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Children of Dune  By  cover art

Children of Dune

By: Frank Herbert
Narrated by: Scott Brick,Simon Vance
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Publisher's Summary

The sand-blasted world of Arrakis has become green, watered, and fertile. Old Paul Atreides, who led the desert Fremen to political and religious domination of the galaxy, is gone. But for the children of Dune, the very blossoming of their land contains the seeds of its own destruction. The altered climate is destroying the giant sandworms, and this in turn is disastrous for the planet's economy. Leto and Ghanima, Paul Atreides's twin children and his heirs, can see possible solutions - but fanatics begin to challenge the rule of the all-powerful Atreides empire, and more than economic disaster threatens.
Listen to more of our titles in the Dune series.
©1976 Frank Herbert (P)2008 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Ranging from palace intrigue and desert chases to religious speculation and confrontations with the supreme intelligence of the universe, there is something here for all science fiction fans." ( Publishers Weekly)
"A major event." ( Los Angeles Times)

Featured Article: Dune (2021)—Book vs. Movie


The very first book to win the Nebula Award, Frank Herbert's Dune has long been a fixture of the sci-fi world. It's no surprise, then, that yet another filmmaker has taken a stab at bringing this classic to the screen. The latest effort, by Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve, captures the first half of the epic novel. The reviews have been generally positive, with critics and audiences blown away by the scale and sheer ambition of the adaptation. Overall, Villeneuve's 2021 adaptation of Herbert's sci-fi classic is quite faithful. But in what small ways does the film differ from the book?

What listeners say about Children of Dune

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

great story, more production problems

So the producers seem to have completely given up on the entire dramatization thing that they were doing in the first book of this series, Dune (see my review there). Simon Vance does a good job of narrating this story, but towards the end of the book it becomes very clear that he wasn't available to do some re-dos and missed text. So they end up getting some random guy to finish the project. Its actually the case that sometimes one word in a sentence is dubbed in by this other narrator. Bothersome.
The story in and of itself is good, not as good as Dune, but certainly worth listening to or reading. My only critique is that Herbert sometimes goes on far too long about relatively minor issues or expanding upon points that were made well enough earlier in the text.

51 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good but operatic in flavor

As I run through Frank Herbert's original Dune stories, I think the best adjective for the flavor and pace is "operatic"...a good story with great color and flavor, but paced slowly. Much of the book is spent with people talking about what will before much of anything does happen. That doesn't mean it's boring...understanding the motives and machinations of the principals really are the story, but it's an unusual flavor for sci-fi.

For those who are not familiar with the previous works, this won't make sense. You need to do them in order.

This story centers around Leto II and Ghanima Atriedes (the children of Paul Muad'Dib and imperial heirs presumptive, now aged 9), Alia (their aunt and imperial regent) and the Lady Jessica (mother of Alia and Paul). Alia is struggling against the inner voices from her ancestral memory, while Leto and Ghanima try to avoid the same fate. The mysterious, blind Preacher only adds to the mystery.

Part of the vast Duniverse tapestry, Children of Dune doesn't live up to the high standard of the original Dune (few books by any author do), but improves on Dune Messiah.

Excellently narrated by Simon Vance with an assist from Scott Brick.

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Continued Good Work

Scott Brick and Simon Vance do a remarkable job bringing the characters and places to life in the Dune series. It has been a while since I have read "Children" and I am impressed with the layers of the Dune world that Herbert describes. I hope Audible continues to translate the original series into the audible format. My second favorite book after "Dune" is the "God Emperor," so I hope the trend continues. "Children" is an enjoyable listen for fans of Herbert.

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Back to the good stuff

So, I LOVED Dune, and was really disappointed by Dune Messiah - but Children of Dune gets back to the grand, empire defining space opera I was craving.

14 people found this helpful

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  • NH
  • 09-25-18

A great job continuing the story of Dune

This is my second favorite of the Dune series. Frank Herbert does an excellent job tying the events in this book to the previous two. He also treats all characters, except a few, with sympathy. The narration of this one is much better than the previous two.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant story, brilliant narration

If you're a big fan of Dune, don't hesitate to get the audiobooks. It really adds a whole new level of understanding to the storyline and paints a picture that reading a paper copy alone won't do. I've read the physical copies of the entire series and now listened to the first three. It's truly the best way to solidify the incredible experience that is Frank Herbert's masterpiece.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I was suprised.

