This article gives a review of the last installment of the Legends of Dune trilogy, The Battle Of Corrin. This novel sets the stage for the newly released Hunters of Dune which saw the presses on the 22nd August 2006.
The last effort in the Legends of Dune trilogy that takes place around 10000 years before the events unfolding in the time of Muad’hib, The Battle Of Corrin recounts the efforts of humans and The League of Nobles struggle to end the Butlerian Jihad.
The story concentrates on Vorian Atreides, now Supreme Bashar of the Army of Humanity, who orchestrates the destruction of most Synchronized Worlds after learning that a gigantic machine fleet is heading towards Salusa Secundus, central world in the League. This happens a few years after Omnius unleashed a bio-plague with killed off a third of humanity. Planets, systems and the government is almost in total disarray, and Omnius takes the opportunity to finish them off with a master stroke. However, scouting parties and spy ships alert the League to this fact and they assemble a spacefolding fleet to atomize all the other Synchronized Worlds, mustering themselves out of stagnation. One after the other, the Synchronized Worlds are dusted with their human slave populations.
The Cogitor Vidad, last of the Cogitors after the cymeks led by the Titan General Agamemnon destroyed the remaining Cogitors on the Ivory Tower on Hessra, betrays humanity again as he informs Omnius-Prime on Corrin about humanity’s plans. The Butlerian Jihad picks up fervor with Rayna Butler, central figure in the new Cult of Serena, an extreme anti-technology cult that is successful in passing edicts in the League.
The story takes place 20 years after The Machine Crusade. The last of the everminds is captured behind an array of scrambler satellites and continues to mount forces behind the siege. With the help of the traitors Yorek Thurr, ex head of the Jipol and Rekur Van, Erasmus designed the plague as well as other little problems for the league, including piranhas mites that are not thinking machines and are free to pass onward through the scramblers.
At the same time, Racquella Berto-Anirul is trying to contain a new plague that comes out of the jungles of Rossak, home to the Sorceresses. The new scourge is more lethal than the previous one, it was modified and mutated in the jungles. Racquella who is the granddaughter of Vorian Atreides, becomes the 1st Reverend Mother and converts the Sorceresses into the Sisterhood after living throught the Agony thanks to an assassination attempt by Ticia Cenza, the head Sorceress.
Mohandas Suk starts the embryonic school of medicine of the empire. And Norma Cenza explores the navigation problem of spacefolding crafts by absorbing insane quantities of mélange. She mutates in a plaz container filled with spice and becomes able to foresee the best paths for the spacefolder crafts, forming the basics of The Guild.
On Arrakis, the Poritin refugees and the Zensunni form a new colony until El’hiim, son of Selim Wormrider, perverts their beliefs by selling out to outsiders. Again Tluaxa slavers appear and Ishmael takes his tribe into the deep deserts and forms the Fremen.
Vorian Atreides comes up with a scheme to rid the League of the Cymeks and he succeeds with killing his own father and the remaining Titans. With this announcement, the League is forced into a new fervor to destroy the last evermind on Corrin. A giant fleet is assembled and departs to destroy Corrin.
On Corrin, the evermind is showing schizophrenic and psychotic delusions. It has voluntarily acquired multiple personalities by keeping the updates that Yorek Thurr and Seurat brought with them separate. Erasmus becomes more tempered and humanlike after educating his charge Gilbertus Albans, notices these strange emotions that appear in the evermind and is worried.
After learning of Xavier Harkonnen’s sacrifice through Vorian Atreides, Abdulurd Butler takes the Harkonnen name and tries to clean the name of his grandfather. Basher Abdulurd Harkonnen betrays humanity at the Battle Of Corrin by lacking the willpower to finish the fight and exposing the fleet to machine ships. He takes off the weapons for the entire fleet and becomes a traitor, forever branded as such. Vorian Atreides his commander and his brother Faykan Butler, Viceroy of the League, have no choice but to shun him for ever, exiling him to Lankiveil. Faykan takes the name of Corrino and discards the name of Butler.
Naturally, Corrin is dusted and a new era begins for the League. Vorian Atreides retires to Caladan. Gilbertus Albans escapes with the memories and personality of Erasmus and goes to form the first mentats.
As mentioned in my review of The Butlerian Jihad, the books written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson all suffer from the same faults. Even if they get better and better, they do not respect the Dune Mythos and possess a quite unnerving tone. The characters are all powerful, moved by the force of history. Everything is happening at once, instead of taking centuries, and the tone is arrogant to say the least.
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