Dune: The Expanded Saga

Earlier today, I wrote about Frank Herbert’s genius as a writer.  Much of which centers around the Dune universe he so meticulously created.  I was going to leave it at that…but I couldn’t let sleeping dogs lie.  I spent some time thinking about the Dune universe Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson continued.

Some hate the books because they are not anything remotely like Frank Herbert.  A small, yet vocal minority would hate anything not written by Frank Herbert, himself.  It is a losing battle with these people.  Some detractors had high hopes, but were let down for varying reasons.  They do have legitimate and understandable gripes.  Some readers like the new books better, because they simplify the unbelievably complex nature of Herbert’s world.  Some enjoy both takes on the Dune universe.  I, myself love Herbert’s original vision, but I do enjoy the later works (some more than others).

The first trilogy by Herbert/Anderson is the House Trilogy and takes place shortly (that is a relative term for the expansiveness of Dune) before the events in Dune.  The three novels are House Atreides, House Harkonnen, and House Corrino.  Once it sank in that the layers upon layers of intrigue were not going to be there (my favorite part of the originals), I overcame my disappointment and grew to enjoy the trilogy.  It is action-packed yet still a character driven trilogy.

The next trilogy is where the duo shine, in my opinion.  I love the Legends Trilogy.  The Butlerian Jihad, The Machine Crusade, and The Battle for Corrin is a trilogy I enjoyed from the outset and recently re-read the whole thing and love it more the second time.  The writers had more of a blank canvas to work with this time.  Herbert left bits and pieces of mankind’s tragic history as clues throughout the Dune books and I believe his son and Anderson did a superb job putting them together to come up with a storyline wholly their own, while still paying homage to Frank Herbert.

Several books follow that fall into place in different spots along the Dune chronology.  I don’t know if it is Dune hangover or what, but I have been having great difficulty digging into these books.  So many books set in the same universe seems to be asking for trouble.  I have tried to broach Hunters of Dune on more than one occasion.  Thinking maybe it was the later setting of the book, I also tried Paul of Dune.  It’s not that they are bad (what little I read)…it just may be too much of a good thing.

Reads:

Legends:
The Butlerian Jihad
The Machine Crusade
The Battle of Corrin

Houses:
House Atreides
House Harkonnen
House Corrino

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