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Dune: The Machine Crusade (2003) is 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.


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 Zon 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 continues her work as an inventor with her benefactor Tio Holtzman taking the credit for her discoveries. Meanwhile, the Zensunni slave Ishmael has established a family consisting of his wife Ozza and their daughters Chamal and Falina. Ishmael also grows apart from his childhood friend Aliid, who advocates violence against their Poritrin oppressors.

Later Ishmael attempts to petition Lord Bludd for better conditions and emancipation for the Buddislamic slaves. As punishment, he is separated from his family and assigned to work for Cenva. Later, Cenva falls out with Holtzman, who uses his relationship with Duke Niko Bludd to seize control of her laboratories and research into the space-folding technology. Cenva leaves Poritrin in time to avoid a slave uprising instigated by Aliid, who attacks Holtzmann with a lasgun. However, the lasgun accidentally hits a Holtzman personal shield and the resulting explosion wipes out Holtzman's labs and Starda. The destruction of Starde triggers a pogrom against the slaves that kills Ozza and Falina.

Ishmael forces the Tlulaxa Tuk Keedair to fly him and a hundred Zensunni slaves including Chamal and her daughter Rafael to the desert world of Arrakis using Cenva's stolen prototype space-folding ship. After crashlanding on Arrakis, Ishmael's followers struggle to survive on the arid desert world. However, they are saved by the followers of Selim, who were alerted to their plight by Keedair. As a result, Ishmael spares Keedair's life but keeps him as a captive. The Poritrin Zensunnis join Selim's Zensunni followers, eventually becoming the Free Men of Arrakis.

Meanwhile Norma Cenva, due to her heritage as daughter of the main Sorceress of Rossak, finally taps into her latent powers under great pressure, during her capture and subsequent torture by the Titan Xerxes to become the spearhead of humanity.

Finally, the remaining Titans take their chance becoming independent from their machine master Omnius on the planet of Bela Tegeuse.



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