Heretics of Dune (Dune Chronicles, #5)

ISBN: 0399128980
ISBN 13: 9780399128981
By: Frank Herbert

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About this book

The planet Arrakis is becoming desert again. Lost ones are returning home from the far reaches of space. The great sandworms are dying, and the children of Dunes children awaken from empire as from a dream, wielding the new power of a heresy called love.

Reader's Thoughts

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.

Sandeep

Finally! I haver been dreading reading this book for ever so long, and now the alarm bells seem to have been superfluous. Lulled into a false sense of doom and with jangling nerves fostered by the utter metaphysical crap that were the second, third and fourth books of the Dune series, and God Emperor of Dune was singularly mind-numbing, this gave my jangling nerves rest.What's different? Well, there's still a lot of obscure talk, but some of it finally is relieved with some actual ACTION! Things HAPPEN, people DO things, there's a lot of running around, shouting, shooting laser beams and wild martial arts contests at superhuman speed. There are also a sect of women who have achieved the highest amplification of orgasm and use sex as a weapon. There are still the Bene Gesserit sisters strutting around like they're the cat's whiskers. And we actually get to get OFF Dune the Planet for a change. Good fun!

Tom

** 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.

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.

Tom

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.

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.

Chris

This is my absolute favorite Sci-Fi book that completely blew my mind when I first read it. It is much more then just a means of entertainment. It is perhaps one of the most revolutionary commentaries on the anthropological analysis of the usage of language, sexuality, ecology, economics, religion, and military power all tied together. I first read this book before any of the earlier books in the Dune series by Frank Herbert. Because it occurs thousands of years after the earlier books, it can be read by itself as a stand-alone novel. For those who are in the military or who enjoy understanding the military-mind, it is essential reading along the lines of Orson Scott Card's masterpiece, "Ender's Game". However more importantly this book touches on the complex socioeconomic dynamics of culture showing how the masses are manipulated by military leaders and politicians through the usage of sex, ideology, violence, and religion. It essentially demonstrates Frank Herbert's incredible mastery of human psychology/sociology from a multi-cultural viewpoint along with his mastery of Judeo-Christian theology that echoes into our own times long after his death with a clear understanding of what makes Islamic Jihadists tick in their single-minded pursuit of holy war. This books is basically what inspired me to become an anthropologist and to explore the world of Islamic extremists which for me has been a truly eye-opening experience and a rude awakening and awareness of a world that is not sheltered but rather raw and painfully vulnerable on a daily basis to chaos and the extremes of human nature. This book (and Chapter House Dune) mirrors this and thus far has been a potent guide to understanding and adapting to the reality of religious extremism as well as constructing methods of dealing with it in a productive, non-violent manner. I hope that for others this book will set off this light-bulb, especially those young men and women endeavoring in a military and/or political career. I only hope that the right lessons are learned from it.

John

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.

Dark-Draco

Leto's vision has come true. The human race has scattered across the universe, making sure it will never again stagnate in one place and risk total extinction. But the Bene Gesserit are struggling with a new enemy. The Honoured Matres, who may or not by based on their own society, have returned to the old Empire, determined to dominate it with their own brand of law, sex and power. Meanwhile, back on Dune, a young girl witnesses the death of her whole family by a sandworm. Instead of killing her, it allows her to mount and seems to obey her commands. Soon, she too will be drawn into the political machinations of the Empire.I have to say that I could not remember a thing about my first reading of this book. Maybe it went a bit over my head at the time, but I was enthralled by the story this time around. The ending is a surprise and yet leaves the story open to be explored in so many ways. Another great read.

Lins

A return to the more character driven than philosophy driven style of God-Emperor. This is probably a reflection of a return to more 'regular' characters, with mortality, and more base drives in their concern, rather than the heavy mantel that the so-called Tyrant (as he is known in this book) took upon himself. Exploration of the Bene Tleilaxu, gholas, and what happened to the people who left in the Scattering, the Fish Speakers and the various other groups that arose in the previous novel. Reading these books is an amazing journey, an overview of a massively intricate civilization, spread across hundreds of worlds, thousands of years, and millions of peoples with all of their petty groupings and graspings. The ever-present Bene Gesserit overseeing all (or so they think), and we oversee them. Brilliant, awe-insipring, and just generally inspiring!True science fiction, with enough tech, space opera, and individual focus to please all. I've already started reading the next one.

Jimmakos Gavagias

It was excellent.Plot,action,fantasy everything was perfect.There is a minor problem in the first chapters to get used to the new characters but when it's over you cannot let it.

Matty

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 book...it'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.

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

Andrew Wright

This is the point where the Dune series begins to irrevocably plummet downhill. Once Herbert introduced the idea of animal sex slaves into the mix, I was done really. Or rather, I should have been done, but unfortunately, I read the next one too. My advice to everyone is to stop this series at God Emperor of Dune and to go no further.

Adrian Ciuleanu

First thing let me say that I've read this book three times over the years and in my opinion Heretics of Dune is one of the best books in the saga, up to par with the first one. While the previous book, God-Emperor was quite philosophical heavy and some might say action-less, the fifth book is nothing like that and returns to original form, with lots of action, different character focus, various plots, combined with the mysticism, religion and philosophical discourse we were used to. The events in the book are some thousand years after the death of Leto II and this time the main focus of the book is on the Bene Gesserit. Old players like Bene Tleilaxu, the Guild, Ixians and Duncan Idaho (who is yet again resurrected as a ghola) are still present. However, we also have some new ones, like the Priests of Rakis and the Honored Matres (which are the main evil characters of the book). All of them have their different schemes and goals, they plot and fight against each other and it all culminates with quite an unexpected outcome. But, the best thing I liked about this book is Miles Teg, Bene Gesserit’s veteran Bashar. He is my favorite character from all Dune books.Heretics of Dune is a must read and people who by any chance stopped reading the saga after God-Emperor of Dune are making a grave mistake.

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