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Prelude Dune - House Atreides *plot summary*


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I just finished reading this book. I thorougly enjoyed it, good stuff. Next book for me to read is Dune Messiah and then i might read another Prelude. I will probably tackle through the boring Jihad stuff after i have read all the other books. By then Dune 7 and 8 will be out and the jihads should help with my understanding of them.

I really enjoyed the plot of house atreides and it made me realise the significance of political alliances, secrets, bribes and treachery that exists in Dune. It was  most enjoying to read. Here is a plot summary i decided to make to  reinforce the main events of the story in my head. I hope you find it useful.

Prelude to Dune: House Atreides

Brief Plot Summary

• House Harkonnen, led by Baron Vladimir Harkononnen is solely responsible for spice production on Arrakis and works under the contract of CHOAM and the Empire.

• Under the employment of the Imperium, the plantolegist Pardot Kynes is sent to Arrakis to do extensive research and studies on the ecology of dune, spice and the worms. His dwellings with the native Fremen on Arrakis leads him to eventually becoming one of them and marrying a Fremen wife.

• Duncan Idaho, enslaved to the Harkonnens on Geidi Prime, becomes sport for the hunting pleasures of the evil and brutal Rabban Harkonnen and his soldiers. Duncan finally manage to escape in exile to Caladan where he pledges his allegiance to House Atreides and begins to work in the stables tending to and looking after the Salusan bulls.

• The technological and innovative economy of House Vernius is overrun and sabotaged by rebellious suboids, Tleilaxus and covert imperial Sardaukar who claim that the Ixians were defying the laws of the great convention .ie  thinking machines. Of the very few Ixians that were managed to flee was the duke Dominic Vernius, his wife Shando and his two children. Shando is eventually hunted down by Sardaukar and killed. Dominic forms a band of his old military friends and travels to Arrakis to shed blood and avenge his loss of his planet and people.

• The Baron conceives a child to the Bene Gesserit sister Mohiam to fulfil the select and meticulous breeding program regime that will summon the exalted kwisatz Haderach. The breeding program remain strictly confidential between only the Bene Gesserit sisterhood.

• Duke Paulus Atreidis tragically dies in a bull fighting “accident”. At only 15 years of age Leto Atreidis becomes the new successor to Duke Paulus.

• