Dune: The Machine Crusade (2003) is a book in the second book in the Legends of Dune trilogy written by Brian Herbert (the son of Frank Herbert, the original author of the Dune series) and Kevin J. Anderson.
- Spoiler warning! Plot and/or ending details follow.
The Machine Crusade
Legends of the Dune trilogy is a prequel to the original Dune books by Frank Herbert. Dune:The Machine Crusade moves us forward into the centre of the Butlerian Jihad, described in the first book of the trilogy, Dune: The Butlerian Jihad. Leading the movement is the ex-slave and ex-machine trustee Grand Patriach Iblis Ginjo. However Iblis is more than he appears, with more interest in politics and his own personal legacy than in the Jihad.
Vorian Atreides, despite the long life given to him by his father, the Titan Agamemnon, begins to show the vestiges of wanting to settle down after visiting the planet Caladan, and meeting the woman - Leronica Tergiet - who is to become his long term concubine.
Xavier Harkonnen manages to free Ix from the thinking machines and must eventually make the ultimate sacrifice that will tarnish his name.
The robot Erasmus continues with his enlightening human experimentation, and makes a curious bet with the Omnius entity on Corrin, where he claims he can raise a human being to be orderly and civilised like a machine. This child is Gilbertus Albans, the first true mentat. Omnius himself suffers badly from a computer virus created by Vorian Atreides and spread unwittingly by his old companion Seurat.
On Ginaz, the ageing Jool Noret is killed in a natural disaster - the one enemy he could not defeat. Though he did not live to pass on his skills to the other Ginaz mercenaries, his sensei mek Chirox, a reprogrammed machine itself, remains and trains them into the greatest of all mercenaries, The swordmasters, who will be the ultimate fighting force against the thinking machine.
On the planet of Poritrin, Norma Cenva leaves the world just in time to avoid a slave uprising, where, among other things, a lasgun accidentally hits a Holtzman personal shield. The resulting explosion wipes out Holtzman's labs and the slave revolt is eventually brutally crushed. Meanwhile Norma Cenva, due to her heritage as daughter of the main Sorceress of Rossak, finally taps into her latent powers under great pressure, due her capture and subsequent torture by the Titan Xerxes to become the spearhead of humanity. As for the slaves on Poritrin, a small band of Zensunnis who steal the first spacefolding ship to a lonely desert planet called Arrakis, where they will join the followers of Selim, and become the Free Men of Arrakis.
Finally, the remaining Titans take their chance becoming independent from their machine master Omnius on the planet of Bela Tegeuse.