I was surprised to find this book to fit so well with the previous two. Even though you are following a new main character, I found the transition was natural and the story flowed very well.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous readers, compelling story.

As is the case with all of the Dune texts I’ve read, this one stuns in its capacity to tell a compelling story while using challenging language that asks the reader to think. There’s something to be said for simple and imaginative books such as Harry Potter and for series like the Enders Game series, which was compelling and inventive and yet scattered, because of Orson Scott Card’s self-professed carelessness in sketching out his fictive worlds. Yet there is something more profound about Herbert’s works, which hint that the author was a bit of a madman and a genius. His worlds are brilliantly demarcated, consistent, and inventive. In this book—which is fabulously narrated—we see the consequences of some of the actions taken by our favorite characters from Dune. As with all of the books in the series, it is interesting to read Herbert’s philosophical science fiction, which often challenges us to think through murky moral territory and imagine what actions we’d take in a similar universe. It is also fascinating to read about a fictive world with concerns that are so different from our own, while still resonating with our political situation (such as how water and spice is used and consumed, and the parallels in our world of water rights and the sale of drugs and weapons).

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Storyline drags

What did you like best about Children of Dune? What did you like least?

The story is very pedantic, dragging out and repeating story lines. Not near as good as the original Dune.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

A dissapointing follow up of Dune

If you like the original Dune, don't listen to this, it will disspoint you.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard
  • 06-19-12

A different experience

Dune is possibly my favourite book of all time and opened my eyes to many things completely unexpectedly. The Dune saga is something I have read over and over. Listening to Children of Dune was actually a completely new experience of the text for me and I think I absorbed so much more than reading it by hand that I feel I've almost read a different book with a different thrust and am happy to have done so as some side characters seemed to jump into the limelight when before I had almost glossed over them and the following novel has a new gravitas for me that it didn't before.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 06-10-09

Slightly Bizarre but will read #4.

I loved the first two books, but this one made me wonder if Frank had lost the plot a little. It has the usual great machinations of state and family along with some decent action, but in what must have been the last hundred pages, the plot takes a turn, which I will not spoil here, that reveals to some part the destiny of Leto, the child of Paul Atreides. For me, the revelation seemed slightly ridiculous and not in keeping with the previous two books universe. Despite this, it is as well read as ever and the story kept me interested enough to move on to the fourth in the series.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Marwan Imam
  • 07-18-16

Fantastic

I was a bit let down by the second book in the series but this one just blew me out the water. The story is great and I love how the world is evolving more and more.

The audio book performance is on point as usual.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • King Nothing
  • 06-08-16

Rambling at times but a worthwhile listen

The series continues its downward trend with this book. Definitely interesting, with some fascinating chapters but the narrative is rambling at times and hard to follow. Not as engrossing as the first two books and I'm not happy with all the character paths. Feels like all the characters are only capable of two emotions: fear and anger. Strangely, though I would definitely recommend it as a read as it closes off the story. Good that it has the same narrater as the first two books too.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan
  • 02-19-12

Another great read

I have all the books in this series and have had them for many years, if your in to sci-fi then you can't go wrong.
I must have read this book 10 or more times over the years and never get board of it.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Alex Depper
  • 09-12-21

Epic and Baffling

One of the better books in the series but boy is it hard work. Worth it in places but the drive to give up is strong!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • G David
  • 02-06-21

Change

To say Herbert writes well is like saying Newton was clever. Honestly brilliant in its complexity from human nature and connection within and beyond ourselves. Herbert also makes interesting points on how adversity is required to help society progress, and how long term vision and flexibility is required to pull the species forward. And yet he also points out that one must not change to much too quickly, without considering the consequences or such change on society and ecological systems, both are of course entwined. Whilst probably accidental it pertains significantly to our current issues in politics and there environmental impacts.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • John P.
  • 06-19-20

Hard Going. Need a break from Dune after that.

