Heretics of Dune (Dune Chronicles #5)

ISBN: 0441328008
ISBN 13: 9780441328000
By: Frank Herbert

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About this book

With more than ten million copies sold, Frank Herbert's magnificent Dune books stand among the major achievements of the human imagination. In this, the fifth and most spectacular Dune book of all, the planet Arrakis--now called Rakis--is becoming desert again. The Lost Ones are returning home from the far reaches of space. The great sandworms are dying. And the children of Dune's children awaken from empire as from a dream, wielding the new power of a heresy called love...

Reader's Thoughts


ive always felt that frank herbert was a pretty bad write, yet the dune universe is so fascinating and unique that his dune books are still worth it (i feel very similar about HP lovecraft by the way...)i must say that i felt this one to be just a huge waste of time though, and it definitely did not make me want to read part 6. dune 5 takes place thousands of years into the future from the first four books, which doesnt matter since nothing has changed really, which makes it really tedious if you ve read the other books recently. its too bad that herbert didnt use the chance of the huge leap in time to introduce some new concepts into the series, instead its just the usual raving about breeding programs and deception, nothing you dont know from the other books already...the reader is as much left in the dark about the whole point of anything as any of the characters in the story, which are all pretty opaque and unlikeable anyways. the end is another letdown, after the book finally takes up some pace towards the end there is no real conclusion... i guess i would have to read the last part of the series for it to make any sense, but im not sure i will invest my time in that...

Robyn Blaber

I wonder now how my high school friends were able to deal with this series when it challenges many of the thoughts floating around in my middle-aged brain. Apart from the loose plot line, the book talks about the nature of political governance, religious governance, the nature of free will, sex as a form of enslavement, immortality, the genetic inheritance of memories, the nature of being, the nature of time... It's supposed to all be science fiction, but here's the rub. Years after this was published we are having trouble proving that we actually have free will. Studies indicate that we have some knowledge of the future, the kind of prescience talked about in the book. The more we learn, the less fantastical this book seems to be and the more prophetic.Star Trek-style science fiction gave us new devices which scientists and engineers continue to develop in real life. Dune gives us philosophy and perhaps a preview of the future of human development. Too often we think of our species as finished to perfection and rarely does science fiction advance our species beyond a few gimmicks. I remain thoroughly impressed by Herbert's universe.


My favorite of the series so far (with the possible exception of the first book) although not enough for another whole star. I liked that it focuses on the Bene Gesserit since most of my favorite characters in the series have been Bene Gesserit Reverend Mothers. The series continues to have interesting things to say about religion and the way it influences people and the way it can be used to manipulate. It also explores the power of sexuality and reverses the male/female dominant/dominated dichotomy in interesting ways.


For the longest time, I had no idea that Frank Herbert had written more than four Dune novels. There's no really good reason for that, except that I had bought the first four books and read them, and that was that. And it really wasn't a bad place to end things.There was some interesting stuff here, but... meh. Dune is so good that it's an awfully hard act to follow.

Guilherme Gontijo

Quando comecei a ler esse livro tive a curiosidade de conferir alguns reviews na página dele. Para minha surpresa muitos estavam o qualificando com notas entre 01 e 03 estrelas. As justificativas apresentadas para tal infâmia eram as de que Frank Herbert havia se perdido após a primeira trilogia de Duna e tinha se vendido ao mercado de editoras e publicações. Alguns chegaram a afirmar que apenas o primeiro livro valia alguma coisa e que os demais eram pura perda de tempo.Não tenho como não discordar de uma opinião tão egoísta por parte de alguns fãs. Creio que os reclamões sejam os mesmos que vivem dizendo que o primeiro disco da sua banda favorita é o único bom. Pessoas frescas que querem dar a história o rumo de suas cabeças inférteis. "Heretics of Dune" é uma magnum opus em muito melhor do que o livro anterior ("God emperor of Dune"). Muito acontece nesse livro e algumas cenas são o que podemos chamar de mindblowing. Se você quer explicações fáceis para tudo o que acontece em uma história, sugiro que vá ler Turma da Mônica (que é ótimo, por sinal). "Heretics of Dune" é, mais do que um simples livro, uma experiência em proporções bíblicas sobre a sobrevivência da raça humana e alteração do curso de auto-destruição da mesma."Philosophy is always dangerous because it promotes the creation of new ideas." - Frank Herbert


it was a mistake to take a long break in this series. i was going strong a few years ago, and plowed through books 2, 3, and 4. but i took a two and a half year break, and came back, and another few thousand years had passed in the story!still, i really am into this series, even though as it goes on it seems to be less and less about the characters and plot, and more and more about the large concepts of how the human race functions as a group (or groups), specifically as it pertains to religion, bureaucracy, and economics. sometimes it's hard to follow, but i find it interesting and compelling. thanks to elisabth for getting me started all those years ago.

