by Robert Jordan
Reviewed by Coral
You know, I really liked this series when I first started reading it, way back in the 90s, but over the course of 16 years and 10 books it's kind of lost its spark. I find there are too many plots and way too many characters to keep track of from book to book. Not that I don't still enjoy them, because I do. And as soon as the series ends, I plan on re-reading them all to get all the millions of details I'm sure I've missed. Of course, the actual end to the series may be decades away, especially if Jordan keeps writing pointless prequels like this one.
Basically, this is the story of Moraine and Siuan as they rise from Accepted to Aes Sedai. As they await their final tests an Aes Sedai sister has a vision that will shape the rest of Moraine and Siuan's lives: the birth of the Dragon Reborn.
It's not that it's a bad book, it's just that it's basically a re-hash of everything that's already been said in the series. We know the Dragon Reborn will bring conflict to the White Tower - hell, he tore it apart - we know that the Children of the Light hate the Aes Sedai, we know about the Aiel's war on the rest of the world that they inexplicably abandoned.
The main problem with a book like this is that there's no suspense. How much time can you really invest in worrying over Moraine being made a queen when you already know she never takes a throne? How much time can you spend worrying over whether the Red sisters will find and kill the Dragon Reborn as an infant when we already know Rand makes it to adulthood? Who cares about the animosity between Lan and Moraine when we know he'll end up her loyal Warder?
If Jordan really wanted to write a prequel to his series, I sort of wish he'd written about Arthur Hawking, the man who forged an empire out of a broken world. Or, better yet, written about the first Dragon and how he managed to break the world. I just feel that this particular story didn't need to be told; we've already read it in bits and pieces across 10 novels.