Monday, January 16, 2023

[Review]—"Dune: The Heir of Caladan" is a Flawed but Engaging Conclusion to the Prequel Trilogy

I apologize for the delay in posting this review, but here I am with my thoughts on Dune: The Heir of Caladan, the third and final book of Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's Caladan Trilogy. Did you notice the keyword "trilogy"? You must have read Dune: The Duke of Caladan and Dune: The Lady of Caladan before reading the third since several narrative aspects continue. And, given that the trilogy takes place a year earlier, it wouldn't hurt to read Frank Herbert's Dune beforehand.

Despite its title, "The Heir of Caladan," the novel concentrates primarily on Leto Atreides, Duke of Caladan, rather than his son Paul. The plot explains why Emperor Shaddam turned against Leto and sets in motion "events" that would emerge in the original Dune. Then there's the formation of the Corrino-Harkonnen alliance, which I found less engaging. If my memory serves me well, Lady Jessica replied something along the lines of "We did not get Arrakis" (in Dune), and the authors go into depth on why House Atreides was interested in reclaiming Arrakis (a.k.a. the "Dune" planet). 

Paul has his subplot, where he goes on a road trip adventure with Duncan to the jungles of Caladan, which began as a training session but ended up putting them in danger. Meanwhile, his mother, Lady Jessica, is on a deadly mission, assigned by the Bene Gesserit.  

Overall, Dune: The Heir of Caladan is an intriguing conclusion to the trilogy that leads naturally to Frank Herbert's Dune. It's not a perfect read; there's a lot of repetition in the first half, which the writers seem to have a horrible habit of doing. However, I enjoyed reading the novel, and it's a little bit superior to Dune: The Lady of Caladan (read my review here). ╌★★★½✰

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