ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frank Herbert was an American science-fiction writer. He was born on October 8, 1920 in Tacoma, Washington, US.
He is especially well known for his novel Dune, which was published in 1965, and its five sequels.
Apart from being a world-renowned novelist, Herbert was also a print journalist, photographer, book reviewer, ecological consultant, and lecturer. He was also one of the initial science-fiction writers to write on ecology.
Dune and the Dune Saga are one of the world’s all-time bestselling science-fiction novels and have won numerous accolades and prizes, including the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award. In fact, Dune and the Dune Saga had a major influence on many later science-fiction novels and films.
Herbert breathed his last on February 11, 1986.
Dune Messiah is the second book in the Dune saga.
The plot is set twelve years after Paul becomes the emperor of the vast galactic universe. He is now regarded as a messiah, a god-like figure. His followers have launched a jihad in his name, decimating a whopping sixty-one billion people across the universe!
As the Kwisatz Haderach, he is gifted with a prescient vision and this, along with his Mentat skills, makes him the most powerful man in the universe. His sister, Alia, is also revered as a saint. However, he has alienated the Bene Gesserit, the Spacing Guild and the Bene Tleilax (also known as Tleilaxu), and they are conspiring to dethrone him. Everyone has their own reasons. There is a growing discontentment amongst some Fremens who wish to go back to their old ways.
Paul’s personal life is also is not devoid of conflict. He is not only grappling with external enemies, but also his internal demons. His dilemma and desire to do the right things keeps gnawing away at his mental well-being and inner peace.
WHAT WE LIKED ABOUT DUNE MESSIAH
Like the first book in the series (Dune), the second novel, Dune Messiah, also discusses a very important subject that merits discussion on a larger scale. Herbert talks about how the society is affected when power gets concentrated in the hands of one person.
History has taught us that men who monopolized power ended up redefining what is right and what is not. Anyone who disagreed was either subdued or massacred. Brutalities were justified; genocides whitewashed.
In a poignant moment, Paul asks his most loyal companion, Stigler, to study Hitler. It was around the time when it had begun to dawn on him that he and those who were engaging in jihad to fulfill his vision of “saving humanity” were no better than the Nazis.
While Paul is once again the protagonist, Alia too makes her presence felt. Her personality is intriguing and imposing. On the one hand, she is an old soul. On the other, she is no better than a feisty teenager.
That said, what especially moves the readers is Paul’s unwavering love for Chani and Chani’s extreme devotion to Paul. Paul’s commitment to protecting the Atreides’ lives even when it meant sacrificing his own was quite stirring, too.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER ABOUT DUNE MESSIAH
There are parts in the book that can take a person to dark places; they can potentially give readers an insight into the unexplored obscure recesses of their own psyche, which may not be an enjoyable experience for everyone. Also, Paul’s treatment of Princess Irulan was, to a certain extent, cruel. She deserved better, and this is bound to leave a nasty taste in the readers’ mouths.
There exists no separation between gods and men; one blends softly casual into the other.
Truth suffers from too much analysis.
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