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Dune
By Frank Herbert

    Dune is a story about a futuristic dukedom and all of the superstitions that exist in this future.  In this story, Duke Leto, his son Paul, and their servants move to a desert planet called Arrakis, but nicknamed Dune.

    Dune once had water on its surface, but now it is a barren desert.  The only reason this planet is lived upon is its spice, a substance (actually, a highly addictive drug, as is discovered later in the book) that has a very unique taste and lengthens lives indefinitely.  Also, this spice is used in religious ceremonies for certain groups, such as the Bene Gesserit.  Eventually, one suitcase worth of Spice (since spice is the only word that adequately describes this substance, it has become its name) would end up being worth an entire planet!

    Anyways, the Harkonnean duke, the previous owner of Dune and Duke Leto's arch enemy, attacks Duke Leto and kills him.  Paul and his mother (the bound concbine of Duke Leto, really his wife but not officially so on a political technicality) escape into the desert.  There, Paul transforms into Maud'Dib, a religious figure predicted to appear by the Bene Gesserit.  Maud'Dib is capable of seeing all of the possible paths that the future can take, and he must decide which ones lead where.

    Eventually, Paul Maud'Dib becomes the leader of the Dunians.  He discovered that they were being oppressed by the Harkonneans, and he led them in an attack against the Harkonnean base.  The attack was well-timed.  A Dunian sand storm (capable of eroding all flesh off a person and whittling his/her bones to toothpicks) arrived just as an atomic weapon was detonated at the Harkonnean's shield border.  Since there was 0 visibility due to the sand storm, the Harkonneans couldn't retaliate, but the Dunians had aimed their weapons ahead of time.  When the dust had settled, much of the Harkonnean base lay in ruins.

    A message was then sent to the Harkonnean duke and the Emperor (who, as was discovered later in the book, took a large hand in the attack against Duke Leto) telling them to come out and discuss terms of surrender.  Here the book ends.
 
 

    Due to all the twists and turns in the plot, only the major details were included in this summary.  There were many other subplots and  little pieces of heroism that, if I had taken the time to write them all, would easily fill thirty or fourty pages.  I really recommend this book to anyone who is willing to get into a long book and who enjoys slow, intricate plots.  I think that this book is similar to some of J. R. R. Tolkien's works (specifically the Lord of the Rings series) in that there are tons of names of important places and things, but unlike those works, this book requires that you remember them.  It uses almost all of the names it gives numerous times.
 
 

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