Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Paul of Dune

Paul of Dune (Heroes of Dune #1)Paul of Dune by Brian Herbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Authors Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson dedicate this yarn of the Duniverse to their wives, and acknowledge their publisher and the Herbert family. Like other books in the storied franchise, each new chapter opens with a philosophical quote, one of the earlier ones being that history is a moving target. Princess Irulan seems to get the bulk of these quotes, being the historian of Paul Atreides, with the story covering his youth after the Prelude to Dune trilogy and those between Frank Herbert’s Dune and Dune Messiah, during Paul’s Fremen Jihad that puts him in control of the Known Universe.

The first part opens a year after the fall of Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV from power, with the former leader’s Imperium crumbling, and Paul wanting to protect his father Leto’s resting place on Arrakis. The armies of the Muad’Dib have spread across the Known Universe, and several parts deal with Paul’s preteen years, the future Messiah having nearly died in the War of Assassins, his youth setting him up for adulthood. During his youth, The Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV marries again, with previous wives dying under mysterious circumstances, and still has no male heirs to the Lion Throne.

Paul’s sister Alia plays part in the story’s latter parts and chapters, with some decent twists and surprises towards the end that generally round out this story well, although it’s certainly not the best starting point for newcomers to the franchise, with readers likely wanting to read the original Dune beforehand, given the bulk of events that occur after it and before Dune Messiah, although this reviewer certainly found it an effective mix of political, religious, and scientific themes, and would certainly recommend it to series enthusiasts familiar with the general story of Frank Herbert’s original stories.

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