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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2006
Being a great fan of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, I was definitly going to get this.

Then I read the reviews about it and changed my mind I couldn't be bothered.

Then someone bought it for me for Christmas, I can't believe what people have written in the reviews. I think it's really good, very fast paced for Robert Jordan (cue cynical sniggering), and since it's about two characters from whom we don't hear their point of view in the main series, it makes a great story. The story reads like most of the other WoT books but it comes in from a different angle, with all the good bits of the other books (chases, channeling, swordsmanship, and urgency).

In my opinion there isn't another book like it in the series mainly because a lot of action happens across all 300 pages of it, with a lot of depth to the story.

If you loved books 1-3 and got bored at book 5 read this it's great.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2011
I suppose I should start by repeating what has been said by some others. This is not a stand alone novel. Without first reading some of the Wheel of Time series (probably most of it), you will likely find New Spring very confusing.

I have read over some of the other reviews written here and found a few that think this novel was just a money spinner between the books of the main series, but I think they may have missed the point. In an epic fantasy series like the Wheel of Time series, an author probably creates a great many origin stories for their characters (how can they write them properly without knowing their history?). The reader would normally never get to read this material but with New Spring Jordan gave his fans an opportunity to read some of the extra material that doesn't really have a place in the main series.

As for the actual content of the novel there isn't actually much of a plot, but there doesn't need to be, we know the story comes later. Instead we are given an opportunity to see Siuan and Moiraine as Accepted, and are given an idea of how Aes Sedai training was traditionally conducted rather than the accelerated training of Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve. We also get to meet Lan as a younger man and are given a taste of the world as it was before the Dragon Reborn started breaking it. We meet a few familiar characters along the way, although very briefly, such as Verin and Cadsuane and get to witness the original prophecy of the Dragon's rebirth.

Ultimately the story isn't that gripping, but the chance to see the world through the eyes of well known characters at a much younger age makes up for that and provides a nice bit of depth to an already epic story. Not a must read, but a nice bit of extra information for hardcore fans.
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on 5 July 2014
As others have said, it covers the development of Moiraine and Siuan becoming Accepted, as well as Moiraine'smeeting Lan and the how he becomes her warder. Sure, you can say she has twenty years between these events, except that she wont spend any of that time in the Tower "learning" all those things Caduane tells her she needs to learn having become Aes Sadai,

Spoiler alert pre book 5!

For me, the thing doesn't work at all. I've not read the early books in a while, but this is someone who willingly decides to confront Lanfear and accept death to kill her. Jordan again goes completely overboard with young characters "quailing" in fear simply because they are young.

Moiraine has so many doubts, fears and worries, in this novel, that I did not recognise her from the cool and self possessed character in the wheel of time and later. I'm all for character development, but it has to be shown and described, not assumed in the course of twenty years that are not covered by the books even including this one. The old literary idea that character is destiny would really add to this portrayal of Moiraine, as I just found I liked her much less than when I read the early books. Even Siuan Sanche, who we are told when in the head of Moiraine that she was born to lead, comes across as weak and in lacking independence when the narrative shifts to her perspective.

Also, if you were to write a prequel of these books, there are so many great stories that could be filled in, I'm not sure I would have spent so much time on Moiraine and Siuan Sanche's early development exclusively. I would have been more interested to learn who really was Rand's mother, details perhaps of what his father was like, how Siuan became Mother of the White Tower, stories of how Moiraine came to reach Emond's Field, how she came to know that she would have to confront Lanfear and fall into the TerAngreal in the Waste Land, so many stories more integral to the overall plot.

Finally, some reviewers have commented on whether the pace of the book is more similar to the earlier or later books. For me unfortunately, too much time is spent repeating uninteresting detail about unimportant character's aesthetic preferences, character vulnerabilities that are so overly emphasized they simply become implausible, and the continued discussion about the political dangers to Lan from his carneira that become completely written away in a couple of pages at the end, after far to much pontificating previously.

If you are really interested in how Moiraine met Lan, read this book. If not, and if you like the character of Moiraine as she is presented in the main books, do not read.
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on 31 August 2012
First things first: to get the best out of this novel, read the first ten books before this one. It's not that there are many spoilers here, but you will get a better experience of the others.

