The New Spring graphic novel shows me that Wheel of Time is meant to be illustrated. The prequel to the epic series about the Dragon Reborn looks beautiful on the page. Robert Jordan is known for his lengthy descriptions, but the adaptation by Chuck Dixon condenses the words into a surprisingly fluid tale. Jordan worked closely with the publisher on the comics, so I’m sure that helped.

I enjoy the story of Moiraine before she met Rand Al’Thor. Many key characters show up, and it’s an important moment in the history of Aes Sedai. Some of them know that the Dragon has been reborn. Different sides, including the Black Ajah, rush to find the child. Each person seeking him has different reasons for doing so. You can try reading this if you are not familiar with the series, but it might be murky for you. The illustrated glossary in the back of the graphic novel should help.

The art seems to have themes of sadness and desperation underlying it. It fits this moment in the story. The lines are fluid and delicate, and I can easily accept the artistic renditions of characters I’ve only read about for over a decade. Then you get to the last three chapters of the book. The artist changed, and the contrast in art is marked. The characters seem rougher. It’s like someone ran out of time or stopped caring about the details that were lovingly caressed in all the previous chapters. This is especially true in chapter eight.

Emails from Jordan to the consultants on the story end the book. He gives detailed instructions to the artists and production team, and if you are a fan of the series, you will enjoy every moment of being inside his head. He talks about appropriate weapons, dresses, and hairstyles. It really touched me to be able to read those words. I’d buy the graphic novel for that alone.