Dune: The Duke of Caladan
This new Dune trilogy focuses on the beloved core characters of Frank Herbert's classic novel Dune, the world's bestselling science-fiction book.
Leto Atreides, Duke of Caladan and father of the Muad'Dib. While all know of his fall and the rise of his son, little is known about the quiet ruler of Caladan and his partner Jessica. Or how a Duke of an inconsequential planet earned an emperor's favour, the ire of House Harkonnen, and set himself on a collision course with his own death. This is the story.
Through patience and loyalty, Leto serves the Golden Lion Throne. Where other scheme, the Duke of Caladan acts. But Leto's powerful enemies are starting to feel that he is rising beyond his station, and House Atreides rises too high. With unseen enemies circling, Leto must decide if the twin burdens of duty and honour are worth the price of his life, family and love.
Herbert and Anderson's tepid 15th foray into the universe of Herbert's father's Dune novels (after Tales of Dune) adds little to the original series' mix of action, politics, magic, and religion. Duke Leto Atreides, whose son, Paul, here just 14, is the fulcrum of the original Dune trilogy, is attending the inauguration of a new museum built by Emperor Shaddam IV when he notices someone lurking suspiciously in the vicinity of the emperor. Leto sounds the alarm, enabling Shaddam to get off-planet before the museum complex is destroyed by explosives launched from orbit. The subsequent hunt for the terrorist overlaps with Leto's own search for answers after he's accused of being involved in distributing a deadly drug. Meanwhile, teenage Paul undergoes rigorous physical training, alongside a handful of characters who will be familiar to followers of the series. Despite some nice touches, such as the elecrans, sea creatures that move like living lightning, this prequel is largely uninspired. The passable prose and lackluster plot will limit this one's appeal to diehard fans only.