Worth a listen if your trawling through the entire story universe but it’s a labour to do it.

Convoluted and drawn out in places with slow pacing and little movement... and the ending feels like someone just said “that’s enough, close the loops and wrap this up now, make this the last chapter”. The waffle sections are getting more disconnected and ‘out there’ as the story slogs on.

What ever gave Dune it’s magic is quite diluted here. Characters are discarded like disposable napkins. It took me a long while to get al the way through to the end of this one - and it’s left me feeling like I need a break from the whole Dune scene. Better things could have been done with the material in a better way.

But... it does carry on the story. It does revisit the locations and the people. If you absolutely have to have more Dune at any price - I guess this ticks that box.

D+

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • "lexx_52"
  • 01-13-20

A wonderful book but it is slow in places

Maybe it is because I was so enamored with the first two books that I am a little disappointed with this book. It still has the intrigue but without Pail as a driver for the plot it feels a little lacking to me. I still love the other characters and feel warmly towards them but by its nature the plot is separate in each of them. I have already bought the next book in the series and I would still recommend this book but I would say that you will need to be more patient this time around.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-11-19

WOW!

What a fantastic trilogy! it's taken me a long time to get round to get started with it, wish I had done so sooner. An absolute masterpiece of a story, highly recommend it to anyone!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-26-20

A solid instalment

Children of Dune finishes off the first part of the Dune series. As well composed as the second instalment, the political intrigue is just as fascinating though I felt it wasn’t as overt as Dune Messiah. To that and the usual considerations of the dangers of fanaticism and the like, Children of Dune adds discussion on the rippling effects of our choices and personal agency.

The narration is, again, inconsistent. This is largely a product of multiple narrators rather than poor work on the part of those narrators. As always I think the production could be strengthened by either committing to unique voice actors for each, or at least the main, characters, or sticking to a single narrator.

All in all, a good end to the first part of the series. If you want to see what the Dune series is all about, I would recommend the first three books.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-08-21

Return to glory

Children of Dune is a very well-written, satisfying story. I found the previous book very slow, and fairly boring, so I’m really glad this book captured and improved on the original Dune atmosphere.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-16-21

big disappointment

1st book: 5 stars. 2nd:4. 3rd: 3 stars. not much going on in this book

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian
  • 01-13-21

Story evolves

This third book in the series is an excellent read which builds on the first two books without undue repetition. It introduces new threads which allows the story to truly expand providing a captivating read.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel
  • 09-21-17

so so... cryptic

found it hard to engage with... confusing at parts... definitely needs a reread to absorb properlly.. nowhere near as thrilling as thr orginal novel.. the again what novels are?!

Better than Dune Messiah (book 2).

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Catherine J Coleman
  • 09-29-15

Great story

I loved it so much and I can't wait to hear the next in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marcus Vella
  • 09-19-22

Best of the first three books

Wow, just when I thought that Frank Herbert was liable to run out of incredibly nuanced and novel storytelling ideas and the profound philosophical insights into the human condition which come at you at a breakneck pace in the first two books, the Children of Dune takes the cake. It really feels like the world-building and character development of the first two books really allow this incredible third book to shine, with deep established lore allowing Leto and Ganema’s incredible story to flourish and take the prize for the pick of the lot. I owe it to myself to listen to the remainder of the series now, and even if they don’t reach the heights of this book, I’ll nevertheless be a satisfied man. As someone who came to this series as a “new age” Dune fan, having first gotten a glimpse from the 2022 movie epic, I can reliable say that no nostalgia is required to love this incredibly well written series. Loved it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rita
  • 08-10-22

intriguingly griping of sorts. strange tales

liked it very much. interesting story after Dune.
at some point would get a bit confusing but overall well read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian Messig
  • 08-02-22

It Just Gets Better

The third installment in the Dune saga is even better than the first two. Excellent!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-20-22

Just amazing

There are good writers and then you have great ones Frank and c s lewis are easily some of the best authors I have read. Their books are so perfectly detailed and complex but easy to follow and they make me fall in love with reading. I definitely recommend