Review of 'Sisterhood of Dune: The Origin of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood'

Sisterhood of Dune: The Origin of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood by Kevin J. Anderson, and Brian Herbert
Book 1 of the The Schools of Dune series

Continuing their history of the Dune universe this novel sees the story of the origin of the Bene Gesserit being told though there are a lot of other things going on as well. No, this is not a story for those that are not familiar with the Dune story. Even better, only those that have read the Herbert/Anderson histories should really pick this up…

The Rossak School is lead by Rauella Berto-Anirul, the first Reverend Mother who keeps the school's secret - The use of computers to track the vast amount of breeding records. Computers are forbidden after the events of previous centuries with the overthrow of the thinking machines. The Butlerian movement seems to grow stronger and stronger led by Manford Torondo who is determined to destroy any hint of machine intelligence. The violations continue at the Mentat school on Lampadas led by Gilbertus Albans who secretly harbors the core intelligence of the hated robot Erasmus whose murder of the child of Serena Butler sparked the human revolt many years before.

Venport Holdings is seizing their control over travel in this new universe with their use of navigators who can fold space. They discover a factory planet from the age of the machine that has not yet been destroyed by the Butlarians. With this they can dominate…If they can keep it a secret.

Meanwhile, the emperor is under increasing pressure by the Butlarians to take action as events unfold…or even just on the whim of Torondo. Unfortunately, the sisters of Rosark have determined that he needs to go if the universe wants to avoids years under the heal of the tyranny of his progeny.

Vor Atreides, another key figure in the age of machines, seeks only anonymity from his path but fate has something different planned for him when his home planet is raided by slave traders who take his family. Not only that but two of his fellow “siblings”, genetic super-beings, are determined to kill him as he tries to hide away in Arakis…It always comes back to Arakis.

Continuing the style of their previous novels, Herbert and Anderson are true to form and provide a great deal of insight into the events of this universe. Obviously the first of a series of books a lot of things are left hanging. The short chapters that hop between the various story threads can be a bit confusing packed as they are with events (you have to keep the readers attention so the 3-4 pages tend to move very quickly). Of course, there is a lot of story to tell with things falling in place for the future we already know - Sometimes obvious and sometimes not so obvious. The characters are believable and well rounded which I suppose is the result of a few of them being around for so a few books now. As a reader, of course, we cheer for certain individuals, particularly Vor, as he attempts to outwit his far more adept pursuers (including Griffin Harkonnen seeking to avenge his family's dishonor at the hands of Vor himself).

Certainly an entertaining and enthralling reading. I will continue to do so.

Rating:

Review Date: 2013-05-26


Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Publication Date: 2012

ISBN: 9780765322739


Other reviewed books by Kevin J. Anderson, and Brian Herbert: