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The Butlerian Jihad

(Legends of Dune #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  22,995 ratings  ·  560 reviews
Frank Herbert's Dune series is one of the great creations of imaginative literature, science fiction's answer to The Lord of the Rings.

Decades after Herbert's original novels, the Dune saga was continued by Frank Herbert's son, Brian Herbert, in collaboration with Kevin J. Anderson. Working from Frank Herbert's own notes, the acclaimed authors reveal the chapter of the Dun
Paperback, 684 pages
Published September 15th 2003 by Tor Books (first published October 3rd 2002)
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Leigh N At the beginning, Serena is 19 years old(page 13), if that helps.

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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Buddy read with Athena!

Princess Irulan writes:
Any true student must realize that History has no beginning. Regardless of where a story starts, there are always earlier heroes and earlier tragedies.
Before one can understand Muad'Dib or the current jihad that followed the overthrow of my father, Emperor Shaddam IV, one must understand what we fight against. Therefore, look more than ten thousand years into our past, ten millennia before the birth of Paul Atreides.
It is there that we see the fou
Matthew Williams
Apr 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
Addendum: It's been a few years since I posted this review and the franchise continues to grow in the hands of Brian Herbert and KJA. I thought I might update my review accordingly. I also thought it would be good to let people see exactly what they're NOT missing by refusing to read this.

As a major fan of the elder Herbert, I was quite intrigued to see his son (Brian Herbert) and Kevin J Anderson (KJA) pick up the franchise. I was also curious to see how the elder Herbert's hints about a holy w
Dec 06, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: my worst enemy
The seven dollars I spent for this book would have been better used buying a cup of battery acid to pour into my eyes.

More detailed ranting here.
Nov 12, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
An abomination that should never have been written - which is true of all that Herbert Jnr and Anderson have contributed to the Dune series. Putting aside the pedestrian writing, the authors have failed entirely to capture the complexity of Frank Herbert's universe, characters and ideas. They seem incapable of subtlety. Nothing is implied. Everything is stated. They do tell a story but with none of the sophistication of the original.
Life is far too short to be wasted reading this money-spinning
Jun 30, 2009 marked it as not-to-read
Thou shalt not make a book in the likeness of a Dune.

Didn't any enterprising Iranian cleric even consider a fatwa? And, by the way, "to-read" actually means "not to read, unless threatened with waterboarding, stress positions, dogs and sleep deprivation". Even then, I'd try to hold out a bit.

Kevin Xu
Dec 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, re-read
The only reason this book is so good is because this is the ORIGIN of the whole DUNE universe! Without this story, there would be no DUNE! This is the only prequel novel that needed to be written at all!
Athena Shardbearer
Buddy Read with Markus!

Nothing's impossible.
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Just Remember: It's NOT Dune

This book is such a guilty pleasure.
Naturally it lacks the depth, sophistication, poetry, philosophy, genius, etc., etc., of DUNE. But still it manages to provide something else quite unexpected:
Good old fashioned Space Opera FUN!

Just overlook the (mostly) 2-dimensional characters and you'll find yourself immersed in a huge, sprawling, edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure like the classic serial adventures of old.

Those old serials were well before my time, but this
Feb 11, 2008 rated it did not like it
Seems to have major continuity issues with the original novels. Much more shallow and less intellectually rewarding than the books written by Frank Herbert.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction

"Humans, with such fragile physical forms, are easily crushed."

Dune is my favorite work of science fiction in large part because of its staggering sense of history. I still have yet to read any story that goes so far into the future. The Butlarian Jihad is the first story of the history of Dune and gives us glimpses into the far past, but still not far enough to touch our time. Let me break it down:

There once was an Old Empire, it was peaceful and good and spanned many planets. People had
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was Action Packed! A real page turner, full of cliff hangers. Amazing characters to root for or hiss at. I loved it!
Oct 26, 2008 rated it did not like it
If I could give a negative star I would. It read like bad fanfiction.
Ivana Books Are Magic
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
When it comes to Butlerian Jihad, my reading experience was pretty o.k. Sure, it failed to impress me, but to be honest, I wasn't expecting it to be anything like the Dune series written by Frank Herbert. If I did, I would have probably been gravely disappointed. I didn't hated the book while I was reading it, it held my interest most of it the time. Some parts of this book I enjoyed more than others, but generally speaking, I didn't enjoy it fully. I managed to finish it without thinking too mu ...more
Oct 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
I can't remember ever having read a worse book.

