Like New Children Of Dune the climax of the Dune trilogy a sci fi novel by Frank Herbert
By Frank Herbert - Berkley Pub. Corp. (1977) - Book - 408 pages - ISBN 0425033104
Author: Frank Herbert
Synopsis: It is nine years since Paul Maud'dib Atreides walked into the desert. Alia rules the regency until Paul's children are of age. In the bodies of children Leto II and Ghanima posses the collective memories of all their ancestors going back to ancient Earth. Fortunately, they were spared from the Abomination that took Alia. One powerful memory - that of the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, now possesses Ghanima.
At about the time Lady Jessica comes to visit Arrakis and inspect the twins for herself, Farad'n, grandson to Shaddam IV and would be heir to the Lion Throne of the Empire, discovers a plot by his mother to assassinate the twins with Laza tigers. He is angered by the plot and how the tigers were trained (with innocent children wearing stiltsuits). As a gift, stiltsuits are sent to Arrakis for the twins. They realize that it is a trap but use it to embark on the Golden Path. The two go out into the desert where they draw the tigers to their cave and kill them. Leto then embarks for Jacurutu to seek out his father who has been posing as "The Preacher" and denouncing Maud'dib's empire all these years. Ghanima goes back to Sietch Tabr, having conditioned herself to believe that her bother is dead. Alia wants Ghanima to marry Farad'n and she finally agrees - as long as she can kill him on their wedding night.
The Lady Jessica immediately opposes Alia upon her arrival. At a public court, an attempt is made on her life - the attempt being planned by Alia. Alia orders Duncan Idaho to kidnap Jessica and bring her to someplace safe. Using his friendship with Jessica, he takes her to Salusa Secundus to teach Farad'n in the ways of the Bene Gesserit.
Meanwhile, Leto makes his way to Jacurutu and is captured by Gurney Halleck. Gurney and his partner Namri (father of Javid who is the lover of Alia) are charged by Jessica to test him for being an Abomination and kill him if he is found to be one. Leto tricks Namri's niece Sabiha into letting him escape and, braving a sand storm, makes it to Shuloch where Sabiha awaits him. She was sent to this hell hole as punishment for letting Leto escape.
At Shuloch, Leto lets a sand trout glove his hand, then another and another until he wears a living stiltsuit. This new skins gives him incredible power to run and dive through sand even as a worm would. Out in the desert, Leto finally meets is father and becomes his new guide.
The books ends like Hamlet - everyone dies. At neutral Sietch Tabr, Duncan Idaho kills Javid, his wife's lover, and Stilgar kills Duncan for insulting him. At Arrakeen, Alia hears of her husband's death but does not mourn. Paul is killed by Alia's guards and Alia jumps to her death at Leto's words. In the end, Leto and Ghanima will rule the empire with Farad'n being Ghanima's consort.
Review: "Children of Dune" is a disappointment, much more so that "Dune Messiah". It takes a long time to start and eventually does become interesting but half way through it begins to drag again and never comes back. One problem here is that only one interesting event happens - Leto turns into a worm. Other than that the books seems to be about people plotting and traveling from one place to another.
There are too many plots in this novel - Jessica has one, Farad'n has one too, as does Alia, Duncan and Paul but the only plot that seems to matter is the twins'. Disbelief for me came when Leto was picked up in the desert by Gurney Halleck. That part of the plan, the playacting death by the Laza tigers was known only to the twins. If Jessica could guess that, she should have known more about the Golden Path. And who's plan was it to have Jessica train Farad'n. If Leto is really running the show, why is someone waiting for him every time he runs away to another Sietch. Duncan Idaho seemed to be doing too much. We never do find out why he so calmly attempts suicide twice. .