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Dune Messiah: Disappointing sequel

Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert’s 1965 Dune was an overwhelming success, winning awards and selling millions of copies. Little did readers know, however, that it was only the beginning of the Family Atreides saga. Picking up events roughly a decade after Paul’s ascension to Emperor, Dune Messiah is the story of his descent from power. Herbert knocks the hero he created off his pedestal, so readers should be prepared for many changes in the story — and not all are for the better.

Dune Messiah continues the saga of the Atreides family in epic, soap-operatic fashion. Paul, having expanded his power to over much of the known universe since becoming Emperor in Dune, is nevertheless helpless to prevent the religious fanaticism and destruction caused by his Fremen followers, drawing the hatred and ire of the opposition in the process. Chani, now his concubine, is unable to con... Read More

The Dark is Rising: Should not be overlooked

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

Despite multiple awards and a talent that is up there with the best of the fantasy authors, Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series is often overlooked by readers in general. A five-part series, it deals with the battle between good and evil as waged by the Old Ones, several contemporary children, a range of mystical objects, and figures from history and legend. It sounds like pretty generic stuff, but Cooper’s gift lies in the telling of the story, and manages to take these well-trod aspects of the fantasy genre and turn them into something truly memorable.

Like Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles (the best series with which these can be compared) it is th... Read More