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Sunday, May 9, 2021

Sisterhood of Dune (Schools of Dune #1)Sisterhood of Dune by Brian Herbert
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm a completionist at heart. That means that I even have to read this (ahem) pre-prequel-sequel if I am going to have any pride in my completionism.

So? Why? What? Ok, so, about 80 years after the Butlerian Jihad, we get the founding of the three big schools and their chaotic origins. The Bene Gesserit kicks it off.

I ADMIT that I would have loved the idea of reading about them anyway even if I was stuck reading another attempt to cash in on Dune. But I also admit that my expectations were not all that high, either.

So how did this one go?

All right, actually. I'm recalling the events of the earliest-timeline trilogy and the after-aftermath is actually a bit MORE interesting than the actual war that freed mankind. Early days is actually pretty interesting.

Throw in weak leaders, demagoguery, and Butlerian barbarians that want to take everyone to the stone age, giving us a massive cusp-of-the-dark-ages feel, and it actually works pretty well.

If I had read this novel as a standalone with different names, without the weight of the DUNE universe to back it up, I would have been pretty happy. As it is, I think it's slightly better than the run-of-the-mill B. Herbert/Anderson team-up.

It's still not at F. Herbert's level and there's a HUGE matter of worldbuilding continuity with the original series and a personal pet peeve about throwing family names about as if they're ALWAYS going to be a direct line of importance across ten thousand years... but *deep breath* fine. Whatever. This is fan service, I guess, meant for the low-bar name recognition stuff.

I'll still continue, but I just have to lower my expectations if I want to enjoy it.

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