Heretics of Dune (Dune Chronicles, #5)

ISBN: 0399128980
ISBN 13: 9780399128981
By: Frank Herbert

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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


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!

Jeremy Preacher

I had read the first three Dune books many, many times, and the fourth one once, and decided I may as well try to get through the last two. (I had heard they were pretty terrible.) I was definitely pleasantly surprised.Heretics is probably not the book anyone was expecting, which probably led to most of the ill-feeling about it. It's much less a philosophical work and much more an action-adventure story, and I'll tell ya, the sex gets weird. It's not so much a gender-politics thing (although I reflexively flinch every time someone uses the word "whores") as a sex-as-power, power-corrupts sort of deal. That being said, there are some typically interesting characters and situations (although I sort of roll my eyes every time Herbert reveals that some group is following a many-thousands-of-years-old Earth-based religion.) Short version: if you like the Dune books but are avoiding this one because of the bad press, take a look at it. It's not on par with the early ones in terms of depth, but the universe remains fascinating and it's a pretty decent story.(I also understand God Emperor much better now - it's not exactly a novel in itself, it's a bridge between the familiar Empire setting of Dune and this drastically different political and social setting of the later books. That doesn't make it an easier read, but it makes me dislike it less.)

Eric Allen

Heretics of DuneBook 5 of the Dune ChroniclesA Dune Retrospective by Eric AllenHeretics of Dune is a bit of an odd book in my experience. The first time I read God Emperor of Dune I was so put off the series by it that I refused to pick Heretics up for almost an entire decade. When finally I did pick it up, reading through the entire series again with the hope that age had given me new perspective on life to keep God Emperor from sucking so hard, it was probably my second favorite book in the series. It had characters I liked, things actually happened in it, and the story was pretty enjoyable with a huge OMFG DID THAT REALLY HAPPEN moment at the end. In comparison to God Emperor, Heretics is a friggen masterpiece. Of course, just about anything is a friggen masterpiece next to that abomination.I have read this book several times since, and I remember enjoying it each time. However, this time, I made a bit of a mistake. I read Fragments by Dan Wells immediately before picking up Heretics, and that was so much better written, with so much more interesting characters, in a much more interesting setting, with a better story that is told better in every way than Heretics of Dune. And so, this time around, all I could think of was how mediocre it was, how it wasn't as well written as Fragments, how the characters weren't as interesting as the creations of Dan Wells, how the story was so distractingly vague and didn't seem to be going anywhere. And after this experience, I have come to the conclusion that Heretics of Dune can either be a very good book, or a soul-crushingly mediocre one depending on what you read immediately before picking it up.We begin after another 1500 year jump into the future. After the fall of the God Emperor due to his own stupidity, arrogance, and lack of any enjoyment factor for anyone reading the books in which he appears, humanity scattered to the nine corners of the universe, multiplying and finding new planets to call home. Why this could only happen AFTER the death of the God Emperor is anyone's guess, but whatever, I'm sure it made sense to Herbert as he was writing the book and who am I to tell Herbert what is stupid in his own universe? After the Scattering people are beginning to return to Arrakis, called Rakis now, and the surrounding part of the universe, bringing with them the Honored Matres. These women are a perversion of the Bene Gesserit, ruling their people through the power of sex. No, I'm not kidding. In fact, the book goes into extensive and graphic detail on this point, and let me tell you... Herbert ain't no sex writer, that much is for sure. The Bene Gesserit see them as a threat because ... and some girl is born on Rakis with the ability to ride the worms and this is important because ... and the Bene Gesserit have cloned Duncan Idaho yet again to do ... and they make an alliance with the Tlelaxu where they are clearly the underdogs because ... Do you see what I keep saying about Herbert leaving WAY too much of what would make his books make more sense vague and up to the reader's own imagination instead of giving us clear character motivations and explanations on the import of certain people and events that bring us into the story?The Good? In a story that literally spans across thousands of years, Herbert bridges these books together with a common character, Duncan Idaho. It's not the same Duncan in every book, but he's got the same memories and personality so it works to hold the series together. Though he's more of a minor character in the first three books, he becomes a more central figure as the series progresses and all other bridges to the earlier volumes are