Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles, #3)

ISBN: 0441104029
ISBN 13: 9780441104024
By: Frank Herbert

Check Price Now


Currently Reading Dune Fantasy Favorites Fiction Sci Fi Science Fiction Scifi Sf To Read

About this book

The desert planet of Arrakis has begun to grow green and lush. The life-giving spice is abundant. The nine-year-old royal twins, possesing their father's supernatural powers, are being groomed as Messiahs. But there are those who think the Imperium does not need messiahs...

Reader's Thoughts

Daniel Stafford

Feint within feint; plot within plot; backstabbing within backstabbing… These elements make up the driven words of Frank Herbert's Children of Dune. It was very difficult for me to put this book down. Where the first book of Dune was fascinating in plot, structure, and form, Children of Dune read like a tabloid and political manifesto joined together as one. I say tabloid because it is filled with political back-stabbing and musings into, "who is Alia sleeping with now?" And, "is Paul, our religious leader/God, really dead?"The other thing kept happening were plans…lot and lots of plans that everyone had for each other and would be thwarted due to ill-perceived actions and rumors as to an enemy's next move. So much of the political meanderings were saturated with guesswork due to paranoia of how the next betrayal would go.It was fun! It was fascinating just to "watch" all of these people in great positions of power lose themselves. It was an anarchist's wet dream! Well…the dream lasted until the end when it all goes a certain way, in a manner that was predicted early in the book.I would love to read more, especially to see what happens to the Empire after Leto II's rein of power. But, alas, we all have heard the rumors: the rest of the Dune books are simply a waste of time.I suppose I shall see.

Lolly's Library

Apart from the storyline, I liked the book. I was compelled to keep reading it and was reluctant to put it down until I finally reached the end. Having said that, I'm still quite befuddled as to what all was going on. I understand bits of it, especially the part where Leto succumbs fully to the mythos/fate/whatever-you-call-it that his father tried to run from and his aunt, Alia, was too scared to face, a course which robs him completely of his humanity. But to what end? Who is the enemy and who is the victor? What exactly is going on? I'm sure Herbert explained these things in the book, somewhere amidst the heavy wordplay he uses to explain the workings of the Dune universe, but those explanations escape me. Perhaps my perplexed psyche will be up to another reading to search for those a few more years.


See for the full text of the book I wrote about Herbert.While I truly believe Frank's story that he envisioned the three books as a whole from the beginning, I found this one to be much less compelling than the first two.After this, they were all hack work for money. If you liked the Dune books and want other Herbert, I recommend The Santaroga Barrier and Under Pressure. A few of the others had some good ideas, but were much less compelling as stories.

Abelito Mcbride

Book Three of The Dune Chronicles was an experience like no other. After two books that helped shape the universe and introduce a multitude of characters and situations, Children of Dune brings many aspects of Dune and Dune Messiah together and goes full steam ahead into places you never thought a book could ever take you. So many little subtle things done in the previous two books come to their beautiful, mind bending fruition in this book; and, as Frank Herbert always does, he finishes each book in such a classy way, never getting too dry or too thriller-esque with his writing, and always setting up the seeds perfectly for the next book. How Frank Herbert schemed all this out I will never be able to fathom, I'm just so happy that another human has taken the effort to describe a self made world with such fluidity and exactitude. Truly inspiring work of literature right here. Take the plunge: Read Dune and you will never be the same, and you will thank yourself for it.

Oleg Kagan

I listened to two of the 14 discs and decided that I did not want to muster the resolve to sit through the rest of them. Finding Dune Messiah lackluster, I went into Children of Dune in a pessimistic mood and perhaps that sealed its fate. Or maybe it was that the first two discs (roughly 60 pages) were so full of Herbert's characteristic descriptions of micro-interactions that a plot barely peeked through. I don't typically read fantasy because the genre tends towards unbearably long descriptions that slow a book's pace to a crawl. Science fiction books, on the other hand (probably given their pulp action-adventure roots), tend to be fast-paced throwing practically everything aside for plot. Though I enjoy character development and don't mind a variety in pace, my preference is solidly with the latter genre. Unfortunately, by this third book, the Dune series has shifted too much to the fantasy mode, akin to drudgery for me. That is why I quit.

JR Johnson

It would be a disservice to other readers to review this book because it took me months to complete it. I picked it up regularly, but never did I gain any momentum while reading. Children of Dune sought to expand the universe of Dune as a primary goal, rather than as a mechanism to understand the magnitude of Paul's impact. Instead of being sucked in, I was turned off by the constant references of new, never-before-seen Freman religious terms.And another thing...Leto and Ghanima are creepy. Once Leto ceases being creepy, he becomes scary. There is no hero here, and the protagonist I wanted (Farad'n) never materialized. It feels like Herbert is mythologizing an actual religion and I was bored. At this point, I'm not sure if I'll continue on with the series.


Obviously this book is not as good as the first two in Frank Herbert's series. It has definite failings, including a tendency to meander into overcomplicated musing on the nature of prescience. Maybe it's just me; perhaps I'm bored of the whole prescience thing. I was hoping for something different, something new, which Frank Herbert could unleash his genius upon.Taken as a whole with the previous to books, I find the plot to Children of Dune somewhat contrived. After Dune I was really smitten with the idea of a greener Arrakis. But behold! Here comes the children to dash away Lyet-Kynes dreams as if it were a sandcastle. Apparently a green Arrakis isn't good enough for the Fremen: they must be made to suffer the /desert/. Either the author is trying to allude to a similar situation in our own society with its lack of traditional, harsh environmental pressures to "naturally select," or maybe he found that without an arid, desolate Arrakis, the Dune series is kind of hard to sell.Besides somewhat of a reliance on deus ex machina for the solution to the conflict, Children of Dunes is a solid novel: it is nearly as entertaining as the first two books and, as is to be expected from Frank Herbert, encompasses a wide scope of human dilemmas. From a personal standpoint I think I would have liked to have concluded the series with the second book. Children of Dune seems to be more of a starting point for another series of Dune books than a conclusion to a trilogy.

