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Heretics of Dune (Dune #5)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  42,477 Ratings  ·  593 Reviews

From Dune to Rakis to Dune, the wheel turns full circle. From burning desert to green and fertile land and on again to burning desert ... the cycle is complete.

The people of the Scattering are returning. Amongst them, mysterious and threatening, are the women who call themselves the Honoured Matres, adepts of an ecstatic cult.

And on Rakis, become Dune, an ancient prophecy

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Kindle Edition, 512 pages
Published (first published April 15th 1984)
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Manny
The guards ushered Frank into the office. As usual, the Reverend Publisher was seated at her desk, writing.

So many lives touched by her decisions, he thought.

"Well?"

She looked up. He had promised himself that he would not flinch before the fire of her gaze, and once more he broke his promise.

"It is... almost finished."

"Almost." Her irony was palpable, a force. "Almost is not enough. You know that, Frank. When will it be done?"

"I think... a month. At most two. I am working as hard as I can, Rever
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Brad
Mar 25, 2013 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that I put this one on the backburner for years and years and years, even though I attempted to re-read the series several times over the decades, I always got stuck right at the end of God Emperor of Dune and something in me just didn't want to pick up the two novels afterward.

This is strange to me! I thought the fifth and sixth books were rather awesome, frankly!

And that's why I'm skipping books 2, 3, and 4 altogether and jumping right back in to the books that I have only rea
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Evgeny
Jun 21, 2016 Evgeny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Not much time has passed since the events in the end of the previous book – measly 1500 years. Considering the fact that God Emperor was an undisputed ruler of the known Universe for exactly 3 times as long as that, this time period is nothing. As such not much has changed – believe it or not. For comparison take modern state of humanity and that of 1500 years ago and think whether it is possible at all for humans to stagnate for this long. I honestly do not believe it.
Now and Then

Anyhow, with the God Emper
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Markus
Buddy read with Athena!

“The surest way to keep a secret is to make someone think they already know the answer.”

The tyrant God Emperor has returned to the sands of Dune. The universe that was once ruled by Houses Corrino and Atreides have fallen into chaos and is controlled by dozens of bickering factions. The Bene Gesserit and the Tleilaxu struggle for power, but their ambitions are contested by billions of humans returning from the Scattering. But on the surface of Dune, a small girl might be a
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Lyn
May 22, 2014 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I often complain about series and deride their success but here I am reading a series and I think I understand the attraction: escapism, pure and simple. As the pages turned I smiled, recognizing Bene Gesserit (now with more fully described superhuman powers – like Jedi), Duncan Idaho, and yes even the great worms. I surrounded myself, wrapped up like a great cozy blanket, in the familiarity of the world building and closed the door to this reality. I think maybe that is why series are so popula ...more
Terry
I’m one of those weirdos that actually likes the entirety of Frank Herbert’s Dune series even after you get past the first three volumes and the direct history of Muad’Dib and his family and start wading into some seriously weird stuff (and saying that the later volumes of the series are weird when you compare them to the earlier ones is saying something). Don’t worry though, I’m not crazy enough to have anything but contempt for that cash grab series of prequels and sequels floated by Herbert’s ...more
Wanda

2.5 stars, rounded up to 3.

I do love the Dune universe, but I usually limit my re-reading to the first three books. The fourth book, God Emperor of Dune, is definitely the worst of the bunch, in my opinion, and yet I’m glad I read it long, long ago so that I knew what the main characters in Heretics were talking about! (Not enough to re-read God Emperor, mind you.)

Things I like in this book? Miles Teg, beloved Bashar and Atreides descendent and his interesting development in the last chapters.
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Eric Allen
Heretics of Dune
Book 5 of the Dune Chronicles

A Dune Retrospective by Eric Allen

Heretics 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 s
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Tom
Aug 23, 2007 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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, cland
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Athena Shardbearer
Buddy Read with Markus

Hey old worm, was this your design?

Soooooo much better than the last book.
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
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Stephen
4.5 to 5.0 stars. Another superb installment in one of the best science fiction series of all time. The universe that Herbert created for the Dune series is as good as it gets and his writing and story telling are amazing. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!!
Kevin
Feb 22, 2011 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Compared to the questionable God Emperor of Dune, this regains some of the original Dune novels taste for plots, counter-plots, espionage, conspiracies and so on. God Emperor of Dune was too heavy with little action to break it up, and besides, it was so hard to visualise Leto II as the hybrid creature he became. Heretics of Dune however is a big return to form, with lots of action and different character focus, combined with the mysticism, religion and philosophical discourse that characterises ...more
Bob R Bogle
Apr 16, 2012 Bob R Bogle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: herbert


[Nota Bene: As Frank Herbert's last two published novels in the Dune series, Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune, along with the unwritten Dune 7, in fact comprise a single story that happened to be divided into three parts, I'll post the same review for both of the two published volumes. This review contains no spoilers.]

