With the release of "A Memory of Light," the final chapter in the Wheel of Time saga, coming in 2012, I have decided to re-read the entire series over the course of the next year so that I can see how this amazing series finally ends. Having been a part of my life for the last ten years, it's bittersweet knowing that we will never get new material from the late Robert Jordan, but I'm quite excited to read the finale.
Since I committed myself to reading all 12 books straight through, I decided to start at the beginning...
This was my first read through New Spring, a prequel to the Wheel of Time series. It's pages detail the story of Lady Moraine Damodred and her journey to become an Aes Sedai. Familiar characters pop up throughout the novel and we become familiar with the backgrounds of fellow Aes Sedai, Siuan Sanche, as well as King of Malkier, al'Lan Mandragoran.
Though starting off slow, the book quickly picks up speed as we find out that the Dragon has been reborn and Moraine is on a mission to find him. Jordan takes us deeper into the relationship between Siuan and Moraine and it fills in the gaps that were missing throughout the rest of the series. The author also provides us with the background information detailing the events that lead to Moraine bonding Lan as her warder.
Was this prequel necessary to the main series? Absolutely not.
Do fans of the series want 360+ pages of background information on their favorite fantasy world and it's characters? Absolutely.
Jordan's descriptions of people and places illumine our imagination and draw the reader into his world. Though he might spend an entire page explaining every detail of a war horse or a character's dress, this vivid imagery is what attaches people to his books in the first place.
Clocking in at half the page count of any other volumes of the Wheel of Time series, it's a good little romp through a world that I have come to love. Be warned though -- if you haven't read the series in a while and decide to pick up this tome, don't be surprised if you find yourself reaching for "The Eye of the World" shortly after reading the final pages of New Spring.
Though I'm sad that Robert Jordan won't provide us with any new tales from the Wheel of Time universe, this re-reading of the books will simply solidify the fact that the books he has written are timeless and can only add to his legacy.