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Chronologically, the events of the sixth Dune adventure--slow to start, but packing quite a wallop by the end--closely follow those of the fifth (Heretics of Dune, 1984). You will recall that the remnants of Leto's old empire, held together by the Bene Gesserit sisterhood and their allies, are now besieged by hordes of insanely vicious Honored Matres. And the tantalizing question here is: can the Bene Gesserit--and Leto's Golden Path--survive such an assault? The Honored Matres have powerful advantages: there are billions of them; they have blindingly fast reflexes; their men are enslaved with amplified sex; and they command unknown weapons derived from others they've conquered. Meanwhile, the beleaguered Bene Gesserit are trying to re-establish the desert-worm-spice cycle on planet Chapterhouse: they are dependent on the life-prolonging spice, which ignites racial Other Memories in Bene Gesserit Reverend Mothers. So the absorbing, devious, intricate plot here revolves around Bene Gesserit efforts to convert Murbella, their captive Honored Matre, to Bene Gesserit ways--as Herbert's strong, familiar characters move through a steady series of dramatic confrontations, sometimes flatly didactic, more often riveting. . . while some elaborate, intriguing new ideas set the stage for yet another installment. Despite a few boggy patches, then, the vast and fascinating Dune saga sweeps on--as exciting and gripping as ever. (The obvious movie tie-in, and the resurgent popularity of the original Dune, won't do any harm at all.)

Pub Date: April 22nd, 1985
ISBN: 0441017215
Publisher: Putnam