Title: The Lady of Caladan
Author: Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
Page Count/Review Word Count: 424
I enjoyed this one a lot, but then that’s hardly surprising. It’s the second of a prequel trilogy which is the latest to come out from Herbert and Anderson, and up until recently, I didn’t even know that it existed. Because of that, it was a little bit of a bonus to discover and read and a continuation of a series that I’ve loved so far and which I even have a tattoo of.
Perhaps the main reason that I liked this one is that Duke Leto Atreides is still alive at this point, and he’s always been one of my favourite characters to read about. I’ve never been much of a fan of Paul, which is probably what Frank Herbert was going for, but his father has always fascinated me. The earlier prequels have a lot to do with that.
We also have some good stuff here about the Lady Jessica, including an exploration into her relationship with the Bene Gesserit. I’ve always not-so-secretly thought that she was a bit of a bitch, but I think Herbert and Anderson did a good job of humanising her here. She’s still not my favourite person in the Dune universe, but I do at least have a greater understanding of what makes her tick.
Of course, this is so far into the series by now that you’re not going to want to read it unless you’ve read the other books, and if you’re tempted to read the books in order of their events rather than in order of publication date, I’d caution against it. I think it’s kind of remarkable that the two authors have been able to build an extension to the series that hops around in time and yet still somehow just works.
There’s another book to follow this one, and I believe it came out a couple of months ago. My copy is already on its way to me, and so I’ll be ticking that one off soon, too. I find that each of the Brian/Kevin collaboration trilogies tends to hit a little trough in the middle, only to pick back up again at the end as everything gets wrapped up. If the same thing is true here, I’ve got a lot to look forward to.
What more do you want to know? It’s new Dune, man. If you’ve been enjoying the series, read it.