~ Spoilers for Dune Messiah ~
Children of Dune is the third book of the Dune series by Frank Herbert, first published in 1976. The story continues from the last book, after the banishment of the blind Paul Muad'Dib to the desert. Nine years later, his twins, Leto and Ghanima Atreides, were raised and protected by their aunt, Alia. As the new ruler of the Empire, Alia tries to maintain House Atreides' control as House Corrino is conspiring to overthrow her house by killing the twins. Another threat also comes from a mysterious person named The Preacher who preaches against the new way of Fremen and Paul Muad'Dib teachings. In the middle of all this, Leto and Ghanima must find a way to survive with their own abilities against all of the adults that want to use or kill them.
This is indubitably better than the second book. Unlike the predecessor, this book moves its main plotline in an acceptable pace. There is, as always, a lot of talks about governing and politics and philosophy and religion, but the writer didn't overdo it this time. There's a lot of things happening at once so it's quite hard to keep tracks of things but it's much more appealing than just talking and talking. This book also manages to expand the lore of the universe a little bit, growing alongside the plots and the characters quite beautifully.
With other fictional stories, it's usually pretty easy to figure out which characters you're supposed to be rooting for. The hero and the villains were as distinguishable as night and day. But with Dune, it's always hard to be emphatetic to even the main protagonists. And if there's a traditional hero journey to be found in these books, it was already turned into twisted and broken cycle that continues to an even more twisted and broken cycle. There's no hero, just the messiah and his subjects.
My interest for this series has been revived thanks to this book. Can't wait to read the rest of the series.