This book is a prequel to Robert Jordan's epic and (mostly) excellent Wheel of Time series. It used to be a short story that he has expanded into a full length novel and, to be honest, it shows. Like much of his later stuff, not much happens in a hundred pages. We spend half the book stuck in Tar Valon with Moiraine and Siuan doing academic work. Even getting them raised to full Aes Sedai takes about three chapters. The real story is the latter half when Moiraine finally gets to go out into the field. However, the whole premise of this story was how Moiraine met Lan; and she doesn't even meet him until the last quarter. After most of the book plodding along at a snail's pace, the last portion seems rushed.

I wouldn't really recommend this unless you are a hardcore fan or completist. It doesn't offer any new plot developments and the only interesting thing that fans will appreciate is the ritual to become Aes Sedai. The main plot is okay, but after reading about battling Seanchan and the biggest, most epic use of the One Power EVER, this is a refreshing return to simpler (?) times and still has more plot in a hundred pages than Crossroads of Twilight.
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on 17 September 2012
I was at path of daggers when I first read this, I personally really enjoyed it and I think it showed his mastery of language and descriptive writing, one thing about Jordan was that he would take a very long time to set the scene and would really immerse you in the Worlds he created, we would probably all have vivid descriptions of Tar Valon etc and very graphic images of all the characters but if you are like me, would occaisionally despair of the amount of time it would take for plots to unfold especially in books 6 - 9. This book as a prequel works really well when you already know the characters because it unlocks many things you didn't know about their previous life and sets the scene for their futures, it adds layers onto existing characters. I am not sure how it would work if you read this before reading the Eye of the World but I can say at the point I read it first after I was already well into the series I really enjoyed it and it filled time until the next book was released. My advice is to give it a go its an enjoyable read and it will add a lot of meat to the bones especially of Siuan, Moraine and to a lesser extent Lan.
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48 of 60 people found the following review helpful
This was the first story I read of the Wheel of time series when it was released in a collection of short stories from different authors and it was enough to get me to start what was at the time an as yet unfinished eight book series. It tells the tale of how Moirain finds Lan and makes him her Warder. It has everything you have come to expect from Robert Jordan. Stunning fight scenes and heroism. Plus it explains how the two principal characters came to be together and start their journey that leads them to the Two Rivers and to Rand, Mat and Perrin. I thouroughly recomend it for fans of the series.
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on 19 May 2008
I would suggest if you are considering reading this not to do so unless you have read the first five books and liked them, and are considering continuing the series. If you are not, there is little of value in this book in terms of plot development.

The book has some interesting development of the relationship between Moiraine and Siuan but despite it being short (in WOT standards) it contains the usual complaints - over description of clothing, etc. It is not a bad book, but I find myself unable to keep reading it without having another more interesting book handy to supplement my "journey" thorugh the book.

Conclusion - don't read this book first, and if you cant get through the first five books, don't read it at all.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2006
In Jordans world of time series it all starts quite suddenly with us being thrown in at the deep end, we are expected to know the past histories of moiraine and lan. These very intricate and complex characters (moiraine who we are hoping to re-appear in the next book) are unexplained, they are the only main characters within the series not to have been set-up or backgrounded. I think that every wheel of time reader should in all honesty be reading this book, not because it is a serious and well thought out story, but because it gives us a little bit of the coveted relationship history of these two memorable characters. The story is relaxed and cheerful, it is easy going and if you have not yet read it but have read the wheel of time series then read it. Hey we all need something to do in the next five years while he's writing the twelth book, at the very least this will take up a couple of hours of that time.
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on 16 April 2014
Having picked up with the Wheel of Time series again after a long absence - courtesy of Leigh Butler's excellent rereads - it made sense to read this prequel in its own right. New Spring could equally be called "Moraine & Lan - the early years" concentrating as it does on these 2 characters at a definining period in their young lives. It provides an insight into life in the White Tower and the nuances of Aes Sedai structure and ranking which give a different perspective to the main story.

The story is also refreshingly straightforward in comparison to the Wheel of Time prope
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