Dune Messiah-Dune 02-3/5

By Frank Herbert

Once he sought the future, now he hides from it.

Dune 2 Dune Messiah Cover

Guided by visions, Paul became Maud’dib, who led the Fremen to victory against their enemies. Drunk on religious fervor, the Fremen swept through the universe, smashing the delicate balance of political forces and uniting all under the absolute authority of their messiah.

But after twelve years Paul knows no peace. The factions he overthrew continue to plot against him, and even his allies have begun to turn against him. Everywhere power corrupts, and nowhere is power more concentrated than in Paul himself.

Contrast plays a critical role in setting the story apart. Conspiracies combine with bitter truths to drive the story inward; confronting each character with the harsh realities of an imperfect world. Scenes are rife with complex ideas, but lack a common thread to unite them. Instead the various conflicts isolate each character, surrounding them in repetitive allusions to an ending they are powerless to prevent. Tragedy quickly turns into bittersweet relief, setting the stage for the next chapter in the story of Dune.

+Strong Characters
+Strong Ideas
*Challenging Writing
-Weak/Thin Plot
-Slow Pace


Next Time…
Children of Dune (Dune 03)

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8 thoughts on “Dune Messiah-Dune 02-3/5

    • The Dune series is definitely a strong example of science fiction, but I don’t believe any story is so strong that it will appeal to everyone. The story focuses on how political forces bind and restrict us, necessitating compromises and imperfect, sometimes tragic resolutions.

      The ideas are interesting, the characters well developed, and the writing is challenging, but it’s not a happy read, and the omniscient POV removes much of the uncertainty found in most narratives.

      It certainly offers some strong examples for any writer to learn from, but if you read the first few chapters of Dune and didn’t care for it, I doubt you would find much cause to change your mind.

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