”I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing......Only I will remain."
If you have read at least [b:Dune|234225|Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1)|Frank Herbert|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1349105964s/234225.jpg|3634639] you must be familiar with the above “Litany Against Fear”. I don’t know about you but it gets old very fast for me. When it shows up in Children of Dune
I read it like “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.” – SHUT UP! Fortunately it only appears once but Mr. Herbert still sneaks in the odd snippet here and there whenever I am feeling too complacent.
To my mind the Dune series really finishes with this third volume. It ties up all the loose ends nicely and ends on an optimistic and suitably poignant note. Come to think of it the very first Dune novel feels very complete within itself, and you could read it as one of the greatest standalone sci-fi novels of all time (or one of the most overrated if it doesn’t do it for you).
So the Atreides are at it again with their mystical shenanigan. These Atreides are so damn verbose 24/7, I swear none of them is capable of speaking like a normal person. I can not imagine how they say “pass the salt” at dinner without mentioning the cosmic ramifications should the salt passing project not be successfully concluded. That said Children of Dune
is actually quite an entertaining read, much more so than [b:Dune Messiah|106|Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles, #2)|Frank Herbert|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347771287s/106.jpg|3634570] which often had a soporific effect on me when I was reading it. Children of Dune
focuses on the two Atreides kids, Leto and Ghanima (or non-kids because their heads are stuffed full of their ancestors’ memories and it makes them super weird). Their father, the legendary Paul Atreides A.K.A. Muad’Dib walked off into the sunset of the Arrakis desert nine years ago, very pissed off about what the world has come to thanks to his leadership. He is now presumed dead as the Dune desert is deadly and not conducive to a pleasant stroll after dinner.
The planet Arrakis has come a long way since we first encountered it in [b:Dune|234225|Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1)|Frank Herbert|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1349105964s/234225.jpg|3634639] the terraforming project is going well and water is more abundant with plants appearing in some areas, other areas of the global desert is becoming moist. Rains and clouds are often seen and early in the novel eight Fremen drown in a flashflood. When you have a culture based on the scarcity of water this development really turns the world upside down. The cultural and social ramifications of Arrakis becoming more watery are the most fascinating aspect of the book for me.
The book starts off slowly (as most books do) with the introduction of the Atreides twins and ambles along pleasantly enough. At almost exactly the half way point Mr. Herbert suddenly shifts gears and the novel becomes much more plot intensive and relatively fast paced. Exciting things are certainly afoot in the second half the the novel; featuring a murder plot involving tigers, a possession that makes you fat, the birth of a sort of Duneman superhero and many spoilerish things that I won’t mention (probably said too much already – sorry!).
All in all a fun read, there is plenty of subtexts and philosophy to think about if you want to (I had my brain switched off, it’s my standard mode). The theme of religion and fanaticism is ever present. I don’t know if I will go on to read [b:God Emperor of Dune|42432|God Emperor of Dune (Dune Chronicles, #4)|Frank Herbert|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327131560s/42432.jpg|3634588] and the subsequent volumes. I am afraid of coming across the Litany Against Fear again.