (25) which is the same material as the short story from the Legends Anthology, the novella contains all new material. Sharply written and with a noticeable pace to the story that has been lacking in the main books, New Spring provides wonderful insight into the workings of the White Tower, and the characters of Moraine, Lan and others who feature in later books. However, when one weighs the price of this short novel, the inclusion of the material from Legends, and the whole question of whether it is appropriate to release a prequel while the main tale hangs unfinished, one must conclude that New Spring, although deserving of it's place in the Wheel of Time corpus, is a well written but unnessacary addition at this time.
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on 14 June 2005
It's prequel number one (of three) for Jordan as the end of the Wheel of Time recedes ever farther from sight.
Leaving aside the necessity or otherwise of further bloating an already mammoth series, examined on its own merits _New Spring_ has more to recommend it than the last few instalments in the series proper. Without the need to buoy up a multiplicity of storylines, Jordan produces a fast-paced, engaging tale. It's Lan and Moiraine: The Early Years, essentially; set twenty years before the other books, this deals with Gitara's Foretelling of the Dragon's rebirth, and how a young Cairhienin Accepted gains the shawl and finds her Warder.
The problem is the very 'expansion' that is responsible for this tale being republished. The original 'New Spring' novella from _Legends_ is included here with few changes (bar some extra incidents on the road to Chachin), and as such remains well worth the read - if you don't already own a copy of _Legends_. The new material tacked onto the beginning, however, will appeal only to real WoT masochists. An account of Siuan and Moiraine's ascent from Accepted to full sisters, it's sometimes entertaining in its portrait of the series' key players in their youth, but on the whole it's too redolent of the later books in the WoT - full of unmemorable characters and info-dump exposition, devoid of tension or much in the way of humour.
Newcomers should go to _The Eye of the World_ and its immediate successors, where the exploration of the White Tower is pulled off far more gradually and elegantly. Fans will probably buy this one anyway, but be warned: if you've read the excellent original story, there's little new here.
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on 20 January 2004
It's prequel number one (of three) for Jordan as the end of the Wheel of Time recedes ever farther from sight.
Leaving aside the necessity or otherwise of further bloating an already mammoth series, examined on its own merits _New Spring_ has more to recommend it than the last few instalments in the series proper. Without the need to buoy up a multiplicity of storylines, Jordan produces a fast-paced, engaging tale. It's Lan and Moiraine: The Early Years, essentially; set twenty years before the other books, this deals with Gitara's Foretelling of the Dragon's rebirth, and how a young Cairhienin Accepted gains the shawl and finds her Warder.
The problem is the very 'expansion' that is responsible for this tale being republished. The original 'New Spring' novella from _Legends_ is included here with few changes (bar some extra incidents on the road to Chachin), and as such remains well worth the read - if you don't already own a copy of _Legends_. The new material tacked onto the beginning, however, will appeal only to real WoT masochists. An account of Siuan and Moiraine's ascent from Accepted to full sisters, it's sometimes entertaining in its portrait of the series' key players in their youth, but on the whole it's too redolent of the later books in the WoT - full of unmemorable characters and info-dump exposition, devoid of tension or much in the way of humour.
Newcomers should go to _The Eye of the World_ and its immediate successors, where the exploration of the White Tower is pulled off far more gradually and elegantly. Fans will probably buy this one anyway, but be warned: if you've read the excellent original story, there's little new here.
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on 7 February 2004
After being so disappointed with Crossroads Of Twilight I approached this book with a little concern that it was just going to lengthen and complicate established plots and character development. I was however pleasantly surprised to find Mr. Jordan going back to the style of writing that had me hooked on the series in the beginning.
It was fascinating and intriguing to read the back story of Moiraine and Siuan as Accepted in the Tower and how they became aware of the Dragon Reborn and how it shaped their futures.
It was also nice to see what kind of man Lan was before he met Moiraine and how those two eventually met. Several elements from the whole series are answered in this book and neatly rounded off.
I am disappointed to hear the author maybe writing two more prequels rather than getting onto Vol 11 next....but this book was very good and interesting. The debate is whether he knows where Vol 11 will be at and HOW to finish the series....but this prequel is a huge improvement in interest value than Vol 10 was.
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on 2 March 2014
I picked this book up rather randomly at a second hand store thinking that it was half of the first book ‘Eye of the World’ which is what I thought I had heard somewhere. I did this because I thought I might be able to give it to a friend or family member for Christmas. At only 400 ish pages then it isn’t too overpowering for someone who isn’t used to the Wheel of Time books.

However it turned out that I was wrong, very wrong, this book was actually a prequel to the Wheel of Time series. I hadn’t, and still haven’t, finished the Wheel of Time series … I am on book eleven at the moment and just about half way through it I’d say. Luckily as this was a prequel I was able to pick it up and read it regardless of where I was in the main series, and I was glad to do so.

My other Wheel of Time books (since book 9) have been on Kindle (or equivalent e-reader) so it was nice to finally have one that I could hold and turn the pages of. As I found it in a charity shop it had already been read a few times and had that nice old book feel to it, which added to the enjoyment even more. I do hold a special place in my heart for paper books.

It was the fact it was a paper book that led me to read it and not really put it down. I started before Christmas and finished it a few days ago, having brought it on the journey of a lifetime with me to Thailand!

The book was brilliant, I enjoyed it thoroughly … it was nice to have an idea to some of the backstory in any series, and many series would and probably should capitalise on this, we love to know more about characters whom we have grown to love (especially ones that have been around for a good 11 books).

