It has been approximately one year since I last picked up a Wheel of Time novel. Approximately 5 years since I picked up Eye of the World, and I’ll say I was feeling a little worn out. After 7 books which each had to have had at least 500+ pages, I hit reader’s wall (if runners can hit a wall during a marathon I think so should readers. Also thank god WoT isn’t 26 volumes.)
The last I heard from Rand al Thor he was fighting some raged out Forsaken in Shadar Logoth and taking all of the appropriate amount of wounds before heroing his way to victory! As for Egwene, Mat, Perrin, and the host of other characters? I can’t really remember, it’s been a year after all. So after finishing Crown of Swords, I decided it was time to take a break from the Wheel of Time. All things considered, it wasn’t going anywhere and there were still some more books to be written until the concluding work. As Robert Jordan has made abundantly clear: there are no endings in the Wheel of Time . . .
Little did I realize that my destiny was not my own. The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills and it doesn’t give a fuck how many pages you’ve already read, you’re gonna read some more and dammit you’re gonna enjoy it!
I was part of the pattern.
About a month ago, I began the process of interviewing for a new job at a library (I won’t say which to protect the innocent? Or maybe the guilty). I knew some of the people who worked there because I had worked there previously. I went in to visit one of my old supervisors and BEHOLD!!! There was a Wheel of Time Novel sitting on her desk. I talked with her politely for probably an hour, all the while attempting not to look at the cover which I instantly recognized as WoT by its artwork. I didn’t want to know which volume it was. I had put all that behind me. Finally I couldn’t bear it any longer. I had to know which one she was reading.
At this point she told me promptly that she wasn’t reading it at all. It was an extra copy that somebody had returned to the library by mistake. (Destiny?) And if I wanted it, it was mine no questions asked and that I should probably take it otherwise it would thrown out because the library didn’t have the rights to lend it (It’s a trap!!). I figured I could walk away. Likely it was one that I had already read, or one which was several volumes away so I would likely never get to it. However, it was New Spring! The prequel which I didn’t even know existed and had to look up on the internet to make sure was legitimate. It was and it is.
I put the novel in my backpack and eventually it made it to my bookshelf where I assumed it would collect dust until Tarmon Gai’don. Weeks passed. I got the job. Re-opened my old work email account which I hadn’t checked in forever. Apparently I was still receiving emails from Tor and they were getting super excited about A Memory of Light which is supposed to be released tonight! (Don’t think I don’t see the irony in finally finding the time to do this post tonight, on the night of the launch party. Coincidence? The Wheel weaves). Anyway, I began to miss Rand, and Egwene, and Mat and everybody else. I began to miss Robert Jordan, for whom Tor produced a series of videos telling of his life and of the life of the series.
Then I began reading Leigh Butler’s non spoiler post and her other post about what Wheel of Time has meant for so many of its fans. I began to get sentimental. There was no way I wasn’t going to at least try to finish this series now. But I was worried. What if I started the series again and it was too much? Could I take another disappointment? After all, I felt scorned. Used up. Could I really do it all again? That is when I remembered New Spring. Just sitting there on my shelf, waiting to be read.
So I took the novel off the shelf devoured it. It was . . . exactly what I needed! Certainly a new spring of rejuvenation for the series when I felt I could not continue. (I supposed I should try to make another reference to running a marathon here but . . .Eh)
It tells of Moiraine bonding Lan as her warder, and of how she finds herself on to the search for the Dragon Reborn, and gives you some of those little tid bits you’ve been wondering about with her and Siuan. And of course, it is a perfect example of the type of writing style which Jordan employs and I am sure Sanderson has continued (It’s Sanderson’s fault I’m even reading these books. Why was Mistborn so good!?). But most of all . . . it was short! And self-contained. I can read other books between now and whenever I pick up the next Wheel of Time.
But despite everything, I will be buying The Path of Daggers soon, and will begin riding this pony once again. Or should I say cracked out bitchin warhorse? I don’t know.
Go readers and read! And read New Spring.