Dune by Frank Herbert
DuneDune – a novel that has captured the imagination of many science fiction fans. I first read it over twenty years ago and was entranced. I quickly read the two sequels that had been written at the time. I have re-read those three at least one if not two times. Then I was busy in school, then catching up on years of missed reading because of school and didn’t get back to this one. Recently the movie was on Sci-Fi Channel. Once again I was pulled in. So when I was looking for a new book on tape to read and saw it there on the library shelf, there was no hesitation.
A great novel is always a pleasure. I was barely a quarter the way through before I remembered why I liked this novel so much. Paul Atreidies accompanies his parents, Duke Lyto and Lady Jessica, to Arrakis, the desert spice planet. The Duke has been given this planet to rule by the Emperor. Yet there are traitors and spies everywhere including within the Duke’s household. He is assassinated and replaced by his enemy, the Baron Harkonnen. Paul and Lady Jessica are able to escape into the depths of the desert.
Paul has a destiny he cannot avoid. As an Atreidies he has connections to the Emporer’s family and rule. He has special training from the mysterious cult of his mother. In the desert, he learns the final lessons he needs to become the prophesied coming savior and ruler. Yet he also has future visions of his own. He could become this ruler. Or his family could lead the Empire into wars that kill millions. Or he could be killed before any of the possibilities could come to pass. He tries to avoid the long range wars yet finds himself rushing towards a fate he cannot control.
This saga is set on a distant planet and has the science fiction setting. Yet it is the story of human struggles. In the royal houses there are feints within feints within feints and tricks within tricks within tricks. Nothing is as it seems. People love, people hate, people maneuver. The story is age old, yet told with a fresh setting. This is a wonderful book.