What happens after you conquer everything? This is a question i have always wondered about after hearing the story of Alexander the Great. Paul Atreides has won his war against the Harkonnens & the Emperor & his Fremen have brought their jihad to every corner of the known universe.
Yet Paul is miserable. This is partly due to his prescience which traps him as he sees the future unfold & he cannot see any way to escape it. He also sees his beloved Fremen move away from their core beliefs, some returning to harsh violent ways they abandoned long ago.
One of the aspects of this book i appreciated the most was the introduction & exploration of new character. The Tleilaxu, a group only hinted at in Dune, are shown to be a major force in the universe. They bring back Duncan Idaho, killed in Dune, as a ghola called Hayt, a clone with metal eyes (which is such an unnerving & unique twist to differentiate the character that i cannot wait to see it on the screen). One of they key questions in thus book is how much of the original Duncan is left in Hayt. Is he a weapon aimed directly at Paul & his sister Alia or can he be the tool that allows them to escape the trap placed before them?
One last character i have to mention is the dwarf Bijaz, another “gift” from the Tleilaxu who is one of the weirdest and funniest characters in the Dune universe. & it is welcome as the laughs in these books are few & far between but i did genuinely laugh at some of the remarks from Bijaz. & his interactions w Hayt are pure gold.
I cannot wait for this story to be brought to the big screen (although i am even more excited about Children of Dune). Highly recommended