New Spring

My first thoughts on finding out about this new Wheel of Time book were concerns about whether Robert Jordan will live long enough to wrap up the series. He’s getting on in years and by his own admission it’s going to take at least 3 more books to finish the series, which is I why was slightly worried when it turned out that his latest book is a prequel, and doesn’t advance the series. Some quick research revealed that he is only 55 so according to the Bureau of Statistics he should live for another 10 books. A big relief.

The cynics among you maybe under the impression that Robert Jordan knows when he is on to a good thing and is just churning out novels. Well, that might be the case. And yes, the first book about a farm boy who is given a sword and finds that he has magic powers, is a little cliched. I don’t care about those things. I’m happy to just read the series and enjoy the journey. I find the pleasure of finishing a book is always tempered by the knowledge that I’ll have to find a new book to read. With the Wheel of Time there’s always another book. It’s like watching Star Trek.

What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

‘New Spring’ is a prequel set 20 years before the first book. It is about Siuan Sanche and Moiraine Damodred while they are training to be Aes Sedai. This gives ‘New Spring’ a different feel than the other books. First of all it follows the perspective of different characters. In the rest of the series Moiraine and Siuan get much less focus as Robert Jordan tends to write about Rand and his friends in the other books. Following new characters is refreshing. Second, he only writes about 2 characters, not the normal 6 to 8, and they are together most of the time so the plot is a little faster. Finally, most of the story takes place in Tar Valon which I like more. This means less time is spent on worldbuilding and more on the characters and events. At one point Robert Jordan seemed determined to send his characters to every city on his map leading to a convulted plot and pages and pages of descriptive text. I prefer a better plot and characters.

As in his other books, he has an easy to read writing style which mitigates the length of his books. It still feels like a long book but the intricate plot rarely drags. The overall result of the plot is the same as the other books — little happens.

5 comments posted — most recent by Tom on 01/11/06