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am 3. Juni 2000
Children of Dune, the third book of Frank Herbert's series, while not one of the best of the series is certainly an interesting continuation of the Dune chronicle. In this book, the twin children of Paul Maud'Dib Atreides, hero of the first two books of the series must contend with the continued upheaval in the galaxy caused by their father's violent ascent to the imperial throne.
The background for this book is complex: The fallout from Paul's takeover is massive. Paul's ascent to the throne, while possibly the least evil course for humanity given the corruption and stagnation in the human race until his takeover, unleashed a bloody jihad on the galaxy. Paul's original followers, the desert-bred and half wild Fremen have become the leaders of the jihad. As army officers, they are still great warriors; however, they have lost much of their mysticism and their wildness. As a result, some of the Fremen have turned against Paul, as originally explored in the previous book, Dune Messiah. On top of this, Paul's death in the previous book has left only his two young children to rule. Given their youth, the galaxy is being run in their name by their increasingly corrupt and insane aunt, the Abomination Alia, possibly in league with their grandmother who may also be a traitor to them and their step-mother Irulan.
As a result of all this, the book focuses on the children's attempts to take control of the empire and save it from those who will destroy the entire galaxy. Furthermore, they must find a way to take control of the empire while avoiding the mistakes of their father, Paul, who unleashed the violent jihad on the galaxy, allowed himself to be set up as a Messiah and became so addicted to the Spice melange which allowed him to see the future that he became unable to act except as dictated by his visions.
The children strike on a horrifying method to take over the galaxy but avoid the temptation of doing so by foreseeing the future exactly. I will not reveal their method because one of the best parts of the book is the way their method unfolds, twisting and turning until the final horror is revealed. The book is worth reading just to have that revelation.
Another interesting aspect of this book is the fact that for the only time in the Dune series, Herbert's main characters are young children. Although they have collected wisdom greater than anyone else in the galaxy, except possibly their aunt Alia due to their parentage, Herbert is still able to deal with them as children. Herbert shows his deftness as an author, not simply as a sci-fi writer.
The only flaw with this book is that it is significantly less mystical than the prior books. Although the result of the path chosen by the children is very mystical, as revealed in the next book, this book primarily deals with plot rather than Herbert's amazing insights into humanity and religion.
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am 6. August 1999
Muad'dib has sacrificed himself to the desert, Alia is descending into abomination, and the twin heirs to the Atreides legacies are targets is constant peril, yet the true thrust of this book concerns Leto II's (did Herbert forget there was already a Leto II? shouldn't this one be Leto III?) assuming the role his father was unable to truly fill: that of Kwisatz Haderach.
the fastest paced book in the series, Children of Dune almost makes up for Dune Messiah's shortcomings. yet while i was swept along to the conclusion, the air smelled of deus ex machina. it would have been simple for Herbert to include a short passage near the beginning of the novel about Fremen children playing with sandtrout. instead, we are surprised with attributes never before even hinted at.
yet this is still an excellent novel, far better than its predecessor. while it would be nearly impossible to duplicate the original's complexity and subtleties, this and Chapterhouse come closest.
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am 20. Juni 1999
I find this book like a kind of effort to move over with a new plot. I mean this by the following. In the original book, we are told the story of Muad'dib, a man destined to be a king, a messiah. This is more than enough plot to write a series of books (Just what Herbert did) but in this book we're introduced to the son of Muad'dib, a child with tremendous powers and thus, more powerful that his own father. This, at least according to my point of view, contradicts the original plot of a man destined to be Emperor. Personally, I would have prefered Herbert to keep the original storyline and let Paul, and not Leto, the one who overtook the transformation. Still, this is no boring book, it is quite interesting, and the last pages are worth the book's price. Even if Leto had been just a bit more mature, I would have given this book the full five stars. Sorry, it could not be this time.
He mastered the inner world while holding the outer in contempt, and this led to catastrophe. He mastered the outer world while excluding the inner world, and this delivered his descendants to the demons. The Golden Elixir will vanish from Dune, yet Muad'Dib's seed goes on, and his water moves our universe
Neun Jahre sind vergangen seit Paul Atreides sich in die Wüste zurückzog. Dune ist nicht mehr, was es einmal war. Die einstige Wüste, die den Planeten vollkommen umspannte hat sich um die Hälfte reduziert, überall grünt es.
