The Fantasy Review: Dune Messiah Special Edition Reviewed – The Folio Society.
Cover Image: Illustration credit: © Hilary Clarq 2023
I was kindly gifted a copy of The Folio Society’s Dune Messiah special edition in exchange for an honest review, and I adore this edition! The Dune series is one of my most recommended science fiction series because it is one of the best of all time, and this edition of the second of Frank Herbert’s classic series absolutely smashes it out of the park!
This is a review of the physical product, not the story itself, so don’t worry about spoilers for the plot!
Unlike some of the other Folio Society books I have on my shelves, the slipcase is not plain but decorated. A simple landscape of the desert wraps around the box. This is a lovely finishing touch to the product.
For me, the best part of this Dune Messiah special edition is the artwork on the cover. The texture and specks of negative space on the art and on the title text makes the book feel sandy, like it has been dropped on the beach. Despite this, the book is still soft to touch, with the slightly sandy texture only adding to the experience of reading.
Additionally, unlike many standard hardbacks which are stiff or never open enough to easily read the pages when you are midway through the book, this Dune Messiah special edition opens easily. The book just relaxed in your hands, on a table, or in your lap as you read.
The final thing I want to talk about is the inside of the book. Hilary Clarcq’s illustrations are gorgeous. They imbue the epic tone of the narrative and you can just tell that the artist has a lot of love for the books.
In fact, on the Folio Society store page for the book, it says just that: “Paul’s sweeping, tragic saga is illustrated by award-winning artist – and self-confessed Dune superfan – Hilary Clarcq.”
The images I have shared in this article are only a few of the wonderful pieces of art placed throughout the book.
Inside the front and back covers, we get a world map! This will be a drawing factor for a lot of fans, as it is unusual to see one in any of the Dune books. And, if you are a geek for maps like me, you will love the Cartographic Notes section at the front of the book, providing some fun and interesting facts for you to take in while perusing the map.
Finally, I want to mention the page formatting briefly. In my standard editions of Dune and Dune Messiah, little thought was put into separating the chapters. We don’t get specific chapter titles, afterall.
However, in this Dune Messiah special edition, the beginning of each “chapter” is shown with the epigraph in bold and at the top of a new page. This little thing actually has a big impact on the reading experience for many readers, including myself, so I really appreciated this final touch.
- Bound in printed and blocked metallic cloth
- Set in Dante with Helvetica Neue and Black Tulip display
- 248 pages
- Frontispiece, 7 colour illustrations, including one double-page spread, and 10 black & white chapter headings
- Endpaper map by Martin Sanders
- Printed slipcase
- 10˝ x 6¾˝