ATTENTION WRITERS - Here is your chance to share your work. Send us your short stories to be published on-line. Click here for details Don't Delay
CoKoCon
Traditional SF convention.
Labor Day weekend
Memberships limited to 500


LATEST UPDATES


January
Book Pick
of the Month




January 15
New reviews in
The Book Nook,
Illustrated Corner,
Odds & Ends and
Voices From the Past


January 1, 2023
Updated Convention Listings


December
Book Pick
of the Month




December 15
New reviews in
The Book Nook,
Illustrated Corner,
Odds & Ends and
Voices From the Past


December 1, 2022
Updated Convention Listings


Previous Updates

WesternSFA


Dune: House Harkonnen
Prelude to Dune #2
by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson
Bantam Books, 603pp
Published: October 2000

This story continues the prequel trilogy to "Dune," and is a direct continuation to "Dune: House Atreides."

As with the previous book, the storyline encompasses all three of the major Houses: Atreides, Corrino and Harkonnen; although to my mind, little of the story concerns itself with House Harkonnen and even less with House Corrino. 

In House Harkonnen, Baron Vladimir's brother, Abulurd, lives quietly on a water planet until the actions of his horrible son, Glossu Rabban, bring death and destruction to his people.  Having disowned his son, Abulurd and his Lady decided to have another child: Feyd-Ruatha.  Unfortunately, due to Abulurd's naïve decisions, he loses the child to Baron Harkonnen who sees another opportunity to groom a successor.  But Baron Harkonnen suffers as well when Abulurd sees an opportunity to strike back, where it will most hurt the Baron.

In House Atreides, Leto has finally developed a relationship with his ward, Kailea Vernius.  She produces a son, Victor, but Leto refuses to either marry her or name the child his heir.  Still adhering to his father's precepts, he is determined to save marriage for a political opportunity that would benefit House Atreides.  Kailea becomes more and more dissatisfied with her lot; imagining her House rising from the dead and her fortunes taking her to fabled Kaitain, the seat of the empire.  There is little chance that her family will ever regain their planet, Ix; and there is no path that will get her anything more than she already has.  However, her faithful friend and companion whispers in her ear all the things she craves to hear; no matter how treasonous or pointless.  Eventually, she takes an action that she cannot call back which changes her entire future and the future of House Atreides.  Contributing to her dissatisfaction is the arrival of the Bene Gesserit witch, Jessica; given to Leto as part of a deal involving his involvement with the incident on the Heighliner in the last book, an event engineered by Baron Harkonnen with the intended result of destroying Leto.  The Bene Gesserit, through a stroke of good luck, happened upon the truth of that event; holding the knowledge as blackmail over House Harkonnen and a bargaining chip with House Atreides.  All of their actions are geared towards their ultimate goal of creating the male god-child, the kwisatz hadarach.  Jessica is intended to be the grandmother for that child with instructions to deliver a daughter to Leto.  The events instigated by Kailea are what determines Jessica to defy her Sisters as we all know from the first book.

Gurney Halleck is a young man on Geidi Prime, laboring as a serf to the Harkonnens.  His sister is taken up to become a whore and he upends his whole life in an attempt to rescue her.  Much of the book follows his efforts and ultimate journey to arrive on Caladan.

Duncan Idaho is apprenticed to the Swordmasters and sent away for an eight-year program.  The authors devise some appropriate drama concerning those years and how they shape the man to become the warrior.

Liet-Kynes is a young man now and is the perfect bridge between the Fremen and his father's vision for Dune.  He is Fremen through-and-through but has been well-taught to be a Planetologist.  There is no one better suited to follow through with Pardot's vision and no one else the Fremen would follow.  The authors devise some suitable drama to color his life and the events that harden him.

The storyline also follows the adventures of C'tair, working as a revolutionary on Ix under the oppressive rule of the Tleilaxu.  Not much of interest there.  The purpose of the book seems to be just to give background to the familiar characters from the first Dune book: Leto, Jessica, Gurney, Idaho, Baron Harkonnen, Feyd-Ruatha, Beast Rabban.  All the others are invented for these stories and because the authors are confined to the world and characters created by Frank Herbert then all those others have to be done away with before the end of this prequel trilogy.  It doesn't make for good connections with the readers who are well aware these are disposable characters.

There was not a unifying theme or story arc; it was just episodic events.  It was boring.  ~~ Catherine Book

For more titles in the Dune series click here
For more titles by Brian Herbert click here
For more titles by Kevin J Anderson click here

Follow us

for notices on new content and events.

to The Nameless Zine,
a publication of WesternSFA





WesternSFA
Main Page


Calendar
of Local Events


Disclaimer

Copyright ©2005-2023 All Rights Reserved
(Note that external links to guest web sites are not maintained by WesternSFA)
Comments, questions etc. email WebMaster