Set in the far future amidst a sprawling feudal interstellar empire where planetary dynasties are controlled by noble houses that owe an allegiance to the imperial House Corrino, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides (the heir apparent to Duke Leto Atreides and heir of House Atreides) as he and his family accept control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the ‘spice’ melange, the most important and valuable substance in the cosmos. The story explores the complex, multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion as the forces of the empire confront each other for control of Arrakis.
I’ve been wanting to expand my knowledge of science fiction for a while. In looking at the lists, Dune was always at the top. It didn’t matter what list it was, everyone said to read Dune. Well, you know what? They’re right. If you haven’t read Dune, then what are you waiting for? I was apparently waiting for a sale.
Frank Herbert wrote an incredibly intricate and intertwined tale. His style of writing is easy to read and drags you in. Also, considering this was set in the far future, I believe he was smart to glance across the technology and let the reader decide how it was done. This book will never become outdated because of that. It will always stand as a science fiction classic.
Paul Atreides is the result of generations of careful genetic manipulation and trained in special ways growing up. With both Bene Gesserit and Mentat training, he was a force to be reckoned with. He also learned how to rule men using loyalty through love rather than fear. As he goes with his family to Arrakis, they all knew it was a trap. House Harkonnen had previously held the planet before it was taken away, and everyone knew they were out to destroy House Atreides. And thus the stage is set.
I’ve read a lot of epic fantasies over the years. It was about the only genre I read until recently. However, I can only compare the writing of Dune to many of my favorite epic fantasies. The scope of Frank Herbert’s Dune is massive. And yet, not one tiny detail seems to have escaped him. It all weaves together to create a story you don’t want to stop reading.
I am aware this is the first book in a series. I’m not sure yet if I will continue to read more or not. I almost want to leave Dune alone in my mind as one of the perfect books; one that I’m sure I will read over and over in the years to come.