New Spring is a prequel to the Wheel of Time series. Surprisingly, it is not near as massive as most of the books are. However, you do want to read at least three of the regular books in the series first. That should be sufficient enough to give you background on this one and the characters within it.
It is nearly twenty
years before Rand Al'Thor leaves Emond's Field, and Siuan and Moiraine
are just Accepted, doing their best to complete their studies and become
Aes Sedai. However, they are in attendance when another Aes Sedai has a
foretelling in which the Dragon Reborn has been born. This unleashes a
series of events that will have the White Tower, home of the Aes Sedai,
frantic in its attempt to control events before they go too far.
liked that we got to see Siuan and Moiraine before they became Aes
Sedai. It really opened up their characters and made the reader
understand why they did what they did. And you were also introduced to a
lot of other Aes Sedai that you only saw briefly mentioned in some of
the books. Lan I wasn't as thrilled with. His personality seemed too
different than what it was in the main series. I just didn't see it
matching up with what we already knew about him.
I enjoyed that
we got to learn more about the Tower and training that is done for Aes
Sedai. We also learn a lot more about the Ajas, which was interesting.
But I wish he hadn't of put as much as he did in because again, it
doesn't line up with the series. Especially the testing of Aes Sedai to
obtain the shawl. I know that the main series doesn't allow for
certain things to happen, but we don't even get a whiff of Egwene,
Elayne or Nynaeve training for it and in this book, Siuan and Moiraine
are obsessed with it. It just seemed odd. I also thought that after
the Tower, the book went a little too swiftly. None of the regular
detail was there and it made things a bit haphazard.
for the background but not among the best of Jordan's work. Especially
when it comes to the Wheel of Time series. I think he just wanted to
get background out there but didn't concentrate on the story so much.