Sunday, October 10, 2021

The Winds of Dune

The Winds of Dune (Heroes of Dune #2)The Winds of Dune by Brian Herbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Before the main text of this tale of Dune, the wives of the authors lament how difficult is it to be in a marriage with writers, with Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson acknowledging as before their publishers and the former’s family. Among the opening lines of this story is that Paul Atreides is different things to different people, with the Muad’Dib robbed of his sight by a stone-burner, and the childbirth of his newborn twin children to concubine Chani ending up killing her. Paul afterward leaves care of the Imperium to his sixteen-year-old sister Alia before heading out into the deserts of Arrakis.

Paul rules the Imperium for fourteen years after his overthrow of the Corrino Emperor Shaddam IV, moving the capital of the Known Universe to Arrakeen on Dune. In the meantime, the former Padishah Emperor yearns for his throne back, with propositions that one of his many daughters or his only grandson marry one of the Muad’Dib’s twins in the future, Paul’s scion ultimately named Leto and Ghanima. A funeral for Paul is held towards the end of the first part, although Bronso Vernius of Ix sabotages the ceremony and is thus on the run.

The second section of the novel goes back in time to when Paul was twelve years old after the War of Assassins, indicating that Paul and Bronso were once friends, with a tragedy affecting the latter’s father, Rhombur, accompanied by a revelation about Bronso’s true lineage that ultimately causes the boy to run away, with Paul following. The two join a roaming Jongleur troop, eventually partaking in a performance where another tragedy occurs, and the rift between Paul and Bronso that plays part in the story’s latter portions coming to fruition.

Two months after the end of the Muad’Dib’s reign, Alia prepares to wed Duncan Idaho, with Paul’s sister and their mother Jessica ultimately coming to term with the atrocities committed in the name of the Muad’Dib. A deal is eventually struck between the Atreides and Bronso that somewhat heals the wounds between them, with an execution terminating the story, which is generally enjoyable, although those who haven’t read Frank Herbert’s original Dune stories may find themselves lost, as most of the action occurs after the franchise’s first sequel Dune Messiah, and overall, while a good yarn, probably isn’t the best starting point in the series.

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