August 6, 2020

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Duke of Caladan cover Brian Herbert

Dune: The Duke of Caladan – is it worth reading?

In a surprise announcement last week author Brian Herbert, son of the late Frank Herbert, announced he was writing a new Dune trilogy. It will be known as The Caladan Trilogy and will be co-authored with his longtime associate Kevin J. Anderson. What is most surprising is that the release date of the first novel. Dune: The Duke of Caladan is set for October 13th. This news comes as rumors are rife the Dune movie by director Denis Villeneuve may be delayed. The Dune movie did see reshoots during the last few weeks, but the expected teaser trailer has yet to materialize.

Then came the news that other movies such as Tenet, Top Gun: Maverick and A Quiet Place 2 are indefinitely delayed. However, lets not get carried away. Even if it is delayed we still have the new novel to look forward to. As well as the first issue of the graphic novel based on Dune and the first issue of the House Atreides comic adaptation. That is a whole lot of Dune, but lets discus The Duke of Caladan.

What could the trilogy tell us

Little is known about this trilogy or even the first book – The Duke of Caladan. Despite its October release date no book cover is revealed, which is unusual. It suggests this book may be a rusk job by authors Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Which I hope isn’t true. The Caladan Trilogy as it is known has a lot to offer. If, it set just before the events of the first novel by Frank Herbert. You see in original Dune novel the exact reason for House Atreides taking up the fiefdom of Arrakis is not elaborated.

It is suggested Emperor Shaddam IV feels threatened by Duke Leto’s popularity. But we are not made aware why the Duke became such a threat. Part of the subplot of Dune is the idea that the emperor’s decision was made out of illogical fear. By getting rid of House Atreides other houses feel they could be next. Thus leading to a repetition of events with House Harkonnen. That is a situation that plays out in the latter part of the book, but we are not made aware of its genesis. Below is a synopsis for The Duke of Caladan that appears to hint this subplot will be expanded upon.

The Duke of Caladan Synopsis

A legend begins in Dune: Duke of Caladan, first in The Caladan Trilogy by New York Times bestselling authors Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.

Leto Atreides, Duke of Caladan and father of the Muad’Dib. While all know of his fall and the rise of his son, little is known about the quiet ruler of Caladan and his partner Jessica. Or how a Duke of an inconsequential planet earned an emperor’s favor, the ire of House Harkonnen, and set himself on a collision course with his own death. This is the story.

Through patience and loyalty, Leto serves the Golden Lion Throne. Where others scheme, the Duke of Caladan acts. But Leto’s powerful enemies are starting to feel that he is rising beyond his station, and House Atreides rises too high. With unseen enemies circling, Leto must decide if the twin burdens of duty and honor are worth the price of his life, family, and love.

Lets remain positive

As such there is a lot for a Dune fan to look forward to by reading The Duke of Caladan. However, the fear is that neither author will fully elaborate on this subplot, which is often overlooked in the analysis of Dune. Instead, the authors may be tempted to provide a glitzy introduction to the original Dune novel. The subplot solved through various deus ex machina. Their previous extended dune universe novels tended to do with stories that were linear and lacking in depth. But lets not give in to fear. I am looking forward to The Duke of Caladan, and that is what matters.