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House Atreides

(Prelude to Dune #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  21,836 ratings  ·  510 reviews
Frank Herbert's award-winning Dune chronicles captured the imagination of millions of readers worldwide. By his death in 1986, Herbert had completed six novels in the series, but much of his vision remained unwritten. Now, working from his father's recently discovered files, Brian Herbert and bestselling novelist Kevin J. Anderson collaborate on a new novel, the prelude to ...more
Paperback, 704 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by Bantam Spectra (first published October 5th 1999)
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Joseph I recommend reading all the originals before going near the new books. Read it as it was intended by the original genius. After reading House Atreides…moreI recommend reading all the originals before going near the new books. Read it as it was intended by the original genius. After reading House Atreides I decided not to read anymore of the new books... personally I found it absolutely atrocious, but even if it was half good, there's something to be said for keeping the history and wider universe a tantalising mystery.(less)

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  21,836 ratings  ·  510 reviews

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Start your review of House Atreides (Prelude to Dune #1)
Nov 15, 2016 rated it liked it
At a meeting of the Jedi Council on Coruscant, the Masters discuss Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson’s 1999 novel Dune: House Atreides.

Yoda: Enjoy it I did.

Mace Windu: Yes, I felt that an exploration of the earlier generation was an excellent way to further develop the storyline.

Ki-Adi-Mundi: Absolutely, Herbert and Anderson’s collaboration did not try to copy or imitate the narrative style of Frank Herbert, but rather to give life and a new voice to his earlier vision.

Plo Koon: And sell some
Buddy read with Athena!

Blindness can take many forms other than the inability to see. Fanatics are often blinded in their thoughts. Leaders are often blinded in their hearts.
- The Orange Catholic Bible

Decades before the events of the Great Dune Trilogy, we go back to the blissful times in the reign of Emperor Elrood IX. Peace and prosperity rule in the Known Universe, and on the beautiful Atreides homeworld of Caladan, young Leto Atreides is being slowly, but steadily, groomed for command.

May 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
The entire "House" series is unreadable crap and an embarrassing exploitation of the author's father's name.
Sep 03, 2009 rated it did not like it
I felt so dirty after reading this "novel" that I felt compelled to re-read the entirety of the actual Dune series.
Thomas Kozak
Oct 30, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who really didn't like Dune that much
Terrible. A few interesting moments but it's diluted with too much that's simply boring.

There's a few ways to do a good prequel. The easiest is to throw it back so far in time that pretty much *anything* could result in the world your readers are expecting. The second way is to hit the nail perfectly, making the one obvious lead-in to your source material. Thirdly, you can start of with a completely unexpected plot and through Herculean loose-end-tying make it mesh in an interesting way.

This is
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
This the first in the Prelude to Dune series of novels that provide the back story to Frank Herbert's DUNE.
The series consists of:
House Atreides
House Harkonnen
House Corrino

Plot ***Spoilers***
House Atreides
The novel begins on the planet of Arrakis, 35 years before the events of the original novel Dune. The Baron Vladimir Harkonnen has just taken over the governorship of Arrakis (also called Dune) from his younger brother Abulurd, who has allowed spice production to decrease heavily. The Baron se
Matthew Fox
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Well after I finished Chapterhouse Dune, I was pretty sure I was done reading anymore Dune books, but I decided I would give Herbert's son and Anderson a chance to wow me with the their writing, imaginations and notes left behind from Frank Herbert.

Needless to say I love Herbert's Dune series, it really blew my mind on many levels. Inventiveness, technology, cutting edge class, philosophy I don't know where to stop really.

So when I picked up these prequals, they really had quite a bit to overco
John Moulton
Sep 02, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Anderson appears to have written books for a lot of different sci-fi worlds, and this gives me the impression that it has given him a sort of writing ADD. Everything in Dune: House Atreides and Dune: House Harkonnen was just stated straight out, and then the plot moved on, nice and orderly, with no expansion, no flavor, no life: march, words, march! Some important event has occured here, moving on!

Look at the rate the books are churned out: Oct 99, Oct 00, Oct 01, Sep 02, Sep 03, Aug 04, Sep 05
Apr 09, 2010 rated it did not like it
I had to put this down after the second or third chapter. It was too painful.

The audio-book as read by Tim Curry, however, was somewhat curiously entertaining. Likely because Tim Curry could make a curiously entertaining reading of a telephone directory if he really wanted to. Come to think of it, that might be a more constructive expenditure of time and money.

Frankly, I'd skip the entire "House" series entirely if I were you. I rather wish I had.
Apr 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to El by: Clovis and his brother.
I just wrote one of the best reviews ever, one that included a lot of self-degradation and covered a lot of science fiction nerd-dom and references to Roger Zelazny and shit and freaking Goodreads made it all disappear. Things like that make me want to vomit. There will be no recreating that colossal review.

Suck this, Goodreads!

I'm going to go put on my stillsuit and ride a sandworm while munching on some melange. I'm going to take down Goodreads now with my mind, Bene Gesserit style. If you don
Jan 06, 2011 rated it did not like it
These are, of course, horrifically bad. I read them one Christmas break when I was stuck in a house in the middle of Missouri with nothing to do but read these or watch ER. Last time I forgot to take a book with me to that house!
Coldforged Dupuis
Sep 29, 2009 rated it did not like it
Jesus, what a drubbing of his father's legacy.
John Shumway
Nov 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
*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
Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Like many sci fi lovers I read Frank Herbert's Dune--a book I loved for its richness and detail with all of the subcultures, traditions and intrigue centered on the spice--the eye-blue-ing, mind-altering and space-bending drug of drugs. Add the aristocracy and royal "Houses" murdering, betrayal, plots within plots and I did little else but read for days. It seemed that sequels were not as compelling and when Herbert died, I assumed a grand story was finally done. Then the "prequels" came out and ...more
This novel doesn't stray as far from the canon as this trilogy will.
Ramón S.
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
Better than I thought. But the final feeling is: meh! 😑.
The characters are unattractive and without ‘real life’. The story line is artificial and forced sometimes.
I appreciate the lack of cheap philosophy that was so horrid in the last books of Frank Herbert.
A book made to be forgotten
Dan Hennessey
Aug 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
The House Trilogy is a good addition to the Dune series. For those that have read the originals, you get a good introduction to the history behind a lot of the key players in the original Dune.