Richard Houchin

The Dune series is remarkable in that each sequel gets progressively worse until it's unreadable. The first book is truly excellent. It's mantra on fear alone makes it great. The second book a very good sci-fi novel. The third book is merely okay.The fourth book is sub-par, but still interesting.The fifth book is a pain in the ass to read.The sixth book will leave you concerned about the author's health, so terribad is the writing.But hey, the first book kicks ass!

Andrew Georgiadis

The anti-George Lucas. Frank Herbert, that is. His science fiction universe has come to embody everything that another seminal epic of our time, “Star Wars,” cannot: subtlety and mystery. “Children of Dune” is the third installment in the series and centers on the vicissitudes of a power struggle involving Paul Atreides’ sister and his children. This in a vacuum created by Muad’Dib since his disappearance into the desert at the end of the second novel, “Dune Messiah.” Arrakis will ever be the story’s home, but the increasing excursions made to other worlds like Salusa Secundus and Tleilax whet our appetite for myriad unexplored corners of this galaxy. That is to say: Herbert’s universe is even larger than ever. He is the anti-Lucas because to experience the world of Dune is to live in the thought-bubbles of its characters, constantly reading one another’s expressions, trying desperately to interpret nonverbal cues of zen-like figures like mentats and Bene Gesserit “witches,” wherein plots and schemes and indignation (the silent kind) abound. Noticeably absent are staccato, declarative descriptions of landscape, weaponry, technology, conflict, combat, or physical features and their like. Conversation and thought are the rivulets that feed every facet of the “Dune” universe, and that universe seems even larger because of the vast expanses unmentioned.Take, for example, the Lady Jessica’s travels to Salusa Secundus, a rare deviation from the political plotting and religious fervor of Arrakis. We are treated to none of the tired and typical expositions expected. We are not told how Salusa looks from space; what the travel involved to reach it; how many people live there; what differentiates its character from other worlds; its climate; its people; its proximity to Arrakis; its size; what city Jessica is in; we are not privy to innumerable things, rather getting to unpack it all under the auspices of our own imaginings. As a result, “Children of Dune” expands the Dune universe by an order of magnitude. I cannot help contradistinguishing this incredible style to the mundane plodding to which it might have easily fallen prey in more ordinary hands.To say much of the plot of “Children of Dune” is to drain it of a beauty and mystery exclusive to your own mind’s eye. Its protagonists (admittedly not wholly protagonistic) are nine year-olds. They function with physical and mental prowess that could never be translated to the silver or small screens, and thus they belong entirely to you, to be made your own, as much as Arrakis and Salusa and Tleilax are yours. Herbert’s trust in Dune readers allows for something of the numinous.


”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 Dune 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 Dune Messiah 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 Dune 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 God Emperor of Dune and the subsequent volumes. I am afraid of coming across the Litany Against Fear again.


The play of politics on Dune is the subject which will serve to compel or fail to do so, in this episode of the Dune Chronicles. Herbert's interest in character development begins its slow decline, and readers may well find that the new cast of characters (or characters who, while nominally the same, are cast in entirely new roles) does not compel the way the first two books' personalities did. This is both the beginning of a new story and the conclusion to the old one. As such, it may be necessary (if, for some, painfully dull) reading, as a component to the story of the first generation of Atreides on Dune.


wtf? This book got weird.


Children of Dune are growing up in an endlessly complex word. It is suitable to call them children of Dune because their destiny is woven with those of this harsh and magical planet. They are faced with a bloody heritage and their supernatural abilities are hardly enough for them to cope with the cruelty of the universe they live in. More will be needed than the power to look into the future...Prescience is not enough, because in that path lies the danger, as they can see by observing the fate of their parents and aunt. They are not copies of their parents, they see a need to make their own decision and yet they know too well how much weight presses on them...makes you almost hate their father for living them such a legacy ...and forget how much you sympathized with him. After all, wasn't he also a little more then a child when he became a man that sees in both future and past?The twins that are the protagonists of this novel are both fascinating and disturbing. The connection they have with one another is touching. They are kids and they are not kids because they remember the past...Not having a past is precisely what makes one a child...and still they posses the vulnerability and innocence of children. This makes the story even more heart breaking for me. Herbert's writing is somewhat overwhelming, but I always keep coming back for more. It's hard to say something coherent about it really. The first book of the series Dune is a monumental feat, if it was architecture it would be the pyramids, if it was a painting it would be Starry Night- it is just one of those things you can say a lot about and you have a feeling you'll never get to the core of it...The sequels are so different- I mean I don't think that the quality of his writing diminishes. On the contrary, the sequels are just as good as the original. Every new book is a whole new world- and what a world it is. However, the first one is the first the first kiss, impossible to be forgotten.

Josh Cutting

** spoiler alert ** This is when I officially gave up on the Herbertverse. This was awful!!! I really do not care for the children of Mu A'dib, they're both creepy and way too articulate (kind of like Dakota Fanning) I was actually rooting for the assassins the entire book. And when the kid smears worm larvae on himself and becomes a god!?!!?!!?! Sorry folks, I checked out. I don't even care how the rest of the saga works out. No God Emperor of Dune for me, no Heretics, stop this universe, I want to get off!

Megan Baxter

This may be heresy, but I think this is my favourite of the Dune books so far. I found Dune interesting, but oddly opaque. The second book was more accessible, but didn't really grab me.Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *