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The Winds of Dune
Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
narrated by Scott Brick
Macmillan Audio, 18.5 hours

The Winds of Dune
Brian Herbert
Brian Herbert is the eldest son of SF giant, Frank Herbert. An honour student, he graduated from high school at 16 and married while a full-time student at UC Berkeley, where he received a BA in Sociology. His first two books were humour collections, Incredible Insurance Claims and Classic Comebacks. After that he moved on to novels, including Sidney's Comet, The Garbage Chronicles, Sudanna Sudanna, Man Of Two Worlds (with Frank Herbert), and Memorymakers (with Marie Landis).

Dune Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Dune: The Battle of Corrin
SF Site Review: Dreamer of Dune
SF Site Review: Dune: House Atreides
Bantam Spectra -- Dune Website

Kevin J. Anderson
Kevin J. Anderson was born in 1962 and was raised in Oregon, Wisconsin. At 10, he had saved up enough money from mowing lawns and doing odd jobs that he could either buy a bicycle or a typewriter -- he chose the typewriter and has been writing ever since. He sold his first novel, Resurrection, Inc., by the time he turned 25. Anderson worked in California for 12 years as a technical writer and editor at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he met his wife Rebecca Moesta and his frequent co-author, Doug Beason.

Kevin J. Anderson Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Landscapes
SF Site Interview: Kevin J. Anderson
SF Site Interview: Kevin J. Anderson
SF Site Review: Horizon Storms
SF Site Review: A Forest of Stars
SF Site Review: Dogged Persistence
SF Site Review: Resurrection, Inc.
SF Site Review: Dune: House Atreides
SF Site Review: Lethal Exposure

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Gil T. Wilson

In The Winds of Dune, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson continue to explore the Dune Universe created by Brian's father, Frank Herbert. The Duneverse is filled with opportunities to discover side stories or fill in gaps between the original novels, and the team of Herbert and Anderson has done a fine job without taking anything away from the original stories. In fact, they have added more depth to the series, creating adventures that seem as though they were there from the beginning.

The Winds of Dune begins after the events of Dune Messiah, jumping back and forth in time from before Paul Atreides came to Dune to the events during Paul Maud'dib's Jihad. As told by Frank Herbert at the end of Dune Messiah, a blind Paul has walked off into the sand and is presumed dead. Jessica and Gurney are on Caladan; Alia is trying to hold the Imperial government together with the help of the Duncan Idaho Ghola; Mohiam is dead at the hands of Stilgar; and Irulan is imprisoned. And Paul's former childhood friend, Bronso of Ix, now seems to be leading opposition to House Atreides. With the characters from the classic novel in place, Herbert and Anderson tell a story of true friendship, true love and the bonds of family.

After hearing of her son's death Jessica, Duchess of Caladan, and Gurney Halleck, Earl of Caladan, return to Dune to mourn the death of Paul and his concubine, Chani -- who is also the mother of Paul's children, Leto and Ghanima. During Paul's funeral there is great celebration of the life of Dune's Messiah, Paul Maud'Dib. The funeral is interrupted by Bronso of Ix, claiming Paul is not the Maud'Dib but simply Paul Atreides. Bronson has spent his time, since Paul became the Messianic Emperor of the Universe, trying to thwart all attempts at making Paul out to be a god by simply pointing out his human flaws. Irulan (Paul's wife) is told by the new Empire's Regent, Alia, (sister of Paul, and the Bene Gesserit abomination) to write only things that put Paul in a positive light or she may be tortured or put to death.

Jessica then tells Irulan why Bronso is writing these negative things about Paul. This takes the book on its first flashback, in which the listener is told of the time when Paul and Bronso first met and why they became best friends. Both boys were only about 12 or 13 years old when Paul was sent to learn about the manufacturing-based planet of Ix. The families of Paul and Bronso have a strong bond and both boys pledge their loyalty to each other.

Meanwhile, the Bene Gesserit are upset with Bronso's mother (a Bene Gesserit, herself) and demand she return to Wallach IX to become a breeding mother. She resists and the Bene Gesserit use a Guilt caster to put her in a catatonic state. Not knowing what to do, Prince Rhombur sends her with the Bene Gesserit in hopes of finding a cure. Rhombur then reveals to Bronso that, due to an accident that left Rhomber a cyborg, he was not able to father a son and that Bronso is not his natural son. Bronso runs away and, out of honor, Paul runs with him. During this adventure Paul and Bronso are befriended by a leader of a Jongleur troop. Jongleurs are travelling performers, so this makes this adventure very similar to the boys running away and joining the circus.

Moving forward to the current time-line, Alia is using all forces available to capture Bronso and anyone caught with anti-Paul Maud'Dib material is put to death. Jessica then takes Gurney and Irulan out to the desert to finish her tale of Paul and Bronso. This flashback goes back to when Paul has become Emperor and the Maud'Dib, and the empire is fighting Paul's Jihad.

Jessica has been called to Wallach IX by the Bene Gesserit. They want her to kill Paul so that his empire will crumble and the Jihad will end. While making her decision Jessica discovers that Bronso's mother, while not completely healed, is alive and awake on Wallach IX. Jessica is called to Ix by Bronso and when she arrives on Ix she finds Paul with Bronso. Then, moving forward to the "current" time, Bronso is captured and is sure to face execution.

This book moves seamlessly among the other books in the Duneverse. And like the others, it is filled with plans within plans and no one knows the complete story until the very end. Once again Scott Brick gives a stellar performance, creating the moods and emotions that match the written word. He perfectly depicts subtle changes in mood and thought, and his voice will keep you glued to The Winds of Dune.

Copyright © 2009 Gil T. Wilson

Gil T. has spent a quarter of a century working in radio and has lots of spare time on his hands and reading or listening to books takes up all that time. Check out his blog to find out what he's up to at any given moment.

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