During the first half of his literary career, Frank Herbert focused most on coming to terms with what it meant to be conscious. The evolution of his thinking on the subject
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Erik
Dec 29, 2008 Erik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 me
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Mark
Nov 05, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first novel of a new trilogy with apperently the Bene Geserit sisterhood as leading characters who are still involved or lead by the vision of Leto II. There are indeed strong links to the previous Dune books and characters and history.

As always Frank Herbert does seems to really instill a sense of beauty and at the same time mystery in his writing. Something that seems to be lacking in the writing of the continuation writers. And of all the actors in the Dune books I have always ha
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Scofield Reinhard
A major event in the Dune universe. A plot brilliantly set and written by Frank Herbert.
Neil
This is kind of an odd book. It takes place at least "several millennia" after God Emperor of Dune ends [based on the dust jacket], but a blurb inside implies it could be as much as ten thousand years after the fourth book. As a result, it is hard to quantify. The tempo of the book changes; it starts off 'slow' and plods along until the latter third-to-fourth of the book. Then, the pace noticeably quickens, due in part to how the story jumps around as it draws to a close. It is hard to follow at ...more
Sarah
Nov 08, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 characte ...more
Chris
Nov 10, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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 b
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Jeremy Preacher
Apr 07, 2011 Jeremy Preacher rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
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 r
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Adrian Ciuleanu
Nov 22, 2012 Adrian Ciuleanu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jesse
Feb 26, 2017 Jesse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the original series approaches its end, Herbert manages to keep the subject matter fresh and the reader guessing as to what will come next. Heretics of Dune does a great job of fleshing out many centuries between itself and the preceding story, without sacrificing any of the heady themes that are the series' hallmark. Highly recommend it to fans of the series, but I would be remiss to recommend it to newcomers who have not read the preceding books (they will truly be the Lost Ones).
Drew Athans
Feb 28, 2011 Drew Athans rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I guess I'm not like a lot of these other reviewers. I thought this book, the fifth in the series, was fantastic and probably my second favorite after the first one. It's got that perfect Dune blend of sci-fi, politics, religion, intrigue, action, and great characters. I literally couldn't put this book down after the first 150 pages or so. The story begins some 1500 years after the death of Leto II from God Emperor of Dune and brings us up to speed on what happened in the aftermath of his death ...more
Peter
Sep 12, 2010 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: science fiction fans
Shelves: science-fiction
The fifth book in Frank Herbert's classic Dune series maintains the story well.

It's rather fashionable to dismiss Herbert's later books, particularly the later Dune books, as inferior to the originals. But that's unfair. Heretics of Dune clearly shows that Herbert's abilities were not flagging as he carried on the series; the one weakness that the book can be charged with is that it is clearly not complete in itself, but rather obviously a "middle" episode in an ongoing saga.

Heretics has much
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John Rebel
Apr 18, 2017 John Rebel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ethan
Dec 11, 2014 Ethan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(See another version of this review on my blog: http://examinedworlds.blogspot.com/20...).

"'Never underestimate the power of an idea,' Taraza said. The Atreides were ever philosophers in their governance. Philosophy is always dangerous because it promotes the creation of new ideas.'" - Heretics of Dune (p. 440)

This is my third time through the series. The first time I read Heretics I thought it was okay, but it was my second least favorite of the series after Dune Messiah, mainly because it seem
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Marlowe
Jul 17, 2015 Marlowe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After the god emperor Leto II fell to his death, there was a cataclysm, a starvation times, that forced much of humanity out into the furthest reaches of space. Now, a thousand years later, these "Lost Ones" are returning, and it upsets the balance of power that has reigned in the galaxy for thousands of years.

I loved Dune and I liked Messiah and Children well enough, but God Emperor came very close to making me give up on the series. It was so terrible, with so many juvenile ideas about power,
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Anas Sabbar
Mar 04, 2017 Anas Sabbar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heretics broke me.
“Hey! Old worm! Was this your design?”

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! A
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Dune Fanatics: The Golden Path and the Scattering 4 53 Dec 17, 2013 06:26PM  
  • Hunters of Dune (Dune Chronicles #7)
  • The Dune Encyclopedia
  • Robots and Empire (Robot #4)
  • The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Cantos #4)
  • Scattered Suns (The Saga of Seven Suns, #4)
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Frank Herbert was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful American science fiction author.

He is best known for the novel Dune and its five sequels. The Dune saga, set in the distant future and taking place over millennia, dealt with themes such as human survival and evolution, ecology, and the intersection of religion, politics, and power, and is widely considered to be among the classi
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More about Frank Herbert...

Other Books in the Series

Dune (8 books)
  • Dune (Dune #1)
  • Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles #2)
  • Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles #3)
  • God Emperor of Dune (Dune Chronicles #4)
  • Chapterhouse: Dune (Dune Chronicles #6)
  • Hunters of Dune (Dune Chronicles #7)
  • Sandworms of Dune (Dune Chronicles #8)

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“The surest way to keep a secret is to make someone think they already know the answer.” 71 likes
“Bureaucracy destroys initiative. There is little that bureaucrats hate more than innovation, especially innovation that produces better results than the old routines. Improvements always make those at the top of the heap look inept. Who enjoys appearing inept?” 61 likes
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