|Credit: Jenni Elyse|
Watch out for major spoilers ahead!!
1. What is your reaction to finally learning the identity of Princess Irulan? Do you think that her convention added to the story?
I actually felt pretty sorry for her at the end. It was interesting to try to figure out who she was and why she had written so much about Paul, but I thought she got the short end of the stick there, and wasn't quite sure she deserved it.
2. Were you satisfied with the ending? For those reading for the first time, was it what you expected?
I guess I feel pretty satisfied with the ending, though it obviously leaves a lot of room open for the next books. I wish we'd gotten maybe a bit more about the jihad Paul kept talking about and more Alia and Paul's son Kept too (those events felt kind of incomplete and rushed over). But no cliffhanger, so I can read the next books if and when I want to.
3. On both Arrakis and Salusa Secundus, ecology plays a major role in shaping both characters and the story itself. Was this convincing? Do you think that Paul would have gone through with his threat to destroy the spice, knowing what it would mean for Arrakis?
I thought the idea of a harsh environment giving rise to strong, tough characters was completely realistic! It's kind of a bit like kids who grow up working hard, maybe on a farm, versus those who had everything handed to them. There are definite differences in the strength and abilities of people like that. I think Paul meant his threat, but knew there was no way he would have to follow through. It was a good call for him, but would have made for a pretty crummy end.
4. Both Leto and Paul made their decisions on marriage for political reasons. Do you agree with their choices?
I don't know that I agree necessarily, though as I mentioned, I felt pretty bad for Princess Irulan for her role. I can see how his choice seemed inevitable and could be considered the "right" one, but I wish for more following of heart in all cases :)
5. What was your favorite part in this section of the book?
I'm just glad we finally saw some action! Boy it felt like a long build-up to anything actually happening. It was pretty awesome to see Alia get some action and the fight scenes were pretty good to finally get to see. Also, the worm riding was pretty cool, if somewhat creepy.
6. Herbert used the word “jihad” on a number of occasions. What do you think of Herbert’s message about religion and politics?
Well, to be honest, I wasn't sure what that message was. Paul was definitely worried about his power to inspire people and where it might lead, but also didn't hold back when the manipulation suited him. The Bene Gesserit were a whole different breed of creepy and controlling and doing things for their own purposes. And yet, at the end, they all figured it was inevitable the Fremen who,d be fanatical about their leader. It was cautionary, I guess, but pretty subtly so.
What are your thoughts about the book? For those who adored it, what makes you love it so much and recommend it to people?
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