The Barnes & Noble Review
In 1998, Robert Jordan tantalized millions of Wheel of Time fans with a bite-sized literary appetizer when he published the novella "New Spring," a prequel to his epic ten-volume saga, in the heralded Legends anthology. Now comes the mouthwatering three-course meal -- the much-expanded version about the prophecy that started it all.
Set approximately two decades before the events of the first book in the series, the story focuses on two characters: Lan Mandragoran, the uncrowned warrior king of a nation that no longer exists, and Moiraine Damodred, a young Accepted soon to become an Aes Sedai (one of an elite group of powerful and often dangerous women who can channel the One Power). As Lan and his fellow soldiers drive the invading clans of black-veiled Aiel back across the Spine of the World, a blood-chilling prophecy is foretold by a dying Aes Sedai. "He is born again! The Dragon takes his first breath on the slopes of Dragonmount! He is coming! Light help us! Light help the world!" The birth of this child is both terrifying and wondrous in its implications. The birth means the Dark One will break free again, for the child is fated to face the Dark One in Tarmon Gai'don, the Last Battle. He could save the world -- or destroy it forever.
Although Wheel of Time followers will undoubtedly make this novel an international bestseller, the appeal of New Spring is even wider in scope because of its status as the prequel to one of the bestselling fantasy series of all time. This is not only a must-read book for longtime fans of the saga but also a perfect place for new fans to begin their epic literary journey on the ever turning Wheel of Time.
Paul Goat Allen
Expanded from a story that first appeared in Robert Silverberg's anthology Legends (1998), Jordan's eagerly awaited prequel to The Wheel of Time, the first of a projected three, more than lives up to its high expectations. For three days, battle has raged around the city of Tar Valon. In the White Tower two young Accepted attend the Amyrlin Seat and her Keeper as they await word of the outcome. Purely by chance, Moiraine Damodred and Siuan Sanche are on duty when the Keeper foretells the rebirth of the Dragon, the world's only hope of winning the fight against the Dark One. Written with all the skill that has made Jordan one of the grand masters of fantasy, it's accessible enough for new readers, while the inside information is sure to captivate longtime fans. Far from the coldly self-possessed Aes Sedai who arrives in Emond's Field in The Eye of the World, the first Wheel book, Moiraine is a fun-loving, prank-playing and na ve Accepted, one who slowly grows into a determined and resourceful character. Even better, the narrative is flush with answers to mysteries only hinted at in Wheel (what was the test for Aes Sedai, what was "the Vileness") and with little details aimed at those in the know. Jordan buffs will be especially pleased to find the novel moves quickly, not at the glacial pace of recent books in the saga. (Jan. 6) Forecast: A $750,000 marketing campaign, including TV ads and movie slide advertising in conjunction with the release of the third Lord of the Rings movie, should ensure another #1 debut on many lists. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
While training to earn the coveted rank of Aes Sedai, Moiraine and Siuan are present when the Keeper, Gitara, dies suddenly after foretelling the rebirth of the Dragon. Warning the girls to keep the foretelling secret, Tamra, the Amyrlin Seat, immediately begins a massive search for the child to protect it. In the guise of offering a bounty to women who gave birth while the city was in danger, Tamra gathers the names of those newborn babies. Tamra dies suddenly and is joined in death by several other Aes Sedai who are also privy to the secret. The hunt for the child continues, but Siuan and Moiraine suspect that some searchers intend to kill the Dragon Reborn, not save him. Discovering the existence of a secret Black Ajah, which channels the One Power for harm and not good, they are joined reluctantly by Lan Mandraoran as they continue their frantic search. A rewrite of a Jordan novella, this new addition is a prequel to The Wheel of Time series. Although fans might snap it up looking for new material on Lan and Moiraine Sedai, the pace is disappointing at first. Older Harry Potter fans might enjoy the school atmosphere describing the girls' studies to create the one hundred weaves of power for their testing for the Aes Sedai shawl. The latter half is more appealing for adventure buffs. This book's audience lies primarily with Jordan fans who have already read other offerings such as its predecessor, Crossroads of Twilight (Tor, 2003). VOYA Codes 3Q 2P J S A/YA (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2004, Tor,335p., Ages 12 to Adult.
Nancy K. Wallace
After hearing a prophecy that a child had been born to lead the world in a confrontation against the malevolent force of the Shadow, the newly confirmed Aes Sedai sister Moiraine sets out on a clandestine search to find the infant known as the Dragon Reborn. At the same time, the soldier Lan Mandragoran finds his battle-hardened life is leading him to an unknown destiny. Expanding on the novella by the same name that appears in the anthology Legends, Jordan embellishes the prehistory of two of the familiar characters from his best-selling "Wheel of Time" series. Insightful and vivid storytelling makes this a good addition to most fantasy collections. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Jordan's eagerly awaited prequel to The Wheel of Time more than lives up to its high expectations. Written with all the skill that has made Jordan one of the grand masters of fantasy, it's accessible enough for new readers, while the inside information is sure to captivate longtime fans.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This is The Wheel of Time at its best: political intrigue, powerful characters, dangerous magic, and even more dangerous secrets.” Bookpage
“Jordan is the master of his domain.” The Post and Courier, Charleston, SC