Friday, March 25, 2022

Dune: House Corrino

House Corrino (Prelude to Dune #3)House Corrino by Brian Herbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third and final installment of authors Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson’s Prelude to Dune trilogy is dedicated to their wives, with various acknowledgments to individuals such as Penny Merritt for maintaining the literary legacy of her father Frank Herbert, the editors, the audiobook producers, test reader Diane E. Jones, the publishers, and the writers’ families. As in most other books in the storied franchise, each chapter opens with a philosophical quote from a Duniverse character, which really helps the pantheon’s installments stand out.

Despite its title, House Corrino gives equal time to the three major families of the Duniverse, with the first chapter indicating discontent for the Harkonnen clan by the Fremen of Arrakis. In the meantime, Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV anticipates the conclusion of Project Amal, which aims to develop a potent substitute for the spice melange. Duke Leto Atreides also continues to mourn the death of his first son Victor, and rejects an offer by the Tleilaxu to clone him. D’murr also still serves as a Navigator for the Spacing Guild, with habitation of its headquarter world, predating the Guild itself.

The Emperor early on finds his rule challenged by a possible heir to the Golden Lion Throne, Tyros Reffa, and D’murr’s brother C’tair serves the insurrection on Ix. Duke Leto furthers his relationship with his concubine Jessica, and conceives a child that the Bene Gesserit wishes to be female, although Leto is confident his latest scion will be a boy, whom he wishes to name Paul in honor of his late father. Jessica ultimately goes to the Imperial Palace on Kaitain to have her baby there, with a firestorm of events revolving around the offspring’s eventual birth towards the end.

Overall, this is an enjoyable conclusion to the trilogy, with Herbert and Anderson very well maintaining the literary legacy of the former’s father, with a nice mixture of politics, religion, and science. There are occasional details that slipped this reader’s mind, and those new to the Duniverse would definitely find it better to start the Prelude to Dune trilogy from its first installment, even if they don’t go to the series’ chronological start of the Legends of Dune trilogy. The trilogy’s conclusion is definitely a cornerstone of science fiction, as was the case with Frank Herbert’s original entries.

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