Another of the ever-expanding books in the Dune universe.
First, I want to take a moment to acknowledge that all the plot lines, all the situations, themes, and everything in all these books sprang forth fully formed in the original book Dune. Dune is a masterpiece. That is all.
This one is no masterpiece, but it's fun. An interesting take on the Butlerian movement and a setup for the world of Dune. I think this second series (Great Schools, starting with Sisterhood of Dune) hews closer to the original intent of Frank Herbert's idea of a Butlerian Jihad (and the fundamental underpinnings of his universe) than the first series did.
The characters seem like unstoppable forces hurtling towards each other: Manford Torondo, Josef Venport, Norma Cenva, Valya Harkonnen, Anna Corrino, etcetera. I was excited to get to this book and see the denouement of how all these folks would interact.
Yes, the ultimate ending was predictable, as is usually the case with prequels, but some of the twists and turns weren't
in the very end, I actually even started to sympathize with Erasmus.
I understood Norma Cenva's motivations,and she was a major motive force for the other characters. Did a good job at answering my question why the Spacing Guild didn't just take over everything in the original Dune series.
I maybe even a little grieved for Josef Venport, and his stubbornness. I was surprised at the depths to which Valya Harkonnen sunk, and I really wasn't surprised at all that Vorian Atreides rode off into the sunset the way he did.
So anyway, that was a book. On to the next one.