Consumer note: I own the original hardcover version of this 464-page book, original retail price $17.95, plucked off a remainder shelf for $4.98. Which I will never get back.
Also not getting back: the time I spent reading it. But this finishes my ill-conceived reading project, Frank Herbert's final entry in the Dune series. Previous reports: here, here, here, here and here. To repeat somewhat from those reports: not much happens until the very end; there are a lot of people talking, pretentiously and portentously, including talking to themselves. Random italics and exclamation points!
I must admit: most of the time I had no clue what was going on. And I didn't care much. I lost interest, not caring what happens to the tediously chattering characters or to their entire freaking universe.
There are bad guys: the Honored Matres have returned from the "Scattering", and they are on a quest to destroy the Bene Gesserit, which involves exterminating billions of people and obliterating their planets. In the last book, the original Dune, Arrakis, was blowed up real good. One subplot involves Sheeana, queen of the sandworms, struggling to desertify the planet Chapterhouse, where the Bene Gesserit survivors are huddled, plotting their counterattack. Will Dune's sandworms find a new home? Oh right: I don't care.
I should mention that the very end of the book has Frank Herbert's moving tribute to his wife, who died while he was writing the book. (And Frank himself passed away a little later.) Pair this up with son Brian Herbert's equally moving introduction to the book, which is not in my copy, but you can read at the book's page at Amazon. Brian has co-written sequels and other entries in the universe; good for him, but I will pass.