Dune: Heir of Caladan (The Caladan Trilogy Book 3) By Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
I'm always on board when Herbert and Anderson release a new Dune tale. I have read them all and love every one of them. Heir of Caladan is no exception to the rule for me. It is a great ending to the trilogy that leads directly to the events of the original Dune novel by Frank Herbert. I've always wondered about the events leading to Dune. Why is there such a vicious feud between House Harkonnen and House Atreides? How did House Atreides come into control of Arrakis? Why does Shaddam IV seem to not trust his cousin, Duke Leto?
Heir of Caladan, we get an idea of the answers to those questions and more.
This segment rounds out the trilogy that also includes Dune: The Duke of Caladan and Dune: The Lady of Caladan. All three books are excellent and well worth the time for fans readers who enjoy the books written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.
It is busy in the known universe ruled by Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV.
Jaxson Aru, son of the CHOAM director, has made it his mission - or obsession - to free the universe from Corrino rule once and for all. He has made it clear he will stop at nothing to accomplish this mission and he has the attention of Shaddam. As a matter of fact, Shaddam is equally determined to rid the universe of Aru, and any of those who are in league with him. The Emperor's Sardukar troops are going to be busy making examples of those who dare to associate with the traitor Aru.
Duke Leto Atreides of Caladan plays a dangerous game. His mission is to infiltrate Aru's organization and attempt to bring it down from within. He has dispatched Gurney Halleck to Kaitain with a message for Shaddam, letting him know he is loyal and what his intentions are. The only problem here is that Gurney has been captured on his way to deliver the message by the Harkonnens. No one knows he hasn't delivered his message.
The Lady Jessica has been taken away from Caladan by the Bene Geserit and reassigned to the planet Elegy to be the new bound concubine of Viscount Giandro Tull. Jessica is on a mission that she hopes is successful, will allow her to go back to Caladan to be with her Duke and her son.
The Ducal heir, young Paul Atreides, is left on Caladan to assume the duties of his father. He faces numerous challenges and hopes to be successful thanks to his mother's training, and the advice of Mentat Thufir Hawat and Swordmaster Duncan Idaho.
And, if that isn't enough, The Baron Harkonnen plots to see that Leto is left with nothing, not even a home. Hasimir Fenring investigates the spice situation on Arrakis, and the Bene Geserit think they are close to producing the Kwisatz Haderach they have long been searching for. One of the problems Paul must solve, once and for all, is the illicit production of the Caladan Drug thought already to have been eradicated.
All the characters are in play in this story of intrigue and plots within plots. As always, they are recognizable as who they are and each unique in their own voice and thoughts.
It is difficult to choose a single point of plot in Heir of Caladan because it is all just that good, but if I was forced to choose one, it would have to be Paul's trials filling in as Duke. He faces quite a few challenges, but young as he is, he appears quite capable of making the hard decisions and isn't afraid to take advice from the advisors surrounding him. Paul faces a few situations, but there is one which tests him at the highest lever because the stakes are the existence of Caladan itself!
My takeaway from Heir of Caladan is that no matter what one's plan is, no matter how carefully one plans, there is always the possibility of failure. In this tale, everyone has a goal they want to achieve, and it seems some come close to seeing those goals become successes, that is, until some random, unplanned element is introduced. It happens through this entire story.
I have read everything in the Dune universe (as far as I know) and enjoyed all of it. It is rich and full of splendid story and things to think about in every single volume. I first read Frank Herbert's Dune in 1984 after being sparked by viewing the David Lynch movie. The Caladan Trilogy continues chronicling the events that lead to that first amazing novel and is every bit as entertaining as all the others. Heir, this latest installment is no exception. It is loaded with heroes, villains, and people in-between. I give my highest recommendations to the trilogy and its conclusion. The characters jump off the page and when you get to the end, you'll want more.
Brian Herbert, son of Frank Herbert, wrote the definitive biography of his father, Dreamer of Dune, which was a Hugo Award finalist. Brian is president of the company managing the legacy of Frank Herbert and is an executive producer of the motion picture Dune, as well as of the TV series Dune: The Sisterhood. He is the author or coauthor of more than forty-five books, including multiple New York Times bestsellers, has been nominated for the Nebula Award, and is always working on several projects at once. He and his wife, Jan, have traveled to all seven continents, and in 2019, they took a trip to Budapest to observe the filming of Dune.
Kevin J. Anderson has written dozens of national bestsellers and has been nominated for the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the SFX Readers' Choice Award. His critically acclaimed original novels include the ambitious space opera series The Saga of Seven Suns, including The Dark Between the Stars, as well as Wake the Dragon epic fantasy trilogy, and the Terra Incognita fantasy epic with its two accompanying rock CDs. He also set the Guinness-certified world record for the largest single-author book signing, and was recently inducted into the Colorado Authors’ Hall of Fame.