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Here we go again...
am 14. Mai 2000
I've been following the Dune Saga for some years now. The first book, "Dune", was by far the best of them all. Frank Herbert introduced us to the intrigueing world of great families fighting on a small but crucial planet called Dune, home of the spice.
When I finished "Dune" I couldn't wait to see what would happen to Paul Atreides "Muad'Dib", Chani, etc. Unfortunately, "Dune Messiah" was so disappointing. It seemed as if the author, run out of ideas, wished to "kill" Paul as quickly as possible. And so he did. "The Children of Dune" was enjoyable and "God Emperor of Dune" was by far the worst of the Saga.
However, despite the fourth one, I decided to read "Heretics of Dune". Now that I finished it, I must say that this book is almost as good as the first one. Thousands of years have passed since the death of Leto II and the humanity must cope with the consequences of the "Big Dispersion". All the characters in this book are new, which is a good point. This time, the author chose to focus on the Bene Gesserit Order. The description of the order is much more interesting and deeper than in the previous books. Soon we, the readers, discover that the Bene Gesserit are facing a new enemy, the Honoured Matres, who are in fact a branch of the BG that came back from the "Big Dispersion". The conflicts between the two of them and the plot are highly intrigueing, thus contributing to make this book a real page turner. It is a real fun to read about Rakis, where each corner is carring the memory of the Baron, Jessica, Paul and his children. Another good point is the arrival of a new character, Miles Teg, the Bashar of the Bene Gesserit. Herbert largely describes the old Teg: his thoughts, feelings, victories and loyalty to the order of the BG. While reading about Teg, I had the feeling that the author wanted to compensate his failure with "Dune Messiah". Teg is the image of Paul: a warrior, a lover and a father, who grew old and now has to face many inner conflicts, that each one of us has to face when our life is about to end.
As a matter of conclusion, I would say this book is very good. It has got all the usual stuff: action,love, friendship, philosophy, interesting characters and so on. Pity that it does not come right after "Dune". I can assure you that you can start with "Dune" and skip right to "Heretics of Dune". Trust me. The three previous ones are not as good and you won't miss a thing!