I am back to it! And I think I finally ‘settled in’. The last chapter was the first one that wouldn’t let me put the book down.
Chapter 11,12,13 & 14 take place at the Atreides home on Arrakis. It’s mostly meetings, discussion of strategy and thinking about how to deal with the Harkonnens and not dying. While Duke Leto is talking to his advisors and allies, Paul always watches and learns. So what’s happened? We meet one of the Fremen, who is suspicious but shows respect to the Duke (by spitting on the table) and agrees to let Duncan Idaho join their ranks.. while he still reports to the Duke. Good move! They are starting to gain the Fremen’s trust.
Although I think it would be much easier to just let Paul throw around random bible quotes. They love that. They appear very superstitious and hope that Paul is their promised Messiah. His mum is Bene Gesserit, as the Prophecy says. And he fits a few other descriptions like seeing through lies or adapting to the way of the desert quickly.
Leto becomes noticeably more worried and tired especially after he got the news that a note was found on an Harkonnen dude, which says that an attack from someone he trusts will come. Leto’s Mentat Hawat suspects Jessica but Leto himself sees through it and suspects that this is what the Harkonnen’s want him to think. What about Hawat though? He was quick with putting the blame on poor Jessica.. Also he acts like he’s hiding something!
In Chapter 15, Leto, Paul and Halleck finally venture out into the desert to have a look at how the Spice is harvested. They meet Dr. Kynes, the head ecologist/planetologist, who is a Fremen but also in service to the Empire. He’s ready for some backstabbing and betraying and doesn’t trust the Atreides clan at all! It’s all very tense as Leto and Paul try to gain more knowledge about the operations etc.
And theeeeen we get sandworm action, yay! I have been waiting for that! A sandworm is about to attack the Spice mine and something goes wrong.. Leto heroically saves the workers in the last minute and bitches about the security and that he means to change all that. Dr. Kynes ends up thinking that Leto doesn’t seem like such a bad guy at all!
That was really, really cool and it’s exactly what I wanted from this book. I love the fact that so much about the Spice Trade and Arrakis still remains a mystery. Like the relationship between worms and Spice. I also really like Leto and will be sad when he gets assassinated. I hope it’s not coming too soon!