Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert

My Review

Much of the dialogue is veiled in philosophy, nothing is ever said directly. The internal monologue seemed incessantly tedious. Conversations are held between characters and even though I’ve just read the first Dune novel, this one seems to ostracise the reader from the Arrakis world, their thoughts and motives. The theme of an ecological novel which was ever present in Dune is sorely missing from Dune Messiah which in turn renders this novel more plot-based than character or theme based. Paul’s thoughts are deeply interwoven with mystery and philosophy which is at times hard to get through. Alia’s character seems more dominant in this novel yet the dominance is eclipsed by brevity of her appearances. Lady Jessica is completely missing which begs the question: how can an important character such as the Reverend Mother be completely dispensed off with? Overall a huge disappointment following the brilliance that was Dune.

  • Here was another ingredient of ideal history: a material whose psychic chemistry unraveled Time. Without melange, the Sisterhood’s Reverend Mothers could not perform their feats of observation and human control. Without melange, the Guild’s Steersmen could not navigate across space. Without melange, billions upon billions of Imperial citizens would die of addictive withdrawal. Without melange, Paul-Muad’dib could not prophesy
  • Reason is the first victim of strong emotion
  • A creature who has spent his life creating one particular representation of his selfdom will die rather than become the antithesis of that representation,dune-messiah
  • They’re trained to believe, not to know. Belief can be manipulated. Only knowledge is dangerous.”
  • And Paul heard himself say in the vision: “It was mostly sweet … but you were the sweetest of all … ”
  • An object seen from a distance betrays only its principle,” Scytale said, revealing that he wished to discuss the Emperor’s fortress Keep. “That which is dark and evil may be seen for evil at any distance,” Farok said, advising delay.
  • But revenue information must be kept secret, Scytale thought. More than one government has fallen because people discovered the real extent of official wealth.
  • Empires do not suffer emptiness of purpose at the time of their creation. It is when they have become established that aims are lost and replaced by vague ritual.
  • Korba raised outstretched arms for the benediction and a trick of the afternoon sun cast a red halo onto the window behind him. For a moment, Stilgar saw the Court Qizara as a figure crucified on a fiery wheel
  • How can my brother give you explicit information about the limits of something which has no limits? The boundaries escape the intellect.”
  • Stilgar aimed only at victory, not at discovering truth. Peace, justice and a sound coinage—these anchored Stilgar’s universe. He wanted something visible and real—a signature on a treaty.
  • “There are limits to power, as those who put their hopes in a constitution always discover,” Paul said.
  • “Constitutions become the ultimate tyranny,” Paul said. “They’re organized power on such a scale as to be overwhelming. The constitution is social power mobilized and it has no conscience. It can crush the highest and the lowest, removing all dignity and individuality. It has an unstable balance point and no limitations
  • He felt suddenly fearful that in reaching for any new thing he might let fall what was most precious, that even the slightest noise from him might send the universe crashing back, receding until he never could recapture any piece of it.
  • Everywhere there is peace, Paul thought. Everywhere … except in the heart of Muad’dib.
  • Truth suffers from too much analysis. —Ancient Fremen Saying
  • Wild Fremen said it well: “Four things cannot be hidden—love, smoke, a pillar of fire and a man striding across the open bled.”
  • It is said one can always tell an aristocrat: he reveals only those of his vices which will make him popular.
  • Power tends to isolate those who hold too much of it. Eventually, they lose touch with reality … and fall.
  • “What religion and self-interest cannot hide, governments can,” Edric said.
  • “What manner of weapon is religion when it becomes the government?”
  • I told him that to endure oneself may be the hardest task in the universe
  • You might start the long march toward that throne as a human of dignity, but you ended the march as a gnat
  • This setting was an atavism, subtly contrived, effective. He hated his own hand in it.
  • “I’m riddled with conundrums,” Bijaz said, “but not all of them stupid. To be gone, Usul, is to be a bygone. Yes? Let us let bygones be bygones. Dhuri speaks truth, and I’ve the talent for hearing that, too.”
  • There exists a limit to the force even the most powerful may apply without destroying themselves. Judging this limit is the true artistry of government.
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