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Dune cover Dune by Frank Herbert

Published by Ace Books

Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel

Dune, winner of both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards, is the story of a young man who desperately doesn't want to be a hero. Paul Atredies is the scion of a decent family in a feudal society where cruelty and exploitation abounds. When a political machination leads to his family's relocation from pleasant Caladan to desert Arrakis, he hears murmurrings of prophecy from all direction.

Just when things seem to have settled down, treachery strikes. The displaced Harkonnens, a family known for both their ruthlessness and their decadent luxury, have turned one of Duke Leto's trusted advisors. Suddenly Harkonnen troops are all over Arrakis, Leto is dead, and Paul must flee with his mother Jessica into the deep desert.

There he encounters the Fremen, the proudly independent people of the sands. At first they are hostile, but Paul's training in the disciplines of the Bene Gesserit prove his merits as a fighter. Both he and his mother are adopted into the tribe, but at a price that will have many repercussions.

With a secure base of operations and a fighting force, Paul begins to harry the Harkonnen occupiers. However, his actions have drawn the attention of the Emperor who rules the entire feudalized galaxy.

Although the novel is complete in itself, the story of Paul and his people continue in Dune Messiah

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Review posted on May 20, 1999

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