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Advice to a Friend New to WOT: Regarding 'New Spring'


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I have a friend that will shortly be reading the Wheel of Time series for the first time. As a person who's re-read the series five times, I'm having a hard time deciding when's a good time for him to read New Spring, as a first timer.

 

Should he: a). Read it before Eye of the World? b). Wait until he's read the entire series (he won't be finished with the books until well after A Memory of Light comes out)? Or c). read the first 6-7 books, read New Spring, then finish the series?

 

[i'm having a hard time deciding when he should read it considering, to me anyways, reading the series all the way through and then the last book he reads after Tarmon Gai'don is New Spring, just seems a little awkward]. What would you suggest would be the best place to interject New Spring for a person new to the series?

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Do not read it first. There are a few spoilers in there.

 

I forget where one can read it and not ruin the storyline. Someone more knowledgeable will chime in (I hope), but I think it is around book 4 or 5.

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It has been quite some time since I read NS; I think I read it waiting for KoD. I don't remember if there is any "hand holding" in NS like there is in the first few books, or if it just starts throwing terms around you should know like Ajahs, the power, and things/places around Randland. I always thought of it as a supplement and not a required prequel.

 

I think a good spot to read it would be after TSR. By that time Rand and Co have definitive roles in the series, and the books after 4 start to become more specific and less obvious stopping points. Just my opinion though.

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It was written in 2004, after Crossroads of Twilight and before Knife of Dreams. I'm unaware whether there are spoilers for any books prior to Crossroads of Twilight.

 

I advise my friends to read them in the order they were published, 1-8, NS, 9 and on.

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I would suggest after book 5 or 6. Then most of the info regarding the world has been gradually revealed, and you aren't spoiling that. Also, the minor characters in NS (mostly namedroppings but a few notable exceptions) will then be known to you from the main series. I also think that its a good time to flesh out the characters of Moiraine, Siuan, and Lan, since major stuff has happened to them at this point in the main series. Some suggest waiting until publication order (after book 10) but to be honest, I don't see much point in that, in fact I almost think you miss out a bit by not knowing until then (especially about the three characters mentioned).

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That's a good idea 2RiversFan, that's pretty similar to what I told my friend. But I guess for me, after it came out, after the third re-read, I usually just read it first.

 

I might just end up having him read them in chronological (by publication) order this time.

Edited by dhofhistory
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I would suggest after book 5 or 6. Then most of the info regarding the world has been gradually revealed, and you aren't spoiling that. Also, the minor characters in NS (mostly namedroppings but a few notable exceptions) will then be known to you from the main series. I also think that its a good time to flesh out the characters of Moiraine, Siuan, and Lan, since major stuff has happened to them at this point in the main series. Some suggest waiting until publication order (after book 10) but to be honest, I don't see much point in that, in fact I almost think you miss out a bit by not knowing until then (especially about the three characters mentioned).

 

That's an excellent point as well. It's a toss up, but I suppose somewhere around 5-7 would be a good spot to insert it in. I've just become so ingrained on reading the series as a whole, that my brain has melded the story as one.

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I've advised people to start with NS actually, mostly because its shorter and usually my friends don't want to jump right into a nearly 1000 page novel. Eye of the world can be pretty daunting. So it gives them a nice lead in. I've never had issues with people reading it before the rest of the series. So I guess it would be personal preference. :)

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I agree that it should be read perhaps midway through the rest of the series. I think if someone were to read NS first, it might make it harder to be caught up with the other characters that aren't in NS. It always bugs me when I read a book that's centered around one character, then read the sequel and it's about someone else.

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I would suggest at least waiting until Cadsuane has been introduced as a character in the main series (which I think is in book 6, or maybe book 5?). After book 6 might be a good time to read New Spring, since book 6 has such an awesome climax, so it might be a good time to digest what has happened so far before diving back in. But I also agree with the advice from a previous poster to read NS wherever it falls in order of original publication (after book 8?).

 

The main point is that I definitely would not start with New Spring. The Eye of the World should be the starting point for a new reader, in my opinion.

