As seen on Stumptown Books
An important question to answer before beginning the Wheel of Time series is when you want to read this prequel. It takes place before The Eye of the World
, book 1, but was written after Crossroads of Twilight
, book 10. It contains spoilers for up through book 6 or so. If it is the first book of the series you read, a lot of things will be ruined, and it would be confusing, as it assumes the reader is familiar with the world.
In other words, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK FIRST
. This review contains minor spoilers up through book 6, too, so, fair warning.
I decided to read the series in published order, so I picked this up, begrudgingly, after book 10. Why begrudgingly you ask? Because Crossroads of Twilight
was so soul-crushing and boring, I didn't want to pick up another filler book. And that is what this is - filler. There is nothing here that is necessary to the story. Indeed, it is a book full of events we have already had second-hand throughout the rest of the series, mostly being Moiraine focusing on her quest to discover the Dragon Reborn and bonding Lan as a warder.
new? Well, we get to see Moiraine again after an absence of... *counts on fingers*... 5 books and about 4,000 pages. I missed her. I wanted her back in my life. We get to experience her viewing of the prophecy of the actual moment Rand is born, and learn a little more of her friendship with Siuan Sanche. A few new Aes Sedai are mentioned but no one that will be important ever again. Moiraine bonding Lan was a lot better told as a campfire story way back in book 2 (so, so long ago now) than actually reading about it.
I'm pretty sure this is the first and only time characters spend any time in Kandor or Arafel, so if you want to know some more about the other borderlands, here's your chance.
My favorite part of New Spring
was that we got some chapters told from the point of view of Lan, and he waxes reminiscent about Malkier. I love the whole Malkier story, and love that we finally got to see some of its history and politics. There are two characters introduced in these chapters that will come into play briefly in later books (as in, they are mentioned. That's about it), but they are not absolutely necessary to know about.
So...that leaves me at basically recommending to read the Wheel of Time wikipedia article of Malkier and call it good. If you're a completionist like myself, then perhaps you can get some joy out of finishing a Wheel of Time book really quickly, because it only has 334 pages. Sitting down for an hour and being almost 20% done was its own reward. Otherwise, onward and upward to greener pastures, and book 11!