Title: House Corrino
Author: Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
Page Count/Review Word Count: 592
This is the third and final book in the Prelude to Dune trilogy that Herbert and Anderson worked on as a series of mini prequels for Frank Herbert’s Dune series, although the good news is that there’s plenty more where that comes from. In fact, I’ve barely scratched the surface.
I noted in my reviews for House Atreides and House Harkonnen that I was really enjoying these books and that I didn’t see why they get so much hate. I enjoyed this one a little less than the first two, but I still thought it was pretty good, and so I’m intrigued to see where they take things next.
This one is a bit of a weird book because it’s pretty much all about the culmination of what the previous books were setting up. Because of that, while the first two worked pretty well as standalones, this one really does rely on the two books that came before it, and for a lot of the time, it feels more like it’s tying up loose ends than opening things up and broadening the Dune universe.
But that’s okay, because that’s kind of to be expected given the nature of the book in the first place. And it’s not as though there aren’t other elements going on as well, such as the emperor’s goal of securing his position by killing the half-brother that he didn’t know he had. It’s a very Corrino thing to do.
And of course, we get all of the usual intrigue that you’d expect from a Dune novel, and it very much continues the theme of Dune being a space opera. I’ve made the comparison before, but we’re basically talking about Game of Thrones in space. The difference is that burning down King’s Landing might kill a million at most, whereas in this book, fifteen million people get nerfed in an attempt to kill one man that didn’t even succeed.
You get a real sense that there’s a low value being placed on human lives in a hostile universe that doesn’t give a damn about anyone. The result is a story in which it’s hard to tell what’s going to happen next, and that lends the narrative a certain amount of unpredictability that can keep the reader guessing.
There’s also the fact that both Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson are decent writers, as evidenced by the amount of accolades that they’ve both received for their own work outside of Dune and before they ever started working together. It doesn’t feel as though the franchise was just palmed off on to some hack as an attempt to grab some cash. It feels like a natural continuation that’s based on Frank’s notes by two people who loved the franchise, which is exactly what it is.
As for whether I’d recommend it, I think the answer is pretty obvious. You’re not going to want to skip ahead to it though, because these are very much books that need to be read in order for you to get the most out of them.
But if you’ve stuck with the Dune series so far and you’re getting ready to pick this one up, you’re in for a treat, even if it’s not as tasty as the two treats that came before it. I was very happy with it and I’m looking forward to reading more of the extended Dune series.