I finally read Dune

“There is this spice called melange which is used in space travel, and it can only be found on the planet Arrakis. So, everyone is fighting over the planet because whoever controls the spice controls space travel.” This is how several people described this book to me over the years. Never successfully making me interested enough to read it because I don’t care much about sci-fi and space travel on its own.

After reading the book, this way to describe the plot of Dune to me sounds like saying “there is this dark lord who’s trying to get his hands on the One ring that will make him the ruler of the world, and a fellowship of nine is formed to destroy the ring” to describe what The Lord of the Rings is about. Is it factually wrong? No. Is it everything the book is about and its appeal? Also, no. Just like Sauron and the ring are the force that unites the characters and drives the plot, so is the space travel spice. But the story is so much more.

Dune is the game of thrones before The Game of Thrones. It’s about political schemes, betrayal, family, survival, religion, and power. It’s a game between the religious order that has controlled the lineage of noble houses for generations, those same noble houses at war with each other, companies driven by greed, and people trying to survive on an almost uninhabitable planet. It’s a game of wit and plans within plans, planted prophecies, and family and love – with the Atreides family (Duke Leto, his concubine Lady Jessica, and their son Paul) at the center of it.

I highly recommend the book to anyone who enjoyed George R.R. Martin’s work or likes these themes. Even if you’re not much of a sci-fi fan.

Fair warning though, the book has no parts that you can skim over or read with only half attention. Every word is important and I needed to be completely focused to read it. It’s not one of those books I’d read to relax with at the end of the day.