Peter Greenwell

It's an improvement over the book before it, though I will add, it's a marginal improvement. It's certainly a touch more enjoyable. However alas...once again, we have faceless characters who do little more than have short, sharp dialogue constructions with one another. I found myself skimming through some of the literary square miles of endless talk to get to where something actually happens.I love the cover- the girl Sheeana dancing before the sandworm. Evocative. Shame it's the most evocative thing about this book.

Dorian D-W

Heretics of Dune makes a strong return to one of the themes that made the original Dune so good: political intrigue. With the absolute power of the multi-millennial Atreides dynasty (a central theme of books 2-4) finally broken, the Bene Gesserit, Tleiaxu, Freman and Ixian actors are able to return to center stage. Also introduced are the mysterious Honoured Matres, returning from the scattering seeking to undermine the delicate political balance. As in Dune, Herbert masterfully weaves the grand galaxy-spanning power-struggle together with individual, intimate tales of those involved. At one end of the spectrum is Teg, Mentat-Bashar, former supreme commander of the Bene-Gesserit forces called out of retirement for an assignment which will test his loyalty, resolve, and morality. At the other end Sheeana, orphaned girl who can talk to the sandworms. You'll fall in love with both characters, and many more.Unfortunately, though this novel started so well it concluded in mediocrity. The ending was acceptable, but nothing special. After spending so much time exploring the workings and motives of the different factions vying for power, the ending came suddenly, without having fully traversed all the open avenues. Perhaps Herbert has left that for the conclusion of his hexology.


One of my favorite Dune books. I think I preferred it to the first one, even, though I couldn't have enjoyed it without what came before.


The guards ushered Frank into the office. As usual, the Reverend Publisher was seated at her desk, writing.So many lives touched by her decisions, he thought."Well?"She looked up. He had promised himself that he would not flinch before the fire of her gaze, and once more he broke his promise.The rest of this review is in my book What Pooh Might Have Said to Dante and Other Futile Speculations


It must have been difficult for Frank Herbert to write this book. It's the first book of the original Dune Saga that does not deal directly with Paul or Leto II. We can clearly see that Herbert studied the effects of history on societies. There are lots of changes between "God Emperor of Dune" and this's even a completely different universe! For thousands of years, Leto II was ruling a vast Empire and trying to save humanity by setting on the Golden Path. Since then, that peace and structure has decayed. The mass exile that followed the famine times also had a profound impact. The Tyrant may be gone, but the universe still feels his stranglehold.The author's fascination for sex is both interesting and disturbing. There are two reasons for this. First, the story takes place in a future that is very far away. Humans (as well as different groups) have a very different understanding of sexual energy. The second reason is tied to the first. Because humans have gained a different understanding of sex, they are now explaining it without even referring to previous theories on sex (the ones of our time, for example). In a way, Herbert is extremely successful in describing a possible future and immersing the reader in the philosophies of said future. The only problem with this, is that it could quite unsettling.Even though i thought it was a bit boring to read a book that had nothing to do with the original Atreides, it was interesting to learn about some of the other factions that vie for power, notably the Bene Gesserit but ESPECIALLY the Bene Tleilax. In this novel, we finally obtain a lot of information on how the Bene Tleilax function (as well as the secret to their infamous Axolotl tanks).Last but not least, we have the people from the Scattering. Those are the people that have exiled themselves after the death of Leto II, and they are returning. Their leaders, calling themselves "Honored Matres", are a "bastardized form" of the Reverend Mothers. They are basically wielding the powers of sex in to gain power. This isn't their only weapon. They come with an arsenal. In order to survive their attack, the Bene Gesserit, along with the Bene Tleilax, might have to use some uncommon tactics...All in all, this was an interesting novel. It revealed a lot more information from different perspective (even though the narration was a bit Sisterhood-centric). I did not find it as interesting as "God Emperor of Dune", but it give an interesting ;look at how the world would change after being ruled for so long.


