The latest piece of fan fiction to be added to the burgeoning bookshelf of B Herbert and KJ Anderson novels, The Winds Of Dune bridges the gap between Frank Herbert’s original Dune Messiah (1969) and Children Of Dune (1976). The story begins where Dune Messiah ended, demystifying the events that took place on Arrakis following Paul Atreides’ disappearance into the desert, which ultimately lead to his descent from hero to tyrant. Another separate timeline encompasses a flashback to Paul’s youth, as told by his mother Jessica to his wife-in-name and biographer, Princess Irulan. It’s a complex tale, reminiscent of Frank Herbert’s approach, with twists and turns aplenty. The delivery of these plot devices, however, can leave a little to be desired in places.
The ‘snapshot’ style structure – with some chapters spanning just two pages – reads more like a series of short stories than a single cohesive piece of narrative. Some may enjoy these bite-sized chunks and the variety they add to the plot, but for us it serves to remove the more cerebral element that is present in each of the original Dune novels. As a result, The Winds Of Dune is perhaps more accessible than the original Dune series of novels, but arguably less mature in style and content, with some inconsistencies in terms of both character behaviour and writing elegance compared to past Dune novels.
If you can swallow these irregularities, it’s an enjoyable read in its own right, and those who have liked previous Herbert-Anderson efforts to complete what F Herbert started will no doubt savour this latest addition to the Dune universe, which provides some (not all) much-needed responses to questions that the original author’s death left unanswered.
[isbn name=”The Winds Of Dune]978-1847374233[/isbn]