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New Spring by Robert Jordan
Review by Bruce Wallace
Tor HCVR  ISBN/ITEM#: 0765306298
Date: 6 January 2004 List Price 22.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

The story picks up the pace early when one of the sisters, Gitara Moroso who has the gift of prophecy, predicts that the Dragon Reborn will be born within three days on the slopes of Dragonmount and then quickly dies. At that point with Sisters of the Dark and the Light in pursuit of the newborn child something clearly needs to be done. Fortunately Moiraine Damodred and Siuan Sanche, two young Accepted sisters of the White Tower have the dubious pleasure of overhearing the prophecy. The Amyrlin (head of the White Tower) cautions them to reveal nothing of what they heard and the two girls give their word not to. This does not prevent them from trying to find the newborn child on their own. Soon they have passed from the junior position of Accepted to full sisterhood. Even before this substantial event in their young lives passes the two has been doing the best they can to locate the newborn child. When the Amyrlin dies and is soon replaced by a sister of the radical Red Ajah, Moiraine quickly strikes out on her own to locate the newborn child leaving Siuan to cover her absence as best she can.

Moraines journeys far and eventually meets Lan Mandragoran and two of his companions and promptly bullies the three of them into providing protection for her while they travel to the same city. It's an important meeting as both Lan Mandragoran and Moiraine Damodred occupy an important place in the early stages of the Wheel of Time saga. What follows is a rather entertaining if drawn out example of the problems two strong willed people face when thrown into a situation in which they must trust and depend on each other when the foundation for that relationship has not yet been established. In short order they must form common cause against bandits and creatures of the Shadow. The action packed sequence of events that follows should not fail to please even the most jaded of readers.

New Spring has the advantage of a wealth of soon to be familiar characters to veterans of the Wheel of Time series and a kind of new car smell attraction to readers new to the party. Reading this book will not excuse a new reader from the other volumes of what could easily be termed the world's longest trilogy but it is a good way for a new reader to determine whether or not to make the massive commitment the Wheel of Time entails. For anyone teetering on the edge of commitment this is a good place to start.

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