Book Four in the Magnificent Dune Chronicles—the Bestselling Science Fiction Adventure of All Time
Millennia have passed on Arrakis, and the once-desert planet is green with life. Leto Atreides, the son of the world’s savior, the Emperor Paul Muad’Dib, is still alive but far from human. To preserve humanity’s future, he sacrificed his own by merging with a sandworm, granting him near immortality as God Emperor of Dune for the past thirty-five hundred years.
Leto’s rule is not a benevolent one. His transformation has made not only his appearance but his morality inhuman. A rebellion, led by Siona, a member of the Atreides family, has risen to oppose the despot’s rule. But Siona is unaware that Leto’s vision of a Golden Path for humanity requires her to fulfill a destiny she never wanted—or could possibly conceive....
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A New Chapter Begins
It's centuries later and Leto is no longer completely human, which creates complex situations for the Dune universe. This, the fourth book in the series and the first of the second trilogy, is right up there with Dune itself as far as intrigue, characterizations and intelligence. As others have touched on, please read the first three books first, otherwise you'll be completely lost.
Great, but don't start here
I'm not going to give away any of the plot. Just know anyone considering this book needs to keep the preceding books downloaded. This is a very complex story that brilliantly investigates and questions the purpose of religion. Also be aware, in spite of some homosexual undertones, Frank Herbert demonstrates some anti-gay views in the book.
I was impressed by book 1 and then decidedly unimpressed by books 2 & 3. And then this! Wow! I have a newfound respect for Herbert and his insight into human behavior and the machinations of the powerful that even the first book only provided glimpses of. While the story itself is not for everyone, let those with eyes read how deep Herbert's thinking goes. I have so many thoughts that have yet to be provoked by re-readings. I will definitely come back to this book again and again.