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This article or section refers to elements from Expanded Dune.
This page is about the novel Dune: The Butlerian Jihad.
For information about the fictional event in the Dune universe called the Butlerian Jihad, see Butlerian Jihad.
The title The Butlerian Jihad is also the name of a document by Harq al-Ada about the Jihad.

Dune: The Butlerian Jihad, written by Brian Herbert (son of Frank Herbert) and Kevin J Anderson, is the first of the Legends of Dune trilogy of novels, set in the beginnings of the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert.

The novel is set at the beginning of Butlerian Jihad, which is a war between the thinking machines created by mankind led by Omnius, a sentient machine, and the League of Nobles, who are the last free humans.


Spoiler warning! Plot and/or ending details follow.

The book introduces us to the first generation of characters that will eventually become the great families. The lead is taken by that of Serena Butler, daughter of Manion Butler, viceroy of the League of Nobles. The Butlers (for whom the Jihad is named), through marriage with the Harkonnen family, would eventually become the Corrinos after the Battle of Corrin. Other genus characters are that of Xavier Harkonnen, and Vorian Atreides. Xavier begins in the book as a tercero repelling a cymek attack on the current League Capital world of Salusa Secundus. Cymeks are a breed of machine with human brains, who originally activated the Omnius Computer that now controls all machines and much of the galaxy. Omnius and his ilk are the products of human complacency by letting machines take over the most rudimentary of human tasks. However after the mistakes of the cymek Xerxes (or Titans as the original twenty call themselves) Omnius becomes a true thinking entity and seeks to replace human chaos with machine order, thus igniting the war between machine and humanity. Vorian Atreides is ironically son of the leading Cymek Titan Agamemnon, whose last name, Atreides, originates with House Atreus, from the ancient Greek epic fictional story the Iliad). Serena is captured by the thinking machines and put under the watch of possibly the most interesting yet repulsive of all the characters, the robot Erasmus. Erasmus is an independent robot who seeks to understand humans more. However this often entails human vivisection and torture in his slave pens. Erasmus takes a liking to Serena, as does the young Vorian Atreides. Serena, who was Xavier's lover, realizes she bears his child and gives birth to a baby boy who she names Manion, after her father. Erasmus however does not enjoy this distraction and not only removes Serena's uterus but kills the young boy.

This single event causes the entire Jihad, and young Manion is soon labelled the first martyr, Manion the Innocent. Vorian, seeing this event and realizing the lie he lives as a machine trustee goes turncoat. Also joining the two is another trustee and slave driver, Iblis Ginjo, soon to become grand patriarch of the League of Nobles.

And thus begins the true Butlerian Jihad, with Serena and Iblis as religious leaders and the two generals Xavier Harkonnen and Vorian Atreides. And upon the other side exists Omnius and Erasmus, and the brutal Cymek Titans who are desperate to break free of their machine masters so to wage their own techno-misanthropic war.

The first human victory is gained upon the atomic destruction of Earth and the Earth-Omnius. However there is much work to be done before the war will ever end.

And on a lonely desert planet the seeds of legend are sown with Selim Wormrider, an outcast from his tribe, who sees the future of Shai-Hulud and makes it his own mission to save his God from those who would wish to take the spice melange.

Among other characters in the genus of Dune, we are introduced to the genetically obsessed Sorceresses of Rossak, the first Doctor Suk, the famous Tio Holtzman, Aurelius Venport and the creator of spacefolding technology, Norma Cenva.

A subplot of the novel focuses on the Zensunni slave Ishmael who is captured by Tlulaxa slavers and taken to Poitrin. In captivity, he befriends a Zenshiite slave named Aliid. The two are assigned to Holtzman's laboratories where they attempt to sabotage one of his experiments. As punishment, the two are reassigned to working on a giant mosaic commemorating the history of the Bludd dynasty. The two are influenced by the charismatic slave leader Bel Moulay, who inspires a slave uprising. Lord Nikto Bludd's Dragoons suppress the revolt. While the slaves receive an amnesty due to the war with the Machines, Moulay is mutilated and executed.



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