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Children of Dune by Frank Herbert

Children of Dune (original 1976; edition 1978)

by Frank Herbert

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10,26455435 (3.74)102
In this third installment, the sand-blasted world of Arrakis has become green, watered, and fertile. Old Paul Atreides, who led the desert Fremen to political and religious domination of the galaxy, is gone. But for the children of Dune, the very blossoming of their land contains the seeds of its own destruction. The altered climate is destroying the giant sandworms, and this in turn is disastrous for the planet's economy. Leto and Ghanima, Paul Atreides's twin children and his heirs, can see possible solutions--but fanatics begin to challenge the rule of the all-powerful Atreides empire, and more than economic disaster threatens.… (more)
Title:Children of Dune
Authors:Frank Herbert
Info:New English Library Ltd (1978), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

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Children of Dune by Frank Herbert (1976)


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Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune picks up where Dune Messiah left off, with Paul Muad’Dib Atreides having walked into the desert, his sister Alia ruling as regent on Arrakis, and his two children Leto II and Ghanima in her care. Both children have Paul’s prescient abilities while Alia has been overcome with the Bene Gesserit genetic memories as a result of her mother Jessica drinking the water of life while pregnant. The personality of her grandfather, the deceased Baron Harkonnen, begins to take control of Alia. Both the Tleilaxu and Spacing Guild conspire with House Corrino, the royal house of the late Emperor Shaddam IV, to gain control of Leto and Ghanima and, through them, the spice trade. In order to evade the plotting of the Tleilaxu, the Spacing Guild, and his own aunt, Leto fakes his death and embraces the fate his father rejected when he wandered into the desert.

The theme of ecology continues to run through the Dune series, with Alia musing, “She tried to focus her mind on what the grass implied. The presence of plentiful dew told her how far the ecological transformation had progressed on Arrakis. The climate of these northern latitudes was growing warmer; atmospheric carbon dioxide was on the increase. She reminded herself how many hectares would be under green plants in the coming year – and it required thirty-seven thousand cubic feet of water to irrigate just one hectare” (pg. 57). Such as focus on water and greenhouse gases makes the 1976 novel appear all the more modern in its focus. In addition to the ecological message, the diversity of religion continues play a key role in the plot, with Alia representing an abomination to the Bene Gesserit and the leader of the new faith that reveres Paul Muad’Dib Atreides as a messiah. At one point, she plans to grant mercy to someone, only for them to quote the Orange Catholic Bible, “Maleficos non patieris vivere” (pg. 58).

Herbert continues his practice of beginning chapters with excerpts from books that exist in the future world of Dune, both adding verisimilitude to the novels and helping shed light on the underlying philosophies and cultural ideas that drive his characters’ actions. One in particular that Herbert credits to “Politics as Repeat Phenomenon: Bene Gesserit Training Manual” stands out for its prescience: “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” (pg. 190). While Herbert continued the Dune series after this novel, it marks the final appearance of most of the original characters and ends in such a way that their stories are largely resolved. ( )
1 vote DarthDeverell | Aug 19, 2019 |
Nine years after Paul Maud'dib disappears into the desert, leaving his newborn twin children Ghanima and Leto II orphans, we find that Alia has succombed to her Abomination fate, Irulan is as ineffectual as ever, Jessica returns to Dune, "and all the rest" are further devolving in the hot mess that this series has become. Duncan Idaho was the only character who got any sympathy from me throughout.

There were interesting moments and developments, the main story and struggle still have draw to them, but the series' best assets: its structure, the expansive universe, the mysticism, have become its biggest liabilities. I had to force myself to keep reading the chapter headings in the hopes that they wouldn't continue to be clumsily rehashed ideas stated three pages earlier. But they did continue.

'Children of Dune' didn't have the lack of action that defined 'Dune Messiah', but even the assasination conspiracy, flights across the desert, Alia as villain, Leto II and Ghanima's individual victories over their possession susceptibility, weren't enough to pace the book.

The more I read the more I realize how much better off leaving 'Dune' as a standalone novel. 'God-Emperor of Dune' waiting in the wings, but it's going to have to wait awhile.


Next: 'God-Emperor of Dune'

Previous 'Dune Messiah' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
While not as strong as the first Dune novel, Children of Dune was such a huge improvement on Dune Messiah that I kind of loved it. Lady Jessica is back, Alia is kind of horribly intriguing, there are some really great deaths, and I totally dug the Preacher stuff. The twins are, yes, very creepy, and I didn't totally love the ending, but compared to the extended meditation on the dangers of ruling through faith that was book 2, this one had a little more get up and go. And more Lady Jessica. ( )
  kristykay22 | Nov 24, 2018 |
Notup to Dune itelf but bter than some of the other books in the series. Perhaps I'm just tired of the story-line. I do know that this book was hard to finish. ( )
  turtlesleap | Aug 28, 2017 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Children of Dune
Series: Dune Chronicles #3
Author: Frank Herbert
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 420
Format: Digital Edition


Paul is dead, Alia is ruling as regent and conspirators to topple the Atreides Empire are crawling out of the woodwork.

Paul's children, Leto and Ghanima, are 10 years old and must begin to take on the trappings of power. They must also avoid the path of Abomination that has overtaken Alia [she's given in to the inner voices and allowed one of them to take control at times] while fulfilling the vision that Leto has of the human race. A vision that apparently Paul saw and couldn't bring himself to commit to.

So all the children have to do is: survive their aunt who wants them dead, survive their grandmother who wants them as pawns for the Bene Gesserit, survive a rogue group of Fremen who want all Atreides dead, survive the other Houses who want to ascend to Imperial status and finally, survive the lives inside of them who want to take over.


My Thoughts:

Overall, my thoughts haven't really changed from my '12 read. There were places that still bored me to tears. I suspect some of that is because the underpinnings of Dune have an islamic cast to them and so I couldn't follow all the half-sentence, unfinished, thoughts.

This time around I realized that Leto had seen the Golden Path before he was dosed with spice, so what he was seeing was not a prescient view of the future. So how did he see it? He makes a point of calling it a vision instead of prescience, but where did it come from? Paul's “visions” were him looking into the future when he was high on spice. Leto couldn't take the chance of taking spice because the inner lives would overwhelm him during that time. The only thing I can think of is that he was able to see everything his father saw because of his preborn condition.

The other thing I noticed was that most of Herbert's speculation about viewing the future and such were all predicated on there NOT being an Omniscient Being. Which is interesting because the Dune mythos is built on the whole idea of prophecy and gods, albeit humanity ascendant. Prophecy, or visions of the future, are something that come from God. He is an omniscient, omnipresent Being and hence is not bound by time or space. Herbert's idea of The Future was where humanity was not constrained by ANY force, within or without. He was writing about humanity without a guiding hand. Which is the antithesis of what I believe as a Christian. And yet the questions he asks are just as intriguing and eye opening as any I could think to ask. And THAT is why I like the Dune Chronicles so much. The questions about humanity.

Completely satisfied about this re-read. While I had re-read it back in '12, I hadn't read it before then since at least '99. This is one series I am very glad to own in hardcover as well as in digital form for my Oasis.

★★★★ ½ ( )
1 vote BookstoogeLT | Jul 3, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frank Herbertprimary authorall editionscalculated
Di Fate, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siudmak, WojciechCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stuyter, M.K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Bev: Out of the wonderful commitment of our love and to share her beauty and her wisdom for she truly inspired this book.
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A spot of light appeared on the deep red rug which covered the raw rock of the cave floor.
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AR 6.2, 24 Pts
Haiku summary
Trapped by prescience
Old ways erode and transform
A new Golden Path

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