Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “House Harkonnen (Prelude to Dune, #2)” as Want to Read:
House Harkonnen (Prelude to Dune, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

House Harkonnen (Prelude to Dune #2)

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  10,628 ratings  ·  161 reviews
Returning to the vivid universe of Frank Herbert's "Dune", this title continues the saga begun in "Dune: House Atreides". As Shaddam sits at last on the Golden Lion Throne, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen plots against the new Emperor and House Atreides--and against the mysterious Sisterhood of the Bene Gesserit. For Leto Atreides, it is a time of momentous choice.
Paperback, 733 pages
Published August 28th 2001 by Spectra Books (first published 2000)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about House Harkonnen, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about House Harkonnen

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
D. B.
I got a hundred pages in before saying to myself, "What was I thinking?" Brian Herbert's half (what there was of it that was detectable; I severely suspect that the only reason his name is on the dust jacket was for marketing purposes) barely covers up the stink of Kevin Anderson's goopy, vapid, deliberate "prose."

Contrary to the reviewer's blurbs, this cash cow in the shape of a book is painfully contrived, insultingly predictable, and completely not in the spirit of Dune.

Dropped it like it was
Utter drivel. The only Dune fans likely to enjoy this, or any of the so-called Dune books not written by Frank Herbert, are those who read the series strictly for the action, and not any of the political and cultural ideas or sophisticated characterizations that make the original books true masterworks of SF. I'm sure Frank's happy that he's able to provide a living for his son from the grave through his work, but if I were Brian I'd feel deeply ashamed to be cashing any checks generated from th ...more
Utter crap. I can't believe this man ever did research into his father's books as he claimed. There are massive in consistencies with the REAL "Dune" books. House Corrino is slightly better.
Shelly - The Illustrated Librarian -
Jan 05, 2009 Shelly - The Illustrated Librarian - rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any fan of "Dune"
Shelves: sci-fi
Dune is one of my all-time favorite books, and this is a great addition to the canon.

It's so exciting to learn the histories of the well-loved characters of Dune. Brian Herbert's writing style is very similar to his father's, so the book (and the whole prequel trilogy) doesn't seem out of place in the Dune universe.

We spend a lot of time with the young Duke Leto in this volume, along with his best friend, Prince Rhombur of the tech planet Ix. Readers also meet the loathsome Tleilaxu and learn a
John Moulton
I covered my thoughts on the 'authors' and 'writing' in my review for House Atreides.

To cover the rest of my feelings for the books these two are spitting out like mindless machines: Frank Herbert must be spinning in his grave.

Apr 07, 2009 Selene rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Dune fanatics, sci-fi fans...
I really loved this book. Usually, I don't like sequels of great books because the sequel usually stain the reputation of the first book (read: "World Without an End"), but this is a case of a good prequel.

For one thing, I finally could see Duke Leto being the incredible man that everyone talked about in Dune. I felt like we couldn't really get a good feel for him in Dune; he was a good ruler according to many, but we don't see facts of that. In this book, however, we see that he really is a de
If you are a Dune fan, this is for you. I'm reading them out of order - House Atreides goes first, but it's so great to see the characters before they get to Dune. Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson write in a style so close to Frank Herbert, that the books are easily connected to the original Dune series. You finally see why the Baron is so grotesque, Jessica had a son, why Gurney and Duncan are so loyal, and who Duke Leto is. Great Read
Jan 11, 2010 James added it
Awful. This was on the shelf in our house in Thailand. Totally unreadable...No stars. The original Dune series by FRANK HERBERT rules it though.
Jun 07, 2008 Rory rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf
God awful. I couldn't finish it. If the author's last name wasn't Herbert, security would have taken him out of the publisher's offices.
This book was so bad I couldn't make it past the second chapter. Wish I could give negative stars to this travesty.
Some worlds are not meant to be picked up by people other than the orginial author. This was one of them.
The entire "House" series is unreadable crap and an embarrassing exploitation of the author's father's name.
House Harkonnen - Good Evil: My review is listed below but first a disclaimer - I am disheartened by our rejecto-matic society where only the original version has merit and it is super cool to dismiss any new effort as bad. I did not read "The Maine Woods" and hold it up against Thoreau's Walden. On it own House Harkonnen is a fine work. I have just read many of the reviews herein and am shocked - no doubt they are by the same folks who did not like the Star Wars prequels - I guarantee that thes ...more
The House Trilogy is my favorite of all of the extended duniverse trilogies. It was the first one that I read and it has continually became a firm favorite for re-reads. Mainly because it is leading right up to the book that makes this series so popular - Dune.

In House Harkonnen we see the Baron, with his protigy Rabban, making plots within plots to squeeze every grain of spice out of Arrakis and to bring about House Atreides downfall. We see Kailea and Rhombur Vernius trying to ressurect their
John Shumway
*Same review for the Dune Universe*
GREAT books! VERY time consuming! Worth the time!

Ok here is the deal. If your not sure about starting a series this big, here is what I would do.
1. -- Read the 1st one by Frank Herbert "Dune" if you like it...

2. -- Read the "Legends Of Dune" series. Its 3 books written by Frank's son Brian and a author I really like by the name of Keven J. Anderson. Its a prequel that is so far in the past that it doesn't spoil the Original Dune series in any way, and you could
This series continues to amaze me. Seeing how the events of the first book settle, how the couples I recognize from the Frank Herbert books come together, and the intricate court intrigue all really impress me.

