Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert
First of all, Wow! what a book. This book not only was a page turner but it had lots of pages to turn. The book takes place 1,500 years after the reign of Leto II, the God Emperor. Arrakis, Dune has returned to being the desert planet, thanks to the sandtrout of Leto II's destruction bringing back the sandworms from extinction. The planet is now called Rakis. Another planet of note, Geidi Prime, former homeworld for House Harkonnen is now known as Gammu.
The empire fell into chaos before the return of the sandworms, due to the scarcity of spice. This created the "Scattering" in which many of the population sought the extreme edges of the universe to find other sources of spice or to expand the location of humanity. As the books opens many people have returned and have changed. There is a new force to deal with, the Honored Matres, they are very similar to the Bene Gesserit but the Matres use sex as a weapon and force of rule. The Bene Gesserit and Bene Tleilax see this as threat and somewhat team up to fight these Honored Matres.
The Bene Gesserit have been using gholas of Duncan Idaho through the years but the Tleilaxu always assassinate the ghola. This time will be different, the Bene Gesserit have a plan. But, as it seems so do the Tleilaxu. They have "programmed" the ghola to kill the Bene Gesserit "imprinter" that tries to imprint him to guarantee his loyalty to the Bene Gesserit.
In the meantime on Rakis, a child is discovered by the priests that can control the sandworms. The Bene Gesserit hear of this and immediately take over Rakis, in order to make the child, Sheeana, a Reverend Mother, and maybe to breed with the Duncan ghola.
The Honored Matres also find this out and seek to destroy the ghola and the girl and Rakis. So with many battles to ensue we are introduced to a retired Bashar, Teg, who is brought out of retirement to not only guard the ghola but to awaken his memories due to Teg being the exact likeness of Duke Leto I. After awakening the ghola Teg, Reverend Mother Lucilla, who was supposed to imprint Duncan before the awakening, and Duncan are discovered on Gammu and have to go underground to get to Rakis. Teg is captured and tortured by the Honored Matres but during the torture some strange powers are awakened in him. He is able to speed his body and mind outside the normal flow of time, and able to destroy all occupants in a Honored Matres stronghouse. He then steals a no-ship (which is a ship undetectable by all, including prescience vision) and takes Lucilla and Duncan to Rakis.
On Rakis, Reverend Mother Taraza dies and passes her memories to Reverend Mother Odrade. Odrade has aligned somewhat with the Bene Tleilax in order to combat the Honored Matres. Odrade has started the process for Sheeana to become a Reverend Mother. Teg and company arrive and provide transport in the no-ship for Odrade, Lucilla, Duncan, Sheeana and a captured sandworm back to Chapterhouse while he stays behind to fight the Matres and as it turns out Rakis is destroyed.
The Reverend Mothers bring the worm to Chapterhouse in order to turn it into another Dune.
Okay, only one more Frank Herbert Dune book to go. Dune is destroyed but the sandworms still live.