(pb; 1981: fourth book in the Dune Chronicles)
From the inside flap
"More than three thousand years have passed since the first events recorded in Dune. Only one link survives with those tumultuous times: the grotesque figure of Leto Atreides, son of the prophet Paul Muad'Dib, and now the virtually immortal God Emperor of Dune. He alone understands the future, and he knows with a terrible certainty that the evolution of his race is at an end unless he can breed new qualities into his species. But to achieve his final victory, Leto Atreides must also bring about his own downfall."
The plot of the fourth Dune book is the simplest thus far, with less major characters than the first three novels. This is not a disappointment, as it allows for the possibility of a leaner, more action-intense novel.
Unfortunately, Herbert lets Leto II ruminate too often. The seemingly contradictory and meant-to-be-meaningful platitude-riddles that were rousing in the first three books come off as hokum here. Herbert has opted for style over substance, and it's a shame, considering that this could've been a spectacular tale.
So-so book, recommended only for die-hard Dune fans.
Followed by Heretics of Dune.