I had to put this book down when I was nearly finished and in the year it took me to get back to it I was surprised how much I forgot. I re-read from the middle and got caught up. It was amazing that the atmosphere is what I think about most often. Reading about Castle Caladan is like bei
Clark Hallman
Dune: House Harkonnen is another excellent prequel to Frank Herbert’s Dune series. It was co-written by Herbert’s son and Kevin Anderson, who have collaborated on several other Dune prequels including Dune House Atreides. I really liked this one. It develops the total evilness of Baron Harkonnen and his nephew, Rabban. The Benne Gesserit enhance their involvement (and influence) in both House Attreides and House Harkonnon. Leto, who eventually will be Paul’s father, has a son with his concubine, ...more
John Stickel
Absolute puke. I can't besmirch this or any of the other Brian Herbert Dune bastardizations any more than previous reviewers have done. I received a couple of these books as gifts and threw them in the trash after trying to get through the first couple chapters. Don't waste your time.
Yet another Dune book. I thought House Atreides was good, but not great, like Dune. Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson are not good at writing endings. If you know the Dune books you know that certain things have to happen - certain people have to come together, etc. Herbert and Anderson try hard to make those confluences interesting, and add a few plotlines that mean you have some additional substance for a prequel.

That said, as they set up various aspects of the Dune plot, they lose track of the
The Brian Herbert-Kevin J. Anderson Dune books are quite polarizing. After having read the second book in this series, I find some of the criticism valid. But it's also clear that the authors did try to flesh out the Dune universe in a way that would satisfy Frank Herbert. They're clearly not quite as good with the art of writing, but the books aren't trash.

Of the criticisms I've seen, the one that most holds up is repetition and lack of subtlety in the writing. I'm not sure if this is because t
I have read so many reviews that attack these preludes, but I am quite proud to stand up and say that I like them. No, they are not in the same league as the original Dune novels by Frank Herbert and they do have their problems, but they are also full of great characters, endless action, convoluted plots and wonderful settings, so there is no need to be so harsh on them!

Although the title leads you to believe that it focuses largely on the Harkonnen family, this isn't really true. They are just
Kevin J.J. Carpenter
I'm going to cheat and just post my "House Atreides" review again. My sentiments have not changed much.

What can I say about "Dune: House Harkonnen"? Well, it wasn't bad. The story fit into the Dune Universe rather nicely. The characters are easily recognisable as the classic figures from the original story, and the events—while few and far between—conjure the predictable prelude to Frank Herbert's classic original.

Herein lies the problem though. There was a very good reason Frank Herbert starte
Andrew Kubasek
I really haven't been as impressed with the new "Dune" books as a lot of people have been. Yes, it takes place in the "Dune" universe. Yes, it has a lot of the background of the characters featured in the original books. Yes, it really sets the stage well. But they all seem to lack that subtle spark that the original books had.
The joint authors are running out of fresh ideas. Plausible filler material on Kynes, on how he affected Arrakis, but it mostly feels a dutiful way of getting the scene set for "Dune" itself. That's probably the last Dune novel I read in my life.
NOT on the same level as Dune, but still a good read.

I was not expecting too much from the House series of books from some passionate negative reviews. I book is action packed and never boring. It also answered a lot of questions I had about the original Dune. I don't like how much it's Evil vs. Good....for example House Harkonen with few exceptions is pure and House Atreidies is almost pure good. Most of the characters are not developed. Also the story is at times is often predictable. I was ex
Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson are once again crouched over Frank Herbert's grave... and this time, they've been eating their fiber.
These books are complete trash and the writers should be embarrassed to be shitting on Dune's legacy.
I'm enjoying these prequels. They are making me want to revisit the first book even more, but I have too much other reading to do! I will eventually revisit the original Dune...

These books are sooooo loong. I'm a slow reader, so it takes me forever to get through them. But all in all, I'm glad to have invested the time in this...

What I like: I'm being drawn into the world of Dune even further, and enjoying some of the characters in the process. Most interesting in this is hearing Gurney's story
This book was an excellent addition to the Dune universe. I seriously considered giving it five stars, but on reflection, the gruesome torture scenes by the Harkonnens were enough to have me to skip ahead. And for that, I'll have to say it wasn't perfect. I loved how the authors fleshed out the Duke's humanity, how Jessica came into the Duke's company, and how Rhombur survived. I felt like I was watching Star Wars 3 again since you know some things have to match up for the novel that started it ...more
Delicious Strawberry
While the House Trilogy had a few nice scenes, it was an ultimately unneccessary trilogy which was only exacerbated by the fact that Brian and Kevon chose to write this and another McDune trilogy BEFORE they finally did Dune 7 (and what a HUGE disappointment that was!)

Baron Harkonnen is getting fatter and fatter and he hates it and it makes him mad at the Bene Gesserit. In the real Dune books, he isn't bothered by this and seems to enjoy it, so Brian and Kevin basically ruined it for us by retco
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Road to Dune (Dune Universe)
  • Horizon Storms (The Saga of Seven Suns, #3)
  • The Dune Encyclopedia
  • The Battles of Dune
Brian Herbert, the son of famed science fiction author Frank Herbert, is the author of multiple New York Times bestsellers. He has won several literary honors and has been nominated for the highest awards in science fiction. In 2003, he published Dreamer of Dune, a moving biography of his father that was a Hugo Award finalist. His other acclaimed novels include Sidney's Comet, Sudanna Sudanna, The ...more
More about Brian Herbert...

Other Books in the Series

Prelude to Dune (3 books)
  • House Atreides (Prelude to Dune, #1)
  • House Corrino (Prelude to Dune, #3)
The Butlerian Jihad (Legends of Dune, #1) House Atreides (Prelude to Dune, #1) The Machine Crusade (Legends of Dune, #2) House Corrino (Prelude to Dune, #3) The Battle of Corrin (Legends of Dune, #3)

Share This Book

“The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The
willingness to learn is a choice.”
“How will I be remembered by my children? This is the true measure of a man.” 4 likes
More quotes…