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Dune Messiah

Frank Herbert (author) and Vincent Di Fate (covers)
Original language:
Ace Books
Novel and science fiction
Dune (2/6)
Publication year:
Original publication year:

Set twelve years after the events in Dune, the book continues the story of Paul Muad'Dib, now Emperor of the known universe. There is a plot on Paul's life involving the Bene Gesserits, the Spacing Guild, and the Tleilaxu. To circumvent Paul's prescient vision, a Guild Navigator named Edric is involved; Navigators also partake of the spice melange to such a degree that they also get a form of prescient vision, thereby masking their activities and the activities of those around them.

Paul has taken Princess Irulan as a consort, but refuses to let her bear his children, instead choosing his Fremen concubine Chani. To his surprise, Chani bears him two twins, a boy and a girl, whom he names Leto and Ghanima, respectively. This surprises Paul, as his prescient vision only foretold the birth of a daughter. The twins are so-called pre-born, meaning they are born fully conscious (even in the womb) with genetic memories of all the lives which preceded theirs.

The plot against his life ultimately fails, but not before blinding him with an atomic weapon called a Stone Burner. This doesn't hinder Paul much, though, as his prescient vision is now so advanced that he is able to "see" what is happening around him, so long as he walks in lockstep with that vision.

The book ends with Paul walking into the desert, blind, which is the Fremen custom.


I really liked the book, although at times it was difficult to follow all the sub-plots. As with the previous book Dune, this book really shines when describing the thought processes of prescient vision and mentat computation, and I really liked reading about how Leto and Ghanima thought.

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