washed away. He works pretty well in this role and is probably one of the more entertaining characters in the series for his penchant for saying the exact thing that will most piss people off in any given conversation.The scope of the story, spanning across thousands of years shows Herbert's true visionary powers. That he was able to concieve of a story spanning so great a time, and account for the passage of time, like the names of planets changing, and show the long term effects of decisions made in the distant past by long dead characters, speaks to his prouesse as a storyteller.At last, after three books of nothing but plots, within plots, within plots, wrapped in layers upon layers of intrigues, Herbert brings some much needed action back to the series. It's not that I don't like the political intrigues. Herbert is excellent at writing them. It's just that when that was ALL that there was to the story, it started to get a little stale. When characters do nothing but plot, and plot, and plot, and NEVER DO ANYTHING ELSE, it gets boring. People stop caring if anything is going to happen next, because they've seen that it isn't going to. When I first read this book, I loved the ending, because the last 25% of it is basically just non-stop action, which was something I was craving from this series since the first book ended, being a teenaged boy at the time and all.The Bad? Although Herbert's sexism is not as pronounced in this book as it was in the previous one, it still comes out. Nearly every female character in this book is described by the size of her breasts, or by the attractiveness of her figure. The whole women perfecting the art of sex to enslave their followers thing is just a little too far over the top for my taste, and shows, once again, that Herbert thinks women are the scum of the universe. His mommy must never have held him as a child or something... There's thinking you're better than women because you happen to have been born with a dick, and then there's the complete and utter hatred that Herbert seems to have. He's in a class all of his own.This book is not very well written. In fact, it's almost downright terribly written. Herbert used to be able to tell a coherant story, but as his career meandered on, he became less and less able to do so. The plot of this book, frankly makes no sense, it goes through several reversals, keeps the readers completely in the dark on the motivation and reasons behind generally everything going on, and skips over serveral key scenes without even referencing them or what went on during them. This book needed a lot more editorial influence than it got. Herbert really needed to sit down with a good and experienced editor and work through the plot for a few months before setting to work on the final drafts. These are things that could easily have been fixed, and I'm completely baffled that they weren't.Characters do things that make no sense, because their motivations are never made clear to the reader. As such, their actions have no context. When we don't know what drives a character to do what they do, anything that they DO end up doing is confusing and pointless. Emphasis and importance are prescribed to certain people or places for no apparent reason because the author never saw the need to explain his own story to us or elaborate on all of the vagueness. Being vague is not bad in and of itself, you can build up mysteries in your stories to ratchet up the suspense and keep the readers interested. That's NOT the problem here. It's that NOTHING--N O T H I N G--is explained. Not who characters are, why they are important, why they do the things they do, why those things are important, what is going on, why any of that is important, why I should care about any of it, and so on. There's building up mysteries and plot twists, and then there's leaving the readers in the dark to the point that they begin to wonder if even YOU know what you're talking about. Characters start doing wildly irrational things and I can't even tell if it's in their character to do so or not, because they're not developed well enough as people for me to know anything about their personalities. Nothing that happens in this book feels as though it was part of a flowing narrative where events move seamlessly and flawlessly along until it all comes crashing down at the end. Instead it feels like a whole lot of different scenes that have nothing to do with each other being tied together by the fact that they just happen to occur around the same characters. This book is a monumental failure to tell a story right from the foundation on up, and the worst thing about it is that it could have been fixed with just a little editorial influence. It didn't HAVE to be this bad. But Herbert had to come down with that whole George Lucas Syndrome thing and well, here we are, with a book that desperately needed an editor in the worst way, and never got one.During almost every single scene in this book I was constantly asking one of the following questions. Why is this important? What does this have to do with anything? Why is this scene even in the book at all? What is going on, and how does it relate to anything else? These are questions that I should never find myself asking during a story. A narrative should be cohesive, with every