Summary and book reviews of Dune: House Atreides by Brian Herbert

Dune: House Atreides

by Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson

Dune: House Atreides
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  • First Published:
    Oct 1999, 604 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2000, 720 pages

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Book Summary

Beginning nearly four decades before Dune, House Atreides introduces pivotal characters, alliances, base treacheries, and bright hopes that form the foundation of Dune.

The Epic Prequel to Dune

Frank Herbert's Dune chronicles became an enduring classic and the most popular science fiction series of all time. Working from recently discovered files left by his father, Brian Herbert and best-selling novelist Kevin J. Anderson bring us Dune: House Atreides, the prequel, which captures all the complexity and grand themes of the original work while weaving a new tapestry of great passion and momentous destiny into a saga that expands the tale written by Frank Herbert more than thirty years ago.

Beginning nearly four decades before Dune, House Atreides introduces pivotal characters, alliances, base treacheries, and bright hopes that form the foundation of Dune. On the planet Arrakis, an aging tyrant sits on the Golden Lion Throne and rules all of the known universe, while his son grows dangerously impatient for the crown. A quasi-religious order of black-robed women move their secret breeding program one momentous step closer to creating a god-child they call the Kwisatz Haderach. And a minor family among the nobility, House Atreides, chooses a course of honor that will bring it to destruction at the hands of its mortal enemy, House Harkonnen--or take it to new heights of power.

Here is the rich and complex world that Frank Herbert created in his classic series, in the time leading up to the momentous events of Dune. As Emperor Elrood's son Shaddam plots a subtle regicide, young Leto Atreides leaves his lush, water-rich planet for a year's education on the mechanized world of Ix; a planetologist named Pardot Kynes is dispatched by the Emperor to the desert planet Arrakis, or Dune, to discover the secrets of the addictive spice known as melange; and the eight-year-old slave Duncan Idaho is hunted by his cruel masters in a terrifying game from which he vows escape and vengeance. But none can envision the fate in store for them: one that will make them renegades--and shapers of history.

Covering the decade when Shaddam wins his throne, the teenager Leo Atreides becomes unexpectedly the rule of House Atreides, and Pardot Kynes uncovers one of the planet Dune's greatest secrets, House Atreides stands next to Dune in its power and scope. While this new novel solves some of Dune's most baffling mysteries, it presents new puzzles springing from the sands where one day Paul Muad'Dib Atreides will walk. But now, in the years before Paul's birth, an unforgettable new epic begins. Fans of the Dune chronicles will relish the opportunity to return to the rich and exotic universe created by Frank Herbert, while new readers will be introduced to an incomparable imagination--a future where the fate of the entire cosmos is at stake.

Melange is the financial crux of CHOAM activities. Without this spice, Bene Gesserit Reverend Mothers could not perform feats of observation and human control, Guild Navigators could not see safe pathways across space, and billions of Imperial citizens would die of addictive withdrawal. Any simpleton knows that such dependence upon a single commodity leads to abuse. We are all at risk.

--CHOAM Economic Analysis of Materiel Flow Patterns.

Lean and muscular, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen hunched forward next to the ornithopter pilot. He peered with spider-black eyes through the pitted windowplaz, smelling the ever-present grit and sand.

As the armored 'thopter flew high overhead, the white sun of Arrakis dazzled against unrelenting sands. The sweeping vista of dunes sizzling in the day's heat made his retinas burn. The landscape and sky were bleached of color. Nothing soothed the human eye.

Hellish place.

The Baron wished he could be back in the industrialized warmth ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

.... a terrific read in its own right but will inspire readers to turn, or return, to its great predecessor.

Kirkus Reviews

In a word, satisfying all Dune fans will want to investigate, newcomers will be tempted, and it should promote fresh interest in the magnificent original series.

Library Journal

A good introduction to the world of Arrakis for first-timers and a welcome return for series fans, this title (first of a projected trilogy) may warrant multiple copies. Highly recommended.

Author Blurb Dean Koontz
Dune House Atreides is a terrific prequel, but it is also a first-rate adventure on its own. Frank Herbert would surely be delighted and proud of this continuation of his vision.

Reader Reviews

Nathan Kuczmarski

Dune: House Atreides
Dune: Kouse Atreides is truly a great read. Its perfect for anyone who loves to read sci-fi books. Also remember there are other Dune books in the series.

drama_queen

I loved this book, I found answers that I had been pestering people about. Now things are begining to make sense (wink), I guess I just like lotsa clear explination. Anyway if anybody liked the origionals then they should deffinitly read this.

mapes

Could have been a dud but has been very skilfully handled. The book is written in a clean style - I think the writing is better than Herbert's, though it doesn't generate quite the same atmosphere. Overall you would have to say it is a good read and ...   Read More

rdemarco

It is a good book for spending time without further worring. It has lots of action, an intersting plot. It lacks the mythic appeal of the original dune series but provide us a intersting overview of the pre dune world.

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