I was optimistic about this Brian Herbert / Kevin Anderson Dune prequel, and though I knew full well going in how controversial their Dune books have been, it proved difficult to sort through the controversy to see whether I should read the Legends trilogy or pass it by. Weighing in favor of reading it was mild curiosity about Hunters & Sandworms, which I understand to have some dependency on having read Legends. I consider myself a fairly forgiving
Feb 19, 2012 rated it liked it
When I was young and foolish, I was as taken with Frank Herbert’s Dune at the rest of the world, but I found myself significantly less enchanted with his sequels. I subsequently became aware that his son and another writer were continuing the series, but I stuck my nose in one of the books at a book store and decided I was not interested. Last summer, however, I purchased one of them at a library book sale, only to discover that the very thick book I had purchased was in fact the sequel to a boo ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
I'm only halfway through this book but I already feel the urge to write a review. Because it's that bad.
Premise: I'm a huge Frank Herbert fan. His "Dune" is one of the handful of books that shaped me as a reader, opening my (then) young mind to the infinite wonders literature had to offer.
But, having already read the first prequel trilogy from Herbert Jr. and Anderson, I knew I needed to keep my expectations low. So I did. And still, I was disappointed.
What irritates me the most is the complete
Oct 11, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who loves Dune... at least the original
To be fair Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson do an okay job in continuing with Frank Herbert's Dune legacy. When I mean okay, I mean sure the book doesn't have the same philosophical flow and continuity, it also lacks finesse and would appeal to the younger generation X crowd who's more action and less thought BUT again, if you've been aching to know history behind Dune, then read this book. It gives the origins of the Bene Gesserit, the reason behind the kanly between House Atreides and Harko ...more
Phillip Lozano
Nov 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Honestly, I couldn't get very far in this book. None of the Brian Herbert/Kevin Anderson collaborations are very good, but this one is staggeringly, mind-blowingly awful. It reads like super-shitty fan-fiction, except than fan fic usually takes a moment to remember what universe it is set in. It's unbelievable that even two writers could churn out over 600 pages of this utterly pointless garbage - and it's only the beginning of a three-volume story arc! Holy cow. Money actually changed hands for ...more
Jun 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody over the age of 10
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Fans of Frank Herbert and his excellent Dune novels should avoid the dreck produced by his offspring at all costs. You're better off buying sci-fi comic books. ...more
Oct 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
I've noticed that most of these reviews are pretty evenly split. I think I know why. (Note that I gave it two stars. It's not bad enough to deserve one star, but if *this* had been the introduction to the Dune universe, that universe would have crashed and burned.)

The biggest problem is that, frankly, Brian Herbert doesn't know why Dune was so successful. Probably the most intriguing thing about the world-building in Dune was how it started in median res. The characters all acted and behaved as
May 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Long, long from now in a galaxy too close for comfort, humanity (fondly called "feral humans" by the thinking machines) is struggling for existence. Besieged as they are, the humans themselves are of course not entirely blameless and many of them have not discovered the concept of "human rights" and "equality."
Bravery, treachery, deceit, galactic battles - it's all there - lots of fun. Seen through the long glass of our future prospects, based on where we are now, the concepts are believable.
Dec 27, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one.
Shelves: science-fiction
I listened to this on audiobook and it was dreadful. I couldn't even finish it. I made it about 3/4 of the way through and had to stop torturing myself. ...more
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
The Legends of Dune series goes back to the time when thinking machines were a common part of life and tells the tale of woe that lead to the edict "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a man's mind". The series consists of:-
The Butlerian Jihad
The Machine Crusade
The Battle of Corrin

Plot ***Spoilers***
The Butlerian Jihad
The Butlerian Jihad introduces a generation of characters whose families will later become the most significant in the universe: the Atreides, the Corrinos and the H
Chris Gager
My brother-in-law gave me the pre-"Dune" trilogy to read. Started last night. OK so far as the action starts right off the bat after a bit of set-up.

Moving along as the pace of events is brisk. So far I have to say that this seems like pretty boilerplate space opera stuff, and a bit lacking in the creative originality that made "Dune" such a big hit. Still, I'm up for a reasonably well-told space opera so I'll stick with it. One does wonder about the logic of things which get kind of glossed ove
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 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
OK, so after the critical phenom success of Herbert & Anderson's first DUNE prequel trilogy...they decide to cash in their chips and do another one. Jesus wept. This series chronicles the Butlerian Jihad hinted at in Frank Herbert's original books, the war by man to cast of the shackles put on them by thinking machines. don't really get an appreciation for humanity's suffering here. There's plenty of free humans living on Salusa Secundus even though Omnius and his machine hordes ha ...more
Not written at the level I would have expected with the names of "Dune" and "Herbert" attached to it. I felt like I was listening to bad fanfic.

Someone please tell me that this series gets better!
So it looks like I initially read this book a long, long time ago and liked it quite a bit more than I did on the second reread, however, I'm not the same person I was 13 years ago, so that's not unexpected.

I love, love, love Herbert's Dune series, and I remember being excited over the prospect of prequels and started reading/listening to them as soon as I could (multiple formats). I believe I read the House (Harkonnen, Corrino, Atreides) before getting into these books. If I recall correctly (a
Ben De Bono
Given the reputation of the Herbert/Anderson Dune books, being able to say "I didn't hate it" feels like a roaring success. The book is nothing like the Frank Herbert's novels. Where those set milestones for depth in science fiction, this is much more shallow and features some pretty spotty character arcs. Still, it's an interesting corner of the Dune universe to explore. I don't think you're missing anything if you skip it, but at least for the moment I'm glad I'm reading the series ...more
Oct 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
Another review written back in 2006:

My natural inclination is to assume that anything that's a spin-off from an author's original work is going to inevitably be inferior to the original, no matter what. (Case in point, any books/stories based off of Tolkien's notes after his death.) They just lack the voice and scope of the original. So normally, I wouldn't have even considered picking up a book based off of Frank Herbert's original Dune series, even if it was written by his own flesh and blood,
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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

Legends of Dune (3 books)
  • The Machine Crusade (Legends of Dune, #2)
  • The Battle of Corrin (Legends of Dune, #3)

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“I'm in a weird place because the book is about to come out. So I'm basically just walking around like a raw nerve and I'm not sure that I...
33 likes · 6 comments
Aristotle raped reason. He implanted in the dominant schools of philosophy the attractive belief that there can be discrete separation between mind and body. This led quite naturally to corollary delusions such as the one that power can be understood without applying it, or that joy is totally removable from unhappiness, that peace can exist in the total absence of war, or that life can be understood without death.
—ERASMUS, Corrin Notes
“Any true student must realize that History has no beginning. Regardless of where a story starts, there are always earlier heroes and earlier tragedies.” 9 likes
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