single scene serving a purpose to the whole, flowing seamlessly from one event to the next and culminating in an epic climax. The entire story of this book is so disjointed and nonsensical that I was constantly trying to figure out how any given scene was supposed to relate to any of the others. And on top of that, several key scenes seem to have been cut near the end. On one page, Teg is plotting a bloody revolution to escape whatever planet he was on. And on the VERY NEXT PAGE, he's on Rakis waiting for a sandworm to arrive with some little girl whose importance STILL has not been touched upon by ANYONE at the very end of the book. I can make GUESSES at her importance to the plot, but Herbert holds her up as a golden child to be worshiped by all, but never tells us WHY. There was CLEARLY a deleted sequence here and the lack of it had me flipping back to see if my book was missing pages. Do you see what I mean when I say this book is disjointed and none of the scenes lead into any of the others? A good 30 pages seems to be completely missing from the published draft of the book.The Ugly? Duncan Idaho: Teenaged Sex God... Need I say more? Okay, people, I've likely said it before, and I'll say it again, as many times as I need to for the point to sink in. Pedophilia of ANY sort is NOT COOL. Now, imagine if you will, that Duncan Idaho is not a fourteen year old boy, but a fourteen year old girl, and the sex temptress forcing herself on him is a man rather than a woman. Does this scene start to feel a little more uncomfortable to you? It should. It should have been just as uncomfortable to anyone as it is. Pedophila is pedophila, whether the victim is male or female. It is just as wrong either way, SO WHY IN THE HELL IS AN UNDERAGE BOY BEING RAPED BY AN OLDER WOMAN SO ACCEPTED IN FICTION IN OUR SOCIETY!?!?! It is just as bad when it happens to a boy as it is when it happens to a girl, and nothing that you can say will justify it. Pedophila is pedophila. It's the same damn thing, and I shouldn't have to explain why it is to anyone. This is a double standard that has both baffled and angered me for just about as long as I can remember. A young girl has an older man force himself on her and it's horrible and unthinkable, the same thing happens to a boy with an older woman and everyone is like, "good for him." NO!!! NOT GOOD FOR HIM!!! That's called pedophila, AND IT IS WRONG!!! Just because a woman is far less likely to sexually assault a teenaged boy than a man might be to assault a teenaged girl doesn't mean that it doesn't happen, and that it's not just as wrong when it does. Sexual abuse toward ANY child, male or female, is still sexual abuse, and guess what, having sex with a fourteen year old, no matter how many lifetimes of memory he might have, qualifies as sexual abuse.This book has no protagonist. A Protagonist is the hero of the story, the one around whom the events of the story unfold. A Protagonist is a surrogate for the reader, a character that we can project ourselves onto and imagine having all those fantastical adventures as. They will be faced with some sort of conflict, and be tried and tested, coming to the very brink of ruin before finally learning and growing as a person and overcoming all opposition. Not every story is the same, I will grant you that, and not every story has to follow that exact pattern, but typically, there's at least a central figure in the story around whom events are woven. There's a main character that is vital to the plot, and without whom there is no story. Not so with Heretics of Dune. There are characters in this book. Some of them do things, though the vast majority of them only take up space, but the book isn't really ABOUT any of them. Without a strong central figure to identify with, we're left with the fragmented plot and the terrible writing to draw us into the book, and as they were both awful, what are we left with? Is it so much to ask that a fictional story I'm reading actually BE ABOUT SOMEONE? This is a concept as old as stories themselves, so why do so many authors these days have trouble identifying to the readers who their book is about and why we should care about them? Say what you will about Stephenie Meyer, but she at least knows who her books are about, and how to tell a cohesive story surrounding them. I mean... they SUCK, but at least they're put together better than this crap.Anyway, despite liking this book in my younger years, I found it terribly written, convoluted, and far too vague for comfort. None of the narrative seems to flow along, and it feels something like a shattered stainglass window rather than a clear picture of a story. None of the character motivations are clear, and far too many plot points are left entirely to the reader's imagination. There is far too much pedophila going on for comfort here, and the fact that I never see anyone bring that point up about this book has me feeling a little nervous over where society is going. Despite bringing some much needed action back to the series, this book fails to entertain because it is written so poorly, and the plot reads like a map for a roadtrip planned out by a crack addict. Compared to God Emperor of Dune, it was a masterpiece. Compared to anything else, it's pretty much crap. Check out my other reviews.

