The Barnes & Noble Review
With Frank Herbert's death in 1986, the science fiction phenomenon known as the Dune series seemed fated to end with its sixth volume, Chapterhouse: Dune. But Herbert's son, Brian, working from his father's files, collaborated with Kevin J. Anderson on a series of three prequels, concluding with Dune: House Corrino. Taken together, they form an introductory series that can proudly be touted as a robust addition to the original epic work.
Emperor Shaddam IV continues to extend his rule as he oversees the research and development of a synthetic spice on the captured machine world of Ix. The banished Prince Rhombur Vernius, along with Duke Leto Atreides, each do what they can to free Ix and prevent the emperor from controlling the million worlds of the known universe. Shaddam's evil and ambitious adviser, Count Fenring, has his own plans for making use of the manufactured melange, even while the mystical Bene Gesserit must deal with the fact that their one great hope lies now in the unborn child of Leto and his concubine, Jessica. As House Atreides prepares to go to war with House Harkonnen, all await the birth of a child that will change the course of history.
In a gripping and forceful manner, the authors meet the extraordinary demands set before them and again prove themselves capable of the same imaginative reach and intricacy as found in the original books. Audacious, complex, and highly engaging, the three prequel novels are destined to develop a vast readership of their own. Dune: House Corrino manages to bring a fascinating and wholly satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, even while creating a resurgent interest in Frank Herbert's enigmatic series. You won't be able to read the first page of any of these chronicles without immediately feeling the burning need to devour all the other books as well. Fans of the original novels will welcome any return to their cherished Arrakis, and new readers will leap at the chance to delve into the mystical sands of Dune. (Tom Piccirilli)
In this fully satisfying conclusion (after Dune: House Atreides and Dune: House Harkonnen) to the authors' "House" trilogy, Emperor Shaddam Corrino tries to grasp greater power than any emperor before him and to rule the Million Worlds solely according to his whims. On the captured planet Ix, the research Shaddam directs into the creation of a synthetic spice, amal, that will make him all-powerful spirals out of control, putting the entire civilization at risk. Meanwhile, the enslavers of Ix must contend with threats from exiled Prince Rhombur Vernius, who wishes to rule the planet instead. Tumultuous times are also in store for the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, whose breeding plan has been thrown off course one generation shy of its end. Tension between the houses Atreides and Harkonnen builds to a dramatic showdown. While the intricacy of the first prequel is absent here, so is the filler of the second. Because Herbert and Anderson are extrapolating from someone else's ideas and characters, they tend to overuse catch phrases (like "the Golden Lion throne") from Dune and its sequels with a resulting flatness of language. The inevitable derivative features aside, this is a good, steady, enjoyable tale, and readers who haven't read the first two books can easily follow the plot. A bold, red-and-gold dust jacket, with illustration by Stephen Youll, is a real eye-catcher. Fans who will be sorry to see the end of this series will be heartened by the hint that the Dune saga is far from over. (Oct. 9) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
As Emperor Shaddam IV seeks to consolidate his power as Emperor of a Million Worlds through the monopoly of the spice trade, other forces array themselves in opposition to his increasingly tyrannical rule. Herbert and Anderson conclude their trilogy (Dune: House Atreides; Dune: House Harkonnen) chronicling the years leading up to the events portrayed in the late Frank Herbert's Dune with a war for the liberation of the conquered planet Ix and the birth of a son to Duke Leto Atreides and his Bene Gesserit wife, Jessica. Though dependent on the previous books, this complex and compelling tale of dynastic intrigue and high drama adds a significant chapter to the classic Dune saga. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/01.] Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Third in the Dune prequel series from originator Frank Herbert's son Brian and collaborator Anderson (Dune: House Atreides, 1999, and Dune: House Harkonnen, 2000). Duke Leto Atreides plans to attack planet Ix and drive out the occupying genetic-whiz Tleilaxu, while his concubine Jessica must travel to the imperial capital, Kaitain, to give birth to her child-not the daughter she was ordered to bear by her Bene Gesserit superiors. The Emperor Shaddam grows crueler and less restrained as his conspiracy with the Tleilaxu to develop a synthetic substitute for the miraculous spice "melange" advances. Shaddam's coconspirator Ajidica, the Tleilaxu Master, has tested "amal" on himself and obtained a superhuman brain boost; better still, the imperial Sardaukar troops stationed on Ix are already addicted to amal, so that now they'll obey him rather than the Emperor. The Emperor's agent, Hasimir Fenring, isn't convinced that amal will be an effective substitute for melange and demands more tests. Regardless, Shaddam squeezes the Great Families to reveal their secret spice stockpiles; once equipped with amal, he can destroy planet Arrakis-the sole source of the natural spice-and hold the galaxy to ransom. The plot heads for one of those black-comic moments where everybody's holding a gun to somebody else's head. Even though the cracks are beginning to show, and the sheer narrative power of the superb original series is lacking, Dune in any guise is as addictive as the spice itself.
Praise for the Dune novels of Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson:
Dune: House Harkonnen
— The New York Times Book Review
“The second Dune series is proving to be more accessible and just as entertaining as the original.”
— The Oregonian
“Extraordinarily well-developed and continually fascinating.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Entertaining ... page-turning ... Dune fans will enjoy visiting familiar places and encountering familiar characters.”
— Contra Costa Times
Dune: House Atreides
“Rich interweaving of politics and plotting made the Dune novels special. And Dune: House Atreides does its predecessors justice.”
— USA Today
“A spirited and entertaining adventure ... The real pleasure here comes from watching the authors lay out the plot threads that will converge in Dune.”
— The Philadelphia Inquirer
“[The] authors have woven a web of plots and ideas every bit as complex and compelling as the original Dune novels.”
— St. Petersburg Times
“A rousing story.”
— New York Post