God Emperor of Dune-Dune 04-5/5

By Frank Herbert

For the sake of humanity he sacrificed his own.

Dune 4 God Emperor of Dune Cover

Dune has been transformed. Its once dry deserts covered by green, all thanks to Leto II. As a boy he bonded with the sandtrout skin. Now he guides humanity down the Golden Path, as he slowly transforms into a sand worm. Some worship him as a god, others curse his name and call him tyrant and monster, but no one truly understands him, until now. After three thousand years one person will succeed where countless weapons could not. They will pierce Leto’s armor, and threaten the Golden Path.

God Emperor of Dune is simultaneously one of the more ambitious and subtle stories I have ever read. The opening encapsulates the whole with an excerpt from Leto’s journals, highlighting his own struggles with identity, a taste of the rich and sometimes contradictory language that fills these pages.

Chapters alternate between half a dozen main characters; each on their own journey of discovery. Scenes are a mix of dialogue focused conflicts, and deep introspection. Perspective frequently drifts between the past and present, emphasizing the character’s thoughts and feelings over actual events.

This gives the story a slow, meandering pace. Characters plod along, often making idle conversation as they wait for an opportunity. But through these conversations a plethora of topics are engaged. Some question the dichotomy between free will and safety (chaos vs order), others consider the nature of truth. Throughout the story audiences are encouraged to pause, and really consider the unspoken meaning behind what’s been said. Through it all misunderstanding sets the stage for the main conflict, which leaves audiences with one last question: Was this a tale of tragedy, or the difficult path of a hero?

+Strong, Complex Ideas
+Strong Writing
+Strong Dialogue
+Strong Perspective
*Predictable but fitting plot


Next Time…
Heretics of Dune (Dune 05)

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8 thoughts on “God Emperor of Dune-Dune 04-5/5

  1. Dune is one of those novels that I have never gotten around to reading, but have heard so much about. I know it’s good, but I just haven’t found the time to read it. (And yes I know I should make some time for it lol 😂). Great post 😀

    • Thank you. God Emperor is perhaps one of 3 (for now), that truly leave me in awe of what they’ve done. Among strong stories by remarkable authors they stand above the rest. Dune is a very good story, particularly if you like complex philosophical questions and a challenge against simple morality, but God Emperor, for me, stands above because of its protagonist. I’ve read other stories where characters live a long life, but this one more than any other felt true. The alienness of Leto II, to me, felt very appropriate for someone who had lived more than 3,000 years.

      Of course in a world full of so many good books, which ones to read is a very subjective choice. I definitely read my share of “bad” ones because I enjoy them, and sometimes it takes me years to get around to reading something because, deep down, I’m not at a place where I really want that kind of story. Fortunately a series like Dune is unlikely to disappear any time soon, so I wouldn’t worry.

      Thank you for the compliment. Keep in mind that there are 3 more reviews posted for the Dune series, and two more on the way (shameless plug) ;-).

      • Haha..lol, always good to have a couple of shameless plugs inserted lol 😂 I will check those out somewhere in the weekend. But yes Dune has been around for quite a while. That one along with the Amber books, are a couple of novels that I hope to get around to one day. Both of them feature storylines that really interest me 😊

      • One of these days I should review Chronicles of Amber. After you read them is love to discuss. I will say, it’s a tricky series. I get the impression Roger Zelazny didn’t quite plan them out, so sometimes later books undercut earlier ones, twisting character motives and goals to veer off in a new direction. It is a very fun series, with some beautiful, and irreverent moments.

      • Looking forward to that 😊 I’m currently in the middle of reading The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, by Stephen Donaldson. This so far has been a blast as well. Lately reading has been a bit under the radar for me, but I plan to spend July reading a lot of novels 😊

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