Alia, die mit Duncan Idaho verheiratet ist, regiert im Namen Pauls Kinder während ihre Mutter, Lady Jessica, sich nach Caladan zurückgezogen hat. Paul Atreides Zwillinge Leto II und Ghanima leben in Siech Tabr bei Stilgar. Die beiden sind aber nur äußerlich wie Kinder, denn sie sind wie ihre Tante Alia, geboren mit der genetischen Erinnerung aller ihrer Vorfahren. Die beiden wissen und begreifen, warum die Bene Gesserit Kinder, die mit Bewusstsein geboren werden, als Abominationen ansehen, denn wer weiß, wer in diesem jungen Körper die Kontrolle übernimmt? In ihrer Tante Alia jedenfalls scheint der Kampf entschieden, gegen Alia und für Baron Harkonnen, ihren Großvater, den sie tötete und der sich nun an den Atreides Nachfahren rächen will. Leto vor allem jedoch begreift noch mehr, die Würmer werden Sterben, das Spice versiegen und nur er kann verhindern, dass die Menschheit sich selbst durch Technologie vernichtet. Nur er kann die Menschheit auf den goldenen Pfad führen, aber dafür muss er ein großes Opfer bringen.
Prinzessin Wensicia, Die Schwester von Paul Atreides ofizieller Frau Irulan plant jedoch die Ermordung der Zwillinge, um ihren achtzehnjährigen Sohn Farad'n zum Imperator zu krönen, der eigentlich viel lieber Bücher liest und sich mehr für Geschichte als Politik interessiert.
Nach planetarem Feudalismus im ersten Band und religiöser Diktatur im zweiten Band, ist nun die Regierungsform der absoluten Monarchie dran, in der der Herrscher zumindest mit Gott verwand ist, entmystifiziert zu werden. Voltaire meinte “The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.” Frank Herbert zeigt in den nächsten beiden Bänden, wie sich eine wohlmeinende Tyrannei korrumpiert und demontiert." Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class -- whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy." Zynisch aber war, wie so vieles, was in diesem sehr sozialkritischen und extreme politischen Buch anklingt. Aber es geht nicht nur um Politik, Staatsformen und Intrigen, es geht auch wieder um Philosophie. Leto will sich nicht damit abfinden, dass die Zukunft unabänderlich ist, er will, dass die Menschen wieder frei sind von Prophezeiungen und eigene Entscheidungen treffen können. Er erkennt aber auch, dass Dune eine ökologische Katastrophe bevorsteht. Das Ökosystems Wüste kippt zugunsten eines feuchten Klimas, das das Aussterben der Würmer bedeutet und somit das Ende der interstellaren Raumfahrt, wie man sie kannte. Er hat nur eine Wahl, die Würmer zu retten und zu verhindern, dass die Regeln des Blutlerian Jihad (Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind!) demontiert werden: den goldenen Pfad, ein großes Opfer seinerseits.
Dieses Buch ist einerseits Sci-Fi und Intrigen, aber das ist der geringste Teil. Der größte Teil des Buches sind philosophische Introspektiven über das Schicksal, die Zukunft und ob diese unabänderlich ist oder wir eine Wahl haben. Es geht darum, dass jede Regierungsform sich irgendwann durch Machtgier korrumpiert und sich immer eine soziale Schere auftut. Das Buch ist harte Kost und keine leichte Lektüre. Wer auf der Suche nach seichter Sci-Fi Unterhaltung ist, sollte von diesem Buch die Finger lassen.
Die Konzepte die Frank Herbert in seinen Büchern ersann, wurden von vielen anderen Autoren übernommen, allen voran auch von Marion Zimmer Bradley für ihren Darkover Zyklus, aber kaum ein Buch kommt an die dichte der Themen heran, die Frank Herbert in seinen Büchern verarbeitet.
am 16. Mai 2000
I've read Dune several times now, and each time I come away with the impression that it's absolutely brilliant -- really, a great work of literature. I wish Herbert had reread that first work before moving on to the third novel. Aside from details that only a really nitpicky fan like myself would notice (like who Leto II was originally, or that sandtrout were originally imaginary, or what spice essence does), there are some major shifts in how Herbert wrote characters. What made Dune so compelling was the character of Paul (and others). Or, rather, the CHARACTER of Paul. Talk about pathos! Talk about ethos. The character of Paul was not only well-developed, but developed well as the story progressed. I had a sense of real Greatness that reverbrated throughout the novel, and I knew from where that greatness came. It wasn't that Paul had magic powers (not really) or that he happened to be born with memories, but that he always seemed very strong, very tortured, very intelligent, very competent, and very compassionate (though in his own ways). Leto II and Ghanima are none of these. I don't respect them, since, despite the assurances of the author, they seem consistently young and incompetent. Nor are they ever pathetic characters -- I find myself half hoping that *they'll* be the ones thrown out windows, if only to keep the dozen actually *interesting* characters alive. Leto II's transformation is nothing short of magical (in the perjorative sense), and, emotionally, I can't be moved by it. Simply confused.
Finally, the degradation of Paul and Alia, while interesting, simply don't sit well with me. By novel's end, they cease to be the truly Great characters that they originally were, and a reader, I think, feels that loss and is cheated by it. Too, readers are cheated by the deaths of Paul and Alia. Paul's death especially is anti-climatic and contrary to the buildup in all three novels, and his death is far too pitiful and simple for such an originally wonderfully written character. And while Alia's suicide might be understandable, having her jump out a window, out of control, is just silly.
