Author: Robert Jordan
Genre: High Fantasy
Length: 334 Pages
Release: January 2004
This prequel novel to the Wheel of Time series was, unfortunately, rather disappointing. The beginning started out very promising with young Moiraine and Siuan in the White Tower, hearing the prophecy that would lead them on a quest for the next twenty years. Then we got a lot of their life in the White Tower, which I still found enjoyable, if not all that exciting. They were more likable than Egwene and Elayne, who are really the only comparison we have from the main series.
And then Moiraine left the Tower and things fell apart from there. She had a temper to rival Nynaeve with all of the high brow snottyness of Elayne. And she liked making people suffer. For being a seeker of justice, she liked to hand out her share of misery. She meets Lan on her travels and is outright abusive to the man, wanting him to apologize for something that was not his fault. You tell me how many men are going to be ok with a woman sneaking up and trying to steal the sword sheathed at their side. That's right, not many. So let's just say I was not thrilled with Moiraine in the least.
And then there was Lan's story. We didn't get enough of this, honestly. His journey to the Blight was one of my favorite things in the final installments of the series, so knowing some of the background for that was nice, but it wasn't enough. And some of the things we did learn were just...NO. They had some twisted views that no one seemed to question in any way. He also did some stupid things. But he was not a nasty person, so he was still likable.
I've heard that this was originally a short story that was later adapted into a novel. He should have stuck with the short story. While I thought parts were interesting, I don't think this is necessary for enjoyment of the rest of the series. If you do read it, I would recommend saving it until last.