Winds of Dune
by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson
Read by Scott Brick
Produced by Macmillan Audio
Run Time: 18:30
Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson continue to explore the Universe of Dune created by Brian's Father Frank Herbert, with this latest installment, "Winds of Dune." The Duneverse is filled with opportunities to write side stories or fill in gaps between the original novels. This job could not be done by just any Sci-Fi writer, and the team of Herbert and Anderson have not only done the job but they have done the job without taking anything away from the original stories. In fact, they have added more to the series that seem as though they should been there from the beginning.
The Winds of Dune begins after the events of Dune Messiah and jumps back and forth in time to before Paul Atreides came to dune and to the times during Paul Maud'Dib's Jihad.
Paul has walked off into the sand, blind, and is presumed dead as told by Frank Herbert at the end of "Dune Messiah", Jessica and Gurney are on Caladan; Alia is trying to hold the Imperial government together with the Duncan Idaho Ghola; Mohiam is dead at the hands of Stilgar; and Irulan imprisoned. Paul's former friend, Bronso of Ix, now seems to be leading opposition to the House of 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 (also mother of Paul's children, Leto & Ghanima). During Paul's funeral there is great celebration in the life of Dune's Messiah, Paul Maud'Dib. The funeral is interrupted by Bronso of Ix (one of Paul's childhood friends) claiming Paul is not the Maud'Dib but simply Paul Atreides. Bronson of Ix has spent all his time, since Paul became the Messianic Emperor of the Universe, trying to thwart all the attempts at making Paul out to be a god, by simply pointing out his human flaws. Irulan is told by the now 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 a time when Paul and Bronso of Ix 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. Both houses, Vernius of Ix and Atreides of Caladan are very close due to Duke Leto of Caladan once marrying a descendant of Vernius, and both boys pledge their loyalty to each other to their fathers. The Bene Gesserit are upset with Bronso's mother (a Bene Gesserit, herself) and demands she returns 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 the 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 traveling performers, so this makes this adventure very similar to the boys running away and joining the circus. During this excursion Paul and Bronso learn some Jongleur techniques including a form of mass hypnosis, which comes in handy when Paul becomes the Maud'Dib.
Flashback to the books real time and Alia is using all forces available to capture Bronso. For a reasons unknown at the time Jessica has Gurney Halleck stall the capture. Gurney is working with the Ghola Duncan to track down Bronso, and through his undying loyalty to House Atreides Gurney stalls as best he can. Meanwhile anyone caught with anti-Paul Maud'Dib material is put to death under orders of Alia.
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 Bronso's mother, while not completely healed, alive and awake on Wallach IX. Jessica is called to Ix by Bronso and when she arrives on Ix she finds Paul with Bronso. Here Paul reveals that Bronso is to spread the word Paul is a mere human to keep the Mythology of Paul Maud'Dib at bay.
Back in the book's real time Bronso is captured and is sure to face execution. This book goes perfectly along the lines of all the books in the Duneverse, in that it again is filled with plans within plans and no one knows the complete story until the very end.
Once again Scott Brick performs in his usual stellar reading, creating the mood and emotions of the book from the words written by Herbert and Anderson. Brick is perfect at the subtle changes in mood and thought by small shifts in his voice that keep you glued to "Winds of Dune."