Herbert ought, I feel, to have simply stayed with Paul and Alia; attempting to create characters superior to them simply created soulless, annoying characters that based all their power on inexplicable magic rather than strength of character. (Yeah, I know the Voice is semi-magical, but it's acceptable and even semi-understandable as the extension of strength of character.) Why not stick with Alia and Paul? The plot and the characters finally seem to have nothing to do with anything outside of Dune. Gone are any relationship to real religion, real politics, real anything. Dune was great literature because, in the end, it was really about people and understandable situtations, not character-less characters solving inexplicable problems in inexplicable ways. Too much pure sci-fi and not enough pathos.
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am 16. Juni 2000
After reading God Emperor of Dune, I am quite glad to readandlearn more about the Dune universe created by Frank Herberthimself. One of the most recent Dune novel I've read is Children of Dune which tells the story of Paul's royal twins, Leto and Ghanima. Both of them have supernatural powers like their father's but one of them is destined to change the history of the universe forever, attempting to save the sandworms from extinction as well as the lost of his humanity. Like other Dune novels, Children of Dune is simply brilliant, packed with politics, religions and a few action sequences. Some of the memorable characters make their appearance as well like Duncan Idaho and Lady Jessica. However, the only catch is that it's too wordy at times. Some people think that it's also too prophetic due to its complexity but readers will later learn that Children of Dune is remarkably beautiful and enchanting. As a conclusion, Children of Dune is one of the greatest achievements ever made by Frank Herbert.
am 21. Dezember 1999
There's no denying Herbert's stylish brilliance, even if he does tend to be a bit prolix at times. However, unlike the richly textured original, this sequel tends to be cold and soulless. This is particularly vexing, because there are abundant attempts at pathos and emotion here which seem to fall flat more often than not.
And perhaps I'm too demanding, but I was completely turned off by the degredation of Paul and Alia. When the time comes for the payoff with these characters, we are utterly cheated. Instead, we get a strangely aloof, unsypathetic, underdeveloped character in Leto II, who, seemingly out of the blue, is thrust upon us as some inexplicable mutant-god, casting aside Maud'Dib like so much garbage. It's baffling and disappointing to me. When I am set up for a payoff, I WANT the payoff dammit. I felt robbed here.
This incongruous, deconstructive conclusion to the original trilogy turns what could have been a great series into an enigmatic jumble. Stick with the original. These sequels only serve to taint that great work.
am 13. November 1997
After reading Dune Messiah, I believe that any Dune fan has to feel a bit disappointed. My faith in Herbert was lowered when I saw he couldn't live up to what he had created. That all changed when I read Children of Dune. The ecological depth of the first book came back as the planet sat in the hands of humanity. With expansions on both the role of the Atreides line and how Duncan Idaho figures into the grand scheme of things, it was clear that Children of Dune walked right in step with the original. Paul's role, although seemingly degraded, possesed a very dangerous yet passive stature. The Ghanima and Leto II added an odd level of youth and maturity that was reminiscent of Paul's chindhood. While the Guild and CHOAM were where they should have been in the struggle, (away from the conflict) the Sisterhood showed how they could be a driving force. All in all, I would have to say that Children of Dune perfected how a sequel such as itself had to stand on its own yet be part of a cycle.
am 19. Juli 1999
The Children of Dune is to me the best in Frank Herbert's first half of the Dune Chronicles. I haven't begun to read God Emperor of Dune as of yet having just purchased it, but I'm very excited and anticipate maximum enjoyment.
While all of the first three books are good, I think this one tops them because it is a climax bringing together the elements of the first two. It may have been more fitting for Paul Muad'Dib to complete the transformation which would have validated the whole Kwisatz Haderach plot, but I'm still not disappointed. Herbert is a master. What more can be said?
The Children of Dune is one of the best SF books I've ever read and I couldn't put it down. The Atreides twins were awesome. This somehow comforted my sense of loss at Paul's pitiful fate. . .
I think The Children of Dune well worth all five stars--plus!!
Be sure to read this one. If it doesn't impress you, I don't know what will.
am 4. September 1998
This book is (as the summary says) my least favourite. Why? Well, it just seemed to me all the way through that very little was happening. Certainly the ending was very interesting, but it still seemed that this book was a way to well and truly finish what Dune started, while leading up to the next book (God Emperor - which is set several millenia after this book).
Still, it has its moments (in the last quarter, at least) and I certainly didn't find the book boring while getting towards the end. Even large sections of relative inactivity seem readable in Herbert's writing style, and it never seemed like hard work.
Read this book, then move on to the last half of Herbert's trilogy. By The Way... this probably deserves more than 3-stars relative to most books, but within the Dune series it just doesn't keep up.