Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Book Review: Frank Herbert – Children of Dune (1976)

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Note: I got complaints that this is more like a synopsis than a review. I was merely enjoying going through the book again. So now I changed it back to the usual rambling that doesn’t tell you much about actual plot… :P

While following the adventures of the Atreides twins, Frank Herbert uses the third book in the Dune series to discuss global issues that are just as current today as they were thirty years ago when the book was written.

From a political, Paul’s abdication to the throne while his heirs haven’t reached the physical maturity age yet leaves the Empire in a difficult situation. There’s need of a regent to reign in until the twins grow up, but their aunt Alia is not the best choice for that part. Like every party in the story she has her own agenda, not mentioning the fact that she is possessed.

This state of affairs has deep implications on the economical climate. There are already signs on difficulties as the Empire is starting to fall apart.

Aside from that, the religious factor added by Alia, The Preacher and the cult evolved around them gives us a close insight on how religion can influence the masses and where it can lead if used for personal purposes that have nothing to do with the religious feeling itself.

It is understandable that in such precarious circumstances there are various parties, particularly those who had the most to lose when Paul ascended to the throne, who will not pass on the opportunity to fight back and take what they consider as rightfully theirs. The twins are under constant attacks no regular children would survive, but of course our heroes are far from normal.

When it comes to them social implications and family dynamics are studied. Orphans, whose closest relatives - their aunt, step-mother, and even grandmother – who are supposed to love them and protect them do not have their best interests as priority but behave like their enemies at times, their only chance for survival is to stick together and back up one another the best they can. In the process life changing decision have to be made and put into practice, which permanently affect the children.

Underlying all, the constant ecological theme is not absent this time either. Once covered in sand and nothing else, Dune is slowly changing as the flora takes over the desert menacing the sandworm population.

Character death is judiciary applied terminating some of the storylines, though this is not a true ending but the beginning of a new era. We are left with the feeling that there is more to know about Paul Atreides’ children.

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Written for Nemira Fan SF campaign:
“Aceasta recenzie face parte din campania Fan SF”


Vlad P. said...

This is more of an abstract or extended synopsis than a review. Your posts used to be different. Don't you think this spoils the pleasure of reading the book, instead of enticing to it?

Weird Vision said...

See the answer above.