Despite this, Brian Herbert doesn't recreate the same world his father did. Certain things feel a bit predictable where as his fathers work never had that feeling. Perhaps it has partly to do with knowing that certain things can't happen or that would have violated the continuity of his fathers work, but e
Jan 23, 2008 rated it did not like it
Very disappointing. Given how many holes are already in Frank Herbert's Dune books, it's easy to see how this is an impossible task. Take the bestselling SF novel of all time and cash in -- err, I mean write -- some prequels.

Frank Herbert's writing is brilliant but definitely flawed. But the mix of the two is, apparently to lots of readers, definitely tolerable. Messing with that is asking for trouble, and that's what this book is. The characters are even flatter and less believable than in the
May 24, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Brian just doesn't have the skills of his father, I was clearly disappointed with this novel in comparison to my love for his father's Dune Series!
Sep 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
You know that feeling when you have so many new books you want to read, and you have even started a few (ok, many) but then you see something and all your plans just fall apart?
Well, last week I watched the trailer for the upcoming Dune movie, so of course the following day instead of finishing the many many books I have on my TBR and "currently reading" lists, I went to my shelf and picked this up.
Speed up to today, and I've finished a 700page book in 5 days.
But not a great book, or a new book
Philip Athans
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though I can see why some people refer to this as "Dune Light," and despite my general aversion to prequels of any kind, I really liked this book and am excited to continue into the rest of the expanded Dune series. With the heavy lifting done by Frank Herbert, who established the epic worldbuilding of the original and who concentrated much more (at least in this first of the new books) on the religious, even mystical aspects of the Dune Universe, Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson were freed up t ...more
Brian Eshleman
Jan 29, 2013 rated it liked it
The world the author creates is odd. I don't fully empathize with any of the characters, but the book serves as an interesting fashion in which to deliver an extended parable on leadership, good and bad. As with my experience with the original Dune book, I find the philosophical nuggets more interesting than the plot.
Dejan Šiptar
Sep 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Much better than the Butlerian jihad prequels. Could be because here we have familiar established characters so their interactions and story are better presented.
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I enjoyed getting some backstory to what is, to this day, one of my favourite reads of all time.
Although I genuinely enjoy Frank Herbert’s original novels, these 2nd generation novels furtive attempts at capturing the essence of his universe lack finesse as well as grace (at least this one does). Having grown up reading Kevin J Anderson, I know him to be a strong writer with a firm grasp on characterization and form. I can only surmise that he deferred too much steering of the authorship to Brian, who I will refer to by his first name rather than his last to denote that he in no ways live ...more
Josh Lovvorn
May 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
When I first read Dune by Frank Herbert, I was lying on a beach with a stack of about 8 books that I intended to read over the next few days. On the first day, I blew through 2 or 3 quite easily. On the second day, I started Dune, and by the second chapter I knew that I would be consumed by this book for probably the rest of my vacation. Mr. Herbert constructed an elaborate and engaging universe of unrivaled imagination in science fiction. The characters lept from the page including the very piv ...more
Matt Luedke
Jul 01, 2012 rated it liked it
The first "Dunequel" I read. The original "Dune" series, the first book of which is a sci-fi classic, was written by Frank Herbert, who died in the 1980's. His son Brian Herbert then undertook the task of writing many prequels, sequels, interquels (an actual thing!), and basically any other type of -quel you can imagine. A skeptic would say that this was done to "cash in" on a sci-fi franchise that should've been much huger than it ever was ("Star Wars" was very heavily inspired by "Dune" and lo ...more
Shelly - The Illustrated Librarian -
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any fan of "Dune"
Recommended to Shelly - The Illustrated Librarian - by: a coworker
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.

From the book jacket: "Covering the decade when Shaddam wins the throne, the teenager Leto Atreides becomes unexpectedly the ruler of House Atreides, and Pardot Kynes uncovers one of
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I don't understand why people hate these books so much. Frank Herbert was best at writing political/philosophical conversations that kept you entertained without the need of typical action scenes that make the Sci-Fi genre what it is. Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson seem to be taking the safe way and use a lot of action scenes/storytelling to avoid butchering Frank's legacy by trying to mimick his writing style. 

The original Dune books are dense and make you think, make you change views on a
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
I am not a big sci-fi reader and I've never read any of the original Dune series, so I went into this somewhat skeptical. Honestly, I picked up the first one, House Atreidies, because it was on the paperback sale at That said, I really really enjoyed the whole series.
At the end of book 1 of the trilogy I was a bit taken aback...that's the end? That's when I went out and bought books 2 and 3. And I've been listening to these books non-stop now for a week. It's fascinating, well writt
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All Things Respec...: Observations on the Houses Trilogy 1 8 Sep 29, 2012 09:42PM  

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Brian Patrick Herbert is an American author who lives in Washington state. He is the elder son of science fiction author Frank Herbert.

Other books in the series

Prelude to Dune (3 books)
  • House Harkonnen (Prelude to Dune #2)
  • House Corrino (Prelude to Dune #3)

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