|NEL paperback, reprint, May 1984. Illustration: Bruce Pennignton.|
"More than three thousand years have passed since the events recorded in Dune and its sequels. Arrakis, once a barren desert planet, is now a green and hospitable world. Gone are the giant sandworms that once roamed its surface.
One link only survives between the present and the epic past. Leto Atreides, grotesque son of the prophet Paul-Muad'Dib, virtualyl immortal and God Emperor of the galaxy. In the far past of his childhood his symbiosis with the larval sandworms had brought about his slow metamorphosis into a strange creature, huge and recognisably human only in face and arms.
Tyrannical and secure through his control of the spice melange supplies that confer longevity, he is a ruler with a purpose. Understanding the future he knows that the evolution of his race is at an end unless he can breed new qualities into the species. He knows also that these vital abilities will only prove their viability by the process of his own destruction."