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.

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 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.


Heretics of Dune begins a new cycle in the Dune Series. Or, more accurately, an evolution -- consequence -- of the cycle identified in Dune. I enjoyed Heretics of Dune far more than God Emperor, although God Emperor was a necessary bridge between Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of Dune, and Heretics, as well as Heretic's sister novel, Chapterhouse Dune. Several of the characters are fantastic, in particular Miles Teg, who provides a necessary balance (oddly enough, given the typical focus on men in scientific novels) to the otherwise heavy focus on woman characters. Duncan Idaho, for whatever reason, simply doesn't accomplish this task. In any event, the characters save this story, allowing you to reconcile (overlook?) some of the leaps of logic that are necessary in reading the book. Perhaps this reflects a lesson within the book: the need to make choices, and achieve understanding, on the basis of only so much data and background, and a heavy reliance on intuition. Even so, the end is a tad abrupt, and I wish elements of the end were developed in more detail. Also, the focus on landscape, on environment, seemed less pronounced. Perhaps Herbert simply took it as a given, a strong thread persistent and present in Dune that must continue. But I think the thread should have been explicitly identified, reinforced, brightened. Regardless, a fantastic book, one that led me inexorably towards Chapterhouse.

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.


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.


In some ways, Heretics of Dune marks a significant departure from the previous installments in the Dune series. The plot is no longer focused on the Atreides family, but instead on the Bene Gesserit and its struggle for survival. Yet at the same time, it is a clear return to the original storytelling style of the first book. Rather than the pages and pages of philosophy present in God Emperor, Herbert has written a much more action-driven novel that further explores political powers and characters in the Duniverse.Perhaps this is why at first, the reader may find themselves quickly tearing through the novel. I personally was eager to read more in depth about the Bene Gesserit, Bene Tleilaxu, and other inhabitants of Herbert's world, and interested to see what had become of Dune 1500 years after the reign of Leto II. Herbert's talent for imagining and creating a fascinating vision of the future of humankind cannot be questioned. On Dune, now known as Rakis, we are also introduced to Sheeana, an intriguing character who can command the sandworms, and thus soon commands the attention of the Rakian priests and the Sisterhood.Sheeana's life seems destined to become intertwined with Duncan Idaho's, the ghola once again revived by the Sisterhood for the apparent sole purpose of "breeding" with Sheeana. For the majority of the book, we are led to believe that their timelines are connected and important.But the book really isn't about them at all, and in fact it's hard to tell exactly who the book is supposed to be about. At first, it seems to be the Bene Gesserit institution as a whole, but the focus switches several times throughout, leaving the reader without a clear reason to follow any of the characters. The subplots are all evidently meant to tie in together, but instead become convoluted and confusing. Too much is left unclear to form a coherent plot. For instance, Sheeana's significance is never revealed. Was her only purpose as a character to herd a worm to be captured and transplanted off-planet? A rather anticlimactic ending for a character deemed by all other characters as practically a goddess. The reader is too often left asking, "Why?" Along with the Duncan-Sheeana connection, the biggest mystery of the novel is the hypersexuality. Everything all the characters (with the exception of Teg) do revolves around sexual relations or plans for sexual relations between others. While this theme has been present throughout all of the series, it has mainly remained in the background, with Herbert simply informing the reader that the Bene Gesserit has a breeding plan. Some may have noticed the increased sexuality in God Emperor; in Heretics, it is ramped up to an off-putting and distracting level. Herbert, however, seems too timid or uncomfortable with actually writing about sex. The language skirts around anything explicit until one underwhelming and awkward scene near the end of the book. The effect is one that is just weird, which I'm sure is not what Herbert was going for.In the end, rather than keeping up the exciting pace found in the beginning, the novel seems to drag on for just a bit too long, as all of the books in the series do. This, in addition to the vague motivations of the plot(s), weakens the book significantly. While I read the first three-fourths of the book in three weeks, I spent the next three slogging through the final fourth. Rather than being eager to begin Chapterhouse: Dune, I instead felt relieved to finally be done with Heretics. Not a feeling a book should leave you with.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.

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