I really enjoyed the first novel in the Dune series. While it had a satisfying conclusion, there was plenty of room to continue the story. That is where the sequels come in.
The immediate sequel to the first book is Dune Messiah. Paul was more than just a duke or a military leader, he was an imposing religious figure. He was the messiah of Dune.
But at what cost? While Paul was a good man, he was aware of the long-term implications of his victory. It was the jihad, the holy war, as his followers spread the message of Muad’dib by force. While Paul did overcome some evil, the sheer religious force was more than he could control.
This is the story of what Dune has become, losing the old ways of the Fremen, becoming a place of religious pilgrimage. Meanwhile, there is a plot to overthrow Paul. Strange alliances are made as there are plost within plots.
I can’t say I enjoyed Dune Messiah as much as Dune. The first number of chapters were a chore to get through. It just didn’t have the same draw as its predecessor. Perhaps the choppiness of the story is due to the fact it originally appeared not as a novel but as a serial in a magazine.
Still, this is an important step in the story of Dune. It leads directly into the destiny of Paul and the planet that he made his home.