Without even reading a single letter, it is obvious that the final book of the Legends of Dune trilogy ought to set things roughly as we know them from the original Dune universe. And even though you basically know how it ends, The Battle of Corrin is still a thrilling and excellent piece of literature which was obviously given a lot of thought while it was written.
Just to give you a quick heads up if you haven’t read the reviews of the two previous pieces (The Butlerian Jihad & The Machine Crusade) – mankind is fighting with thinking machines and human brains within machines known as Titans and all three sides want to exterminate the other two to live in the universe as they see fit. The Jihad went on for more than a hundred years now and so many deaths are beginning to take its toll among humans.
The “main computer”, Omnius, finally recognized that he can do the most damage to humans by employing another human, namely two persons – Yorek Thurr, former head of security of the Great Patriarch, and Rekur Van, a crippled Tlulaxa researcher who was captured by machines and kept alive thanks to Erasmus, the weird robot that is trying to understand the human nature.
The trio succeeds in creating a deadly virus which mows through The League of Nobles like a scythe. With a death rate in tens of percent, The League suffers a major blow and is therefore susceptible to a final grand attack from the machines. Besides, humans are facing a new threat within – a small girl survives the virus and hallucinates about seeing Serena Butler (who is long dead). The vision then leads to a fanatical Cult of Serena which takes on a quest to destroy any and all machines, which would effectively put mankind into prehistoric era.
But you’d be foolish to think that humans sit on their butts and waited for their extermination; they have responded to the virus by something called the Great Purge, where they take advantage of Norma Cenva’s pre-Guild ships that instantaneously jump over long distances but 10% of ships get lost in the process. Humans are also forced to slaughter all human captives on the Synchronized world, but that sacrifice is deemed as necessary.
Finally, there remains only one Synchronized world – Corrin. The League of Nobles surround it and makes it impossible for the machines to escape, even though they try from time to time. As the threat seems to be neutralized, politicians quickly begin to celebrate a victory (even though there is none) and try to turn on some other, non-war, efforts – especially after Vorian manages to finally eradicate the Titans once and for all.
But Omnius makes his presence known by launching “stupid” machines which are able to penetrate the blockade and which are also perfectly able to kill a human being. Thanks to this attack, Vorian finally gains enough leverage to launch a frontal assault at Corrin and even though a young Harkonnen officer Abulurd tries to sabotage the attack (in order to save human shields), The League eventually wins the battle and finally becomes the dominant species in the universe.
You can find the rest out for yourselves; how all the fractions we know (like Bene Gesserit, Corrin family or the Spacing Guild) came to existence, what happened to Vorian and Abulurd, what was the fate of Erasmus or what was going on at Arrakis all that time.
- 9 out of 10
It must be boring that I constantly give high rankings, right? But the fact is The Battle of Corrin is a must-read for all Dune fans and definitely a should-read for regular folks. Herbert and Anderson have done truly a marvelous job in creating a “historical” version of Dune which perfectly complements the original Dune.
Thank you for reading!