Written on: 26/12/2003 by Harriet Klausner (18660 reviews written)
Tor, Jan 2004, $22.95, 334 pp.
The war against the Aiel has been devastating, but it goes on as the forces led by warriors like the uncrowned king of a land that is dust Lan Mandragoran repel the dark clad enemy. The latest battle is currently just outside of Tar Valon. However, the key is not the bloody skirmish turning the snow red, but what is happening inside the city. An Aes Sedai channel of the One Power nears death prophesizes that a dragon is born, which means either the savior or the destroyer of the world has arrived.
Lan accompanied by an Accepted future Aes Sedai Moiraine Damodred travel to Dragonmount to keep this child alive. The birth of the dragon also means that the Dark One is free once more. Only the dragon can confront the evil as destiny has predicted will occur in the ultimate Last Battle that is if the newborn can be kept alive to meet fate head on. Lan and Moiraine know that followers of the Dark One will try to kill the fledgling.
Though well written and quite exciting, and on an epic scale and while adding depth to the Wheel of Time mythos, this reviewer is not sure why this prequel was written now. The story line is typical of the sub-genre with plenty of exhilarating action and adventure starring heroic individuals, malevolent beings, and a support cast of thousands, mostly fodder. Fans of the series will enjoy this tale that patches up some issues and opens up new questions, but still feels out of sequential time with I think ten "wheels" already published and two or three spins to go.