House Corrino (Prelude to Dune) Paperback – 18 Apr 2002
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House Atreides is a terrific prequel, but it's also a first-rate adventure on its own. Frank Herbert would surely be delighted and proud of this continuation of his vision. (Dean Koontz on House Atreides)
Those who long to return to the world of desert, spice and sandworms will be amply satisfied. (The Times on House Atreides)
Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson succeed in weaving their own intricate saga. Dune: House Atreides does its predecessors justice. (USA Today on House Atreides)
Succeeds admirably (The New York Times Book review on House Harkonnen)
House Harkonnen is compulsive reading. I certainly enjoyed meeting pardot Kynes and Liet, learning more about the Freman, as well as Gurney Halleck, Duncan Idaho and the Lady Jessica. Such vile villains...and such a fascinating description of splendid places. (Anne McCaffrey on House Harkonnen)
The third and final volume of Prelude to Dune brings this gripping series to its close, only a few years before the beginning of Frank Herbert's classic science fiction novel Dune.See all Product description
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I didn't think the the last two prequels were absolute classics, but they were extremely entertaining to read. This one is the best out of the bunch, and the one I felt I had to give 5 stars. Not only in commendation of the excellent work both autors put in, but I honestly thought I was reading a book by Frank at some points.
The books feel like one long story, and in a way, they are. But this one was the most action packed and the most un-put downable (is that a word?). The set pieces involving Ajidica are fantastic, and you just know that they are setting the scene for the long-awaited 'Chapterhouse: Dune' follow-up, 'Dune 7'. Even though it is set 5,000 years before the events in that book, you get an idea of just where Frank Herbert was heading. Don't forget, these guys actually found Frank's notes for 'Dune 7' and said they adjusted the story accordingly. Look for the clues, they are there.
The story simply thunders along. For a long portion in the middle, you simply cannot stop reading; the Heighliner accidents and struggle for Ix are great sci-fi. In fact, and this must sound funny in a way, when the parts on Dune itself kept cropping up, they didn't match the imagination of the authors' vision elsewhere. I found this quite refreshing after so many Herbert books set on the dusty planet.
The finale is great, if (obviously) a tad predictable. But the way you GET there is the great high point of this book; even a few surprises and twists crop up. Although he had a bit-part in Dune, the part of Count Fenring has been fleshed out to produce one of the best characters in the whole series. The parts involving him were very entertaining to read indeed.
Overall, a magnificent achievement. You can't make any protest now about these two talented authors finishing off Frank's original masterpiece now. I myself can't wait.
Towards the end, as the various scenarios played out to their conclusions, things did got a bit more interesting. This was where Herbert and Anderson were able to fill in some gaps in the "Dune" backstory; my favorite would probably be the whole bit with the Bene Gesserit breeding program for producing the Kwisatz Haderach and the continuing ecological plan of Leit-Kynes for Arakkis (although less so with the latter than in previous volumes). I was even rethinking the rating I was planning on giving this book, but then Duke Leto announced the middle name for his son Paul and I went directly to my "Give me a break" mantra: how do you think the Lady Jessica would feel about Paul having that middle name? Especially when you take into account how Leto feels about his own mothers. Then again, clearly the goal here is to show what Frank Herbert's giant cast of characters were doing before the
Obviously, your decision to read "House Corrino" should already have been made. No one is going to read the third volume in a trilogy if they have not read the first two volumes. My general observation about the entire trilogy would be the closer the trilogy gets to the events of "Dune," the weaker the narrative; the converse would apply as well. I certainly enjoyed "House Atreides" the best of the three, but I think "House Harkonnen" and "House Corrino" are a toss-up down on the next level. Of the trio of titular characters the authors do the most fleshing out with Shaddam, who is certainly a lesser figure in Dune than Duke Leto or the Baron Harkonnen. The next time I re-read "Dune" I will be interested in seeing how well this trilogy fills in the book's massive backstory. For fans of the Dune series this is something you should probably read once, but my prediction (done without the use of melagne) is that you will not be going back and rereading it again.
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I will say this once and I do know this will set howls of derision from...House Atreides (Prelude to Dune)
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