It speaks volumes of this book that up until the last six pages I had absolutely no idea what the endgame was; yet throughout, I was riveted to the page. Herbert's ability to introduce you to a pre-existing world with all of its complexities and idiosyncrasies without telling you a damned thing is at its best in Heretics of Dune, which delineates the decline of the God Emperor's vast domain over which he reigned as a Tyrant for 3500 years. Organizations at varying degrees of the grotesque, clandestine and corrupt compete for supremacy against each other as well as those returning from "the Scattering," a vast exodus of mankind after the Tyrant's fall. A young girl named Sheeana, who can control the Sandworms, comes to notice, and then power on Rakis. Duncan Idaho is reincarnated yet again. And still, the march of the Atreides family through history continues on, and the mankind continues to advance along along Leto II's "Golden Path," the enigmatic course of action by which he has safeguarded mankind from ultimate catastrophe and, thus, extinction. An excellent and worthy episode in the series.


** spoiler alert ** Ahh, finally Herbert rights the ship and gets the train back on the tracks. Refreshing after God Emperor... This is easily my second favorite book of the series, only to the original Dune. We get to learn a lot more about the Bene Gesserit and the Tleilaxu. The Honored Matres get introduced and towards the end of the book, you figure out what they are all about. One of the best characters of the series, Miles Teg, is introduced. Watch out, Teg will F you up. Duncan Idaho comes back for this millionth iteration. However...this book has a shitty ending. It just...ends. C'mon, Frank, 50 more pages to flesh out the ending and this one had the potential to equal Dune.

Herman Gigglethorpe

This one is hard to review. I really like the Dune series, and I enjoyed this one quite a bit while reading it. However, there are some things that bring it down to a 3.*SPOILERS*The main problem is the weird sexual theme to this book. Although one can understand the Honored Matres thing to an extent (a less subtle splinter group of the Bene Gesserit), does it really have to be this distracting? What makes it worse is that Duncan Idaho's "hidden Tleilaxu power" is that he can do hypno-sex too! At least the Bene Gesserit kept it more in the background. I wondered how much of a pervert Frank Herbert was after finishing this. It's almost as though he fantasized about his own fictional characters. . .I liked this book, but this makes me want to stay away from Chapterhouse Dune.Another thing is that the way Miles Teg gets his powers is a stretch even for this series. A new probe from the Scattering tortures him enough to somehow give him super-speed and the power to see no-ships? I know Dune is big on the superpowers, but at least the Kwisatz Haderach and Bene Gesserit stuff is well-established from the first book. Frank Herbert also never explains why Sheeana can talk to the sandworms, if I remember correctly. Does Leto II just have a special relationship with her?The book is a bit slow paced, though not to the point where it turned me off completely. Frank Herbert as usual provides the political intrigue and assassinations that every Dune book needs. There's some more action in this than in God Emperor (never technically completed that one, but that was because I had other things to do at the time. I just remember Leto II monologuing a lot), since Miles Teg and Duncan Idaho get to fight on occasion. Not to mention Arrakis/Rakis is burned to a crisp at the end. The technology changes to the series shake it up a bit too. No-ships can avoid detection, new hunter-seekers mean that the characters fight with guns instead of sword fighting with the shields, and of course the chairdogs are so weird that they fascinate me.This is an entertaining book overall, but the bizarre sexual themes can turn many readers off, which is why I couldn't make it a 4 or 5.A drinking game for this book (pick only one condition):-Drink every time Muad'Dib is misspelled as Maud'Dib, at least if you're reading the Ace Science Fiction printing (the one with the blue cover). I don't know if other editions have this issue.-Drink every time the words "powindah" and "whore" appear.

Dave Johnson

wow, i thought this book was really great. i actually liked this even more than some of the earlier books (that may sound strange to some people). thousands of years in the future, this takes place on a world that has change a LOT since the first dune. many of the old landmarks are gone, the worms are strange and different, and the fremen are even more wild than they were before. what i loved the most about this book, though, was that it told a story from the bene gesserits' point of view. in the first three books, they were almost an enemy, something to fear and dread, but in this book and in the next one, you really identify with them and really sympathize with their past and their plans for the future. another turn that i really enjoyed was the obvious scif-ishness of it. it seemed even "more scifi" than some of the other books, which i liked. (i like all the books)if you've read any of the other ones, i have to say that its still good, and i think its VERY good.

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