 

As an aside, having just completed a re-read myself, I have to say that I found New Spring to be very underwhelming compared to the main series. If I were to read the entire series again at some point, I might just skip New Spring entirely (as well as skipping significant chunks of books 7 to 11).

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I tried to get one of my friends started on WoT with New Spring and it didn't work. I thought the story was simple and engaging but I hadn't really realized how much Jordan took for granted about the reader, with it being written towards the end of the series. He said there were too many terms that weren't explained.

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Maybe you just need to explain to them that New Spring was more of a prequel to the series AFTER quite a few books were out already? It's sad to see a potential reader not liking the series.

 

In my opinion, New Spring was kinda child-like and not really RJ's style. Child-like in the sense that it throws a bunch of stuff at the reader and doesn't explain them: As such, it takes away from the depth that is truly RJ's style and makes it seem that the One Power is just ye ol' magic. Don't get me wrong: I think it was great to get some background on Moraine/Lan, but I think it should have been labeled more of a side-story then a prequel.

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Well, i reconomended to my friend to read it after he has finished all the published books like i did, because after the black ajar revalations in TGS, it was interesting to see how some of the black ajar aes sedai/accepted started off... it gave NS for those parts and intersting dynamic since you knew who the charaters really are... get what i mean like... i wanted that dynamic experience to be avaliable to my friend too, but ultimatly, it is up to him. I was to engrossed in the main series to want to read the prequel till i had finished the 13 books anyway.

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I got hooked on WoT by NS the short story (as published in "Legends"), and I would recommend the same to new readers. It's powerful, emotional and well paced.

 

If you only have NS the novel, I'd read it after the first books of the main series. The short story is basically the second half of the novel; the first half of the novel plays in the White Tower. I always thought that this part must be tedious and confusing for someone who isn't already hooked on WoT.

 

I don't think there's spoilers in either direction. It might be preferable to read NS before too much about the "vileness" is revealed in the main series. I guess between FoH and LoC would be a good time.

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Do not read it first, I did so and nearly resorted to looking a host of things up, fortunately I was able to piece it together rather quickly, but see, the taint isn't actually explained until far into the book, so not knowing about it can make questioning why the DR is so terrifying a problem.

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I would agree with the majority of people who have commented on this subject, I have always intended for him to read Eye of the World first. I guess as a part of the minority who enjoyed the background story behind Moraine and her search for the Dragon Reborn. So, my problem was as a person who enjoyed the book, assuming my friend probably might never re-read the series like a majority of us have done a multitude of times already. And with A Memory of Light being published by the time he gets that far in the series (he's a slow reader), I was trying to figure out a good place to interject that short story upon him. Going by what others have stated/done...I think I'll recommend around books 7 or 8 for him to read New Spring, I feel once he gets to Winter's Heart there should be no more interruptions in the journey to Tarmon Gai'don.

Edited by dhofhistory
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  • 8 years later...

(Posted elsewhere in a similar thread)..Old thread, but this was the early in the Google search, so adding on the discussion for new readers asking this same question..

 

Most here have answered in respect to spoilers--the earlier you read NS, the more it spoils. So that's a balance for preference... There still a valid (most important) question of what *you* want from the prequel. Most here have responded from the position of using the prequel to give hindsight appreciation to what you already know. Valid. Very valid.

 

Another way to approach the prequel is to use it to build momentum to the story arc, specifically in this case, the arcs of some of the major characters that have notable development in book 6. If you read NS after book 6, you develop hindsight appreciation for what just happened. However, you might appreciate the momentum of leaning into their backstory *before* their development. In that case, reading after book five and before book six can serve the momentum of the series for you. You can feel a strong pull for those characters which makes book six then more impactful...

 

...Anything later, and then you're just left with a discussion of minimizing spoilers, in which case, publication order would be best, in my opinion.

 

It's a discussion of how you want to use the prequel to aid your reading. Strategically building momentum? Or hindsight appreciation? Both are valid ideas. No perfect answer since you're trading one for spoilers and vice versa. My opinion: either after book five, or wait till publication order.

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