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Chapterhouse: Dune (Dune Chronicles, Book 6) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1987

4.2 out of 5 stars 247 customer reviews
Book 6 of 8 in the Dune Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Now that the planet Arrakis (Dune) has been annihilated, the Bene Gesserit order turns its stronghold Chapterhouse into another desert world, and from this base, the sisterhood plans its moves against ruthless rivals. Drawing on a vast store of history and religion, the book is "so rich in this one area that others suffer and the narrative crawls," PW observed.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Compelling...a worthy addition to this durable and deservedly popular series."
-New York Times

"The vast and fascinating Dune saga sweeps on."
-Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (July 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441102670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441102679
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (247 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
It may not have been his intent, but fate has made Chapterhouse Dune the last book in Frank Herbert's Dune series. There may be others, and they may even be good (I haven't yet read them), but this book represents Herbert's final words on the subject. Although not perfect, and definitely leaving things open for another book, this is, overall, a worthy addition to the series.
In this book - a direct sequel to Heretics of Dune with many of the same characters - the Bene Gesserit sisterhood is under siege, threatened by the Honored Matres, a somewhat darker version of their own organization, that is sweeping viciously across the galaxy like a barbarian horde. With the original Dune lifeless after a Matres attack, the Bene Gesserit are trying to create a similar world out of their headquarters. Although they don't think of it in those terms, they are really trying to create a planetary ghola, a clone similar to that of recurring character Duncan Idaho. The book focuses on the war between the two sisterhoods.
The book does have its flaws. The rather open-ended conclusion may be forgiven if we believe that Herbert had another book intended. The characters are, as usual, overly serious and everything they do is filled with hidden meanings. Also, there is a feeling that Herbert was making up parts of this story as he goes along, with new movements suddenly appearing (such as the futuristic Jews who have never been previously mentioned although they have supposedly always been around).
In the end, what is the central point or character of this series? Is it a history of the Bene Gesserit, the House Atreides, Duncan Idaho or some combination of all these.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book basically carries on from where Heretics Of Dune hardly stopped. But now the Honoured Matres, instead of simply holding a slight distaste for the Bene Gesserit, are head-hunting, searching out the original sisterhood's home planet: Chapter House Planet.
Already the Honoured Matres have laid bloody waste to dozens of Bene Gesserit planets, and the new Mother Superior (an Atreides with wild talent) can sense that the hunters are getting closer. So she hatches a radical plan that puts the entire sisterhood at risk, in the hope of finally punishing the Honoured Matres.
And brilliant it all is too. This is easily my second-favourite from the whole series (after Dune). After an initially slow lead up (one of Herbert's defining features, it seems) we get violently thrown into action, watching in breathless silence as the final conflict hits us.
As is always the way, you'll never know what is going to happen, never know who next will feel the chill of death, and you'll wow at one shock after another.
Suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, this last book suddenly made me stop seing the Dune series as a set of six books. The second-to-last chapter oh-so suddenly made me see the whole series as one story, made me see the pattern, told a story beyond the ending of Chapterhouse Dune. And I enjoyed it all very much.
As for the last chapter. Well. I've still no idea what to make of it. It's such an intriguing and unexpected last two pages. If anyone knows what it's about, what the hidden message is, I'd love to know.
It's worth reading the whole series just to get to this book. Read it all. The rewards for a sci-fi fan are better experienced than listened to. Go find out. Now. You'll never find a better series of books.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
[Nota Bene: As Frank Herbert's last two published novels in the Dune series, Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune, along with the unwritten Dune 7, in fact comprise a single story that happened to be divided into three parts, I'll post the same review for both of the two published volumes. This review contains no spoilers.]

During the first half of his literary career, Frank Herbert focused most on coming to terms with what it meant to be conscious. The evolution of his thinking on the subject can be traced from real-world events which happened to him in his youth, through his earliest published science fiction stories, crude as they were, and on into novels like The Dragon in the Sea and the stories that would coalesce into The Godmakers, and certainly The Santaroga Barrier and Destination: Void. This line of thinking reached its fruition in the novels Dune and Dune Messiah.

Having expanded his understanding of the full spectrum of consciousness about as far as it could go (although admittedly he never stopped tinkering with the subject), in the second half of his career Herbert refocused his attention on how the limitations imposed upon individual consciousness - or perhaps it might be better to say the limited perspective encompassing a single human lifetime - leaves humanity ill-equipped to confront an infinite and ever-changing universe. In effect we end up in a continuous crisis mode, always vainly insisting that the world of tomorrow conform to the expectations of yesterday. We're persistently and comically always shocked to discover our assumptions are wrong. Elsewhere I have described this aspect of Herbert's thinking, the human failure to deal with, or even to recognize, the implications of an unbounded universe, as an absolute-infinity breach.
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