For three days, war has raged in the cold of winter around the city of Tar Valon; soldier al’Lan Mandragoran; uncrowned king of Malkier fights against the Aiel. As the war comes to an end, Lan rides north to the Blight with his companion Bukama. On the road to Chachin he meets the Lady Alys – a woman with secrets, and a woman who will change his life and future.
Within the walls of Tar Valon, in the White Tower; a foretelling is made that would forever change the world – the Dragon has been reborn on the slopes of Dragonmount; the one who would carry the fate of the world, and bring them to the battle against the Dark One. Siuan Sanche, and Moiraine Damodred, Accepted of the White Tower were on duty to the Amyrlin that fateful night, and having heard the foretelling; go out to seek the boy-child in fear of the Black Ajah.
New Spring takes place twenty years before the start of Eye of the World; and while this novel is the prequel to the series, I must emphasize this: Do NOT read this book until you’ve read at least some of the series. Many things in here aren’t explained, nor will they make sense unless you’re familiar with concepts that are only explained in later books. Things which are mentioned various times in New Spring – Trollocs, Channeling, the Blight and others would be meaningless to you.
New Spring was an interesting read; as it gave background information on some of the characters that we see in the series, and helps readers come to an understanding of why those characters – Moiraine and Lan in particular – are where they are when we meet them in Eye of the World, along with showing events which are referenced to later on such as the Aiel War. This really wasn’t my favorite from the series – though I can say without a moment’s hesitation that it wasn’t a least favorite. New Spring is short in comparison to every other book in the series, and while it’s been a couple months since I last read it; I think I can safely said that barely a page or two had been wasted.
I’ll be doing the rest of the series as well; I can’t promise they’ll all be spoiler-free… For example: the review of The Great Hunt is very likely to have spoilers of The Eye of the World, so please don’t read it unless you’ve already read the books up until that point!