I’d say my greatest disappointment was actually finishing the book, I longed for more back stories … It was sad news to read that although Robert Jordan had planned 3 prequels they may never see the light of day now, since his death in 2007. I hope that Brandon Sanderson, who was been co-authoring the recent books since Robert’s death, will be able to release these someday.

At £4 for the Kindle edition, and undoubtedly less for a used copy, buying this book is a steal and a very very fair trade off between cost and enjoyment!
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Back in 1998, Robert Jordan was asked to contribute a short (ish) story set in his Wheel of Time world to Robert Silverberg's Legends anthology, along with a number of other authors such as Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, Ursula K. LeGuin, George RR Martin, Raymond E. Feist and Tad Williams. Jordan decided to write the story of the first meeting of two of his pivotal characters, Moiraine Damodred and Lan Mandragoran, and their first steps on the road that would eventually lead them twenty years later to the Two Rivers and the discovery of the Dragon Reborn.

This was a big test for Jordan, whose narrative skills run (obviously) to massive novels packed with detail. Jordan himself acknowledged it was a challenge, but surprisingly it was one he rose to. In less than 100 pages, New Spring introduced some new characters, featured a major new city we hadn't seen before in the main series (Chachin, the capital of Kandor) and featured some fairly important plot twists that set up events later in the series. It was an economy of storytelling that I suspect most people thought Jordan was incapable of.

However, in 2003 Jordan announced he was taking a break from writing the main Wheel of Time sequence to expand New Spring into a novel, adding several tens of thousands of words of new material. Fan reaction was somewhat bemused, but given the negative reaction to Crossroads of Twilight Jordan taking some time off from the series to refresh his creative batteries seemed like a good idea, and the next main novel, Knife of Dreams was a vast improvement. In the meantime, New Spring: A Novel was released in early 2004 and was greeted with indifference. Its sales were not stellar (it's by far the most common Wheel of Time book to run across in remaindered stores), and the critical reaction was generally muted.

The novel version of the book is three times the length of the short story. The opening sequence is set during the Battle of the Shining Walls and we see what Lan was up to during the battle. We also get to see the much-reported moment when Moiraine and Siuan learn that the Dragon has returned, and then the political machinations in the Tower that follow the battle and Moiraine and Siuan's raising to the rank of full Aes Sedai. The original version of New Spring, expanded with some extra material, makes up the latter third of the novel and remains a rattling good read.

Unfortunately, the new material at the start of the book is almost totally superfluous to requirements. Yes, it's amusing to see how the White Tower initiates handle the almost overnight transition from callow Accepted to wise Aes Sedai, and the test for the shawl is vaguely interesting. Trivia-minded fans may also enjoy spotting all the references to other Aes Sedai from the later books and what they are up to at this point in time. The big problem is that the revelation of the Dragon's Rebirth, as reported in The Great Hunt, was ominous and powerful. Here Moiraine and Siuan's reaction is extremely muted, to say the least, and there is no real tension in their storyline as a result (not helped by the traditional prequel problem of the readers knowing who is going to survive the story). It's not until we reach the novella version of the story that any sense of momentum and tension kicks in.

New Spring (***) is readable enough and has some points of interest for major Wheel of Time fans, but it is also packed with unnecessary padding. Nevertheless, the original novella remains readable and compelling, and despite its short length still raises the overall quality of this book.
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on 1 April 2005
Like many other fans of The Wheel of Time series, I have been becoming increasingly disillusioned with the later instalments in the epic. However, this prequel is a good return to form from Robert Jordan.
A lot of the "padding" (e.g. long and pointless descriptions, women drinking tea and clutching and smoothing skirts etc.) has gone, which means that New Spring is much shorter than the more recent novels, which is a good thing in my opinion. There is also a lot of action and the storyline canters along at a good pace.
OK, some of irritations are still there (in particular, Jordan appears unable to develop female characters very well, as the younger Moiraine and Siuan as Accepted and new Aes Sedai are a little too similar in behaviour and character to Elayne, Egwene and Nynaeve and almost unrecognisable from the older versions of themselves portrayed in the novels that follow), but all in all a good novel that will be enjoyed by fans of WoT.
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on 3 February 2004
Robert Jordan has begun to speed up his Wheel of time after its slow down in the previous major books. This prequel is a fresh and sprightly story which moves at a faster pace, returning to the formula of the early Wheel of time books that kept you turning the pages.
It tells the story of Lan Mandragoran and Moiraine Damodred and the forging of a union that will shape the battle to come against the dark one. It is a story filled with humour, danger and excitment and if I hadn't read part of it before in the Legends collection I may have given it more stars. I look forward with some anticipation to the further 2 prequels expected in between the next major entries in the series.
Robert Jordan
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on 19 September 2005
This book is only really worth reading if you've already a devout reader of the Wheel of Time, and have made it to at least book 3 or 4, and preferably much further. Many readers of the series will wonder if Jordan just wrote this for the money, but I truly believe that this wasn't the case: the book is written for a reason; to show us something more of Moiraine and Siuan's quest, and how it has affected their actions before and during the actual Wheel of Time series. Aes Sedai are, to me, rarely palatable, but the Accepted Moiraine and Siuan are far more sympathetic characters than any other I have come across in the White Tower, with less arrogance and a true, but unsickening, friendship. These are traits not frequently found in their characters in the original series, but believable nonetheless. Seeing into the minds of Moiraine and Lan is intriguing, as we don't often get to know their mindset in the other books. Well worth reading, and not just to tide you over until the next installment from The Creator.
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