God Emperor of Dune
Book 4, Dune
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Book Four in the Magnificent Dune Chronicles—the Bestselling Science Fiction Adventure of All Time
Millennia have passed on Arrakis, and the once-desert planet is green with life. Leto Atreides, the son of the world’s savior, the Emperor Paul Muad’Dib, is still alive but far from human. To preserve humanity’s future, he sacrificed his own by merging with a sandworm, granting him near-immortality as God Emperor of Dune for the past 3,500 years.
Leto’s rule is not a benevolent one. His transformation has not only made his appearance inhuman, but his morality. A rebellion has risen to oppose the despot’s rule, led by Siona, a member of the Atreides family. But Siona is unaware that Leto’s vision of a Golden Path for humanity requires her to fulfill a destiny she never wanted—or could possibly conceive...
Dune and sacrifice.
This segment in Dune folklore and history is remarkable in that the author explores deeply the personal flaws and emotions of nearly all main characters. The character studies are deeper than the previous books, as far as I remember. The characters are so involving you tend to ignore the descriptions of the planet Arakis, and the technological marvels of this future age.
It's all psychology and subplots, intricate and at times very personal. There is also interesting contrasts between altruistic and selfish characters that add to the emotional involvement of the reader. Even in the most selfish characters you can find compassion and forgiveness for their actions. The self sacrifice of the emperor is moving from the beginning of the book to the very end.
To enjoy this book to its fullest, you need to have read the previous Dune books. These new characters of this book owe their complexity and motivations to the Dune legacy started with Paul Muad'Dib.
...not nearly as good or fulfilling as the previous Dune entries. I finished the book and honestly felt as if I had wasted some of my time with this. Still well written and has that "Dune" flavor, I just felt the narrative meandered around a bit too much.
Probably the tenth time that I've enjoyed this journey into the latter part of Leto Atreides II universe, and the first viewed on a screen rather than on paper. Also the first revisit in more than a decade. The experience was more engaging and difficult to put down than during my first read. Lost sleep, which has always been the indicator of my interest in any novel. Frank Herbert at his absolute best!!!