Power tempts us all.
Once more an empire stands on the brink of revolution. Alia rules as regent, but without her brother’s gift of prescience she is forced to rely on more mundane methods to cling to power, while voices from the past return to oppose her. Elsewhere House Corrino sets their own plan in motion, preying on the discontent in a vain hope to reclaim their throne. And in the center of it all, Paul’s children, Leto and Ghani. As pre-born they came into the world fully aware, containing echoes of every ancestor, a multitude that they must overcome if they are to have any hope of undoing the fate forced upon mankind by their father’s prescience.
A series of character vignettes ease audiences back into the familiar world of Dune, setting the stage for a complex web of political intrigue. Within each chapter details are carefully doled out, making a minor mystery of the context, before giving way to dialogue and monologue driven scenes. Audiences are challenged to read between the lines and make their own conclusions about the characters, who speak with many layers of meaning.
At times the diverse plots can be a little daunting. Chapters rarely offer more than a scant reference to what’s come before. Instead they consistently plough ahead, engaging a variety of philosophical questions about the moral and utilitarian nature of existence, as well as the burdens of knowledge and duty. Alternating perspectives counterbalance the slow pacing of the narrative, and offer opposing views on the underlying issues. Characters are recognized as both sympathetic and callous, though gradually characters are cast as either villain or hero, paving the way for an ending that is satisfying, if a little anticlimactic, and leaves much unanswered. A strong waypoint that paves a new path for the rest of the series.
God Emperor of Dune (Dune 04)