Sisterhood of Dune, written by Brian Herbert (son of Frank Herbert) and Kevin J. Anderson, is the first of the Schools of Dune trilogy of novels, set in the beginnings of the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert, in 5 BG.
By the time of the novel, the Butler family, under the name Corrino, has consolidated a tenuous hold on the human-occupied universe. The head of the Corrino family, Emperor Salvador, lives in splendor on the planet Salusa Secundus with his brother and trusted advisor, Roderick, but their control of the Imperium is threatened by Manford Torondo, popular leader of the anti-technology Butlerian movement. The demagogue Torondo, deprived of both legs in a bomb blast decades previously, leads Swordmaster Anari Idaho and millions of people across the Imperium to cleanse humanity of its reliance on convenient technologies, often exploiting religious paranoia to advance his agendas. In opposition to the popular movement is the unscrupulous businessman Josef Venport, who holds a near-monopoly on space travel. Advised by his wife Cioba and great-grandmother Norma Cenva, who discovered the secret to creating space-folding "Navigators", Josef plots against his few remaining competitors and funds a secret group of scientific researchers who hold personal grudges against the Butlerians and are willing to salvage and optimize old cymek technology to satisfy their vendettas with Torondo.
Meanwhile, on the planet Kepler, war hero Vorian Atreides attempts to keep his neighbors free from the threat of slavers. An attempt to obtain Imperial protection for his planet is successful, but Vorian is sent even deeper into exile by Salvador and Roderick, who are concerned that the Jihad hero may, through his celebrity, incite a rebellion against their authority. He chooses to go to Arrakis, where the Free Men of Dune, who have abandoned the easier life of the Arrakeen villages, continue to thrive in the desert, encountering various enemies and allies during the course of their existence.
On the planet Lankiveil, the Harkonnen family ekes out a lean existence, far from the glory enjoyed by their ancestors after Vorian Atreides disowned the disgraced Abulurd Harkonnen. While the parents have decided to surrender ambition for survival and a humble existence, the two oldest children, Griffin and Valya, seek to rebuild their family fortunes through service to the Landsraad and the Sisterhood on Rossak, respectively.
Vorian's granddaughter Raquella Berto-Anirul, who survived a poisoning that provided her with the memories and mental presences of her female ancestors, leads the Sisterhood of Rossak. She thwarts Butlerian sympathizers within her own ranks, who correctly suspect that Raquella and her inner circle are using computers to manage their breeding index, which comprises an immense amount of family data from across the Imperium. Raquella is aided in these efforts by Sister Valya Harkonnen, who finds her efforts to rebuild her family's glory impeded when the spoiled Princess Anna Corrino (sister to Emperor Salvador and Roderick) is sent to Rossak. Anna, viewed as an embarrassment by the royal family, is meant to learn important skills with the Sisters, but instead follows her own childish ambitions.
Sister Dorotea steals two pills of the Rossak drug that gave Raquella her abilities and encourages Valya to take it alongside her. While Dorotea became the second ever Reverend Mother after taking and surviving it, Valya merely pretends to take it, but keeps the pill. Reverend Mother Dorotea learns of the Sisterhood’s secret computers, and that Raquella is her grandmother. More follow her; including Anna Corrino, who fails to become a Reverend Mother and enters a trance state. Through the new director of the Suk Medical School (and former Rossak Sister) Dr. Ori Zhoma, the Sisterhood also plots against Salvador, who it fears may be the ancestor of a potentially disastrous tyrant (possibly referring to Paul Atreides or Leto Atreides II).
The Mentat Gilbertus Albans attempts to maintain order in his Mentat school on the planet Lampadas and hide the existence of his old mentor, the robot Erasmus. However, Gilbertus is dragged into the Butlerian movement's anti-technology campaign by the fanaticism of his most vocal students, and the furor of Torondo, who coerces Gilbertus to serve as his special advisor. Gilbertus finds himself forced into a confrontation with his best student and friend, Draigo, who is in the service of Josef Venport's VenHold shipping conglomerate. Josef and Draigo flee with Norma Cenva through foldspace from the Butlerians.
Hila and Andros, the children of Agamemnon, are awoken from over 100 years of stasis by Butlerians, deciding to find Vorian and potentially convert them back to the side of the thinking machines. They go to Kepler, where they have learned he is living, and they burn his house and kill his wife, after she tells them he has gone to Arrakis. Griffin Harkonnen also goes to Arrakis to find Vorian, who is banished from a Sietch of Free Men after they are attacked, and some of them are killed, by Hila and Andros, which the Naib sees to be Vorian’s fault. Before Vorian’s banishment, Abulurd is found by the Free Men and brought to him. It is decided they will both be exiled to the desert. Griffin escapes and is saved from a sandworm by Vorian. The Naib tells Griffin and Vorian they must fight to end their blood feud. During the fight, Griffin reveals to Vorian that his wife is dead, catching him off guard and ultimately getting him at his mercy, although he decides not to kill him out of honoring, ending the feud. The two are placed in the desert hut Griffin is killed by Hila. Vorian attracts a worm which kills both Hila and Andros.
The Emperor Salvador is told about the Sisterhood’s computers by Sister Doretea, when she brings Anna back to Salusa Secundus. He goes to Rossak to investigate this but Raquella and Valya destroy the computer in advance, and the Emperor finds nothing. When the Sorceresses attack Salvador, he is furious and declares the Sisterhood of Rossak disbanded by Imperial decree. Valya travels back to Lankiveil and finally takes the drug, becoming the third ever Reverend Mother. Shortly after, her and twenty-seven other sisters led by Mother Superior Raquella are given sanctuary by Josef Venport on Wallach IX, where they hope to rebuild the Sisterhood. Meanwhile, Reverend Mother Dorotea founds an Orthodox Sisterhood sanctioned by Emperor Roderick on Salusa.
Riots still rage over the Orange Catholic Bible of the Commission of Euceminal Translators. Constantly, innocents are executed by mobs, mistaken for the hated Toure Bomoko. The C.E.T. realeases a sanitized OCB with the cautious approval of the Emperor Salvador, but this does not stop the murders. Ultimately, Roderick Corrino uses them to the Imperium’s advantage, killing Dr Zhoma and pretending she has been killed as Toure Bomoko and that the DNA shows that this is the real Bomoko, born ending the riots and killings and getting rid of Zhoma.
Extended Dune series
|By Frank Herbert||
|By Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson||