<B>Jordan's Wheel of Time springs eternal</B>From its title, <B>New Spring</B>, the new Robert Jordan novel might prompt fans of the best-selling fantasy author to wonder if he has simply expanded on the short story, "New Spring," that appeared in the 1998 anthology, <I>Legends</I>. As luck would have it, though, the short story is merely the final chapter and epilogue of the novel. That leaves 25 other chapters of pure, fresh Wheel of Time excitement, chronicling a climb by Moiraine Damodred and Siuan Sanche (characters familiar to series fans) to the shawl of the always-respected and often-feared Aes Sedai. The novel also reveals much about Lan Mandragoran's past, most notably why he has a right to the throne of the dead kingdom of Malkier and how he became Moiraine's Warder (a man of great capability pledged to an Aes Sedai). Although some of the recent entries in the series have been disappointingly sluggish, readers who had a hard time slogging through <I>Crossroads of Twilight</I> will be pleased with this new pre-Rand adventure. This is The Wheel of Time at its best: political intrigue, powerful characters, dangerous magic and even more dangerous secrets, a book sure to win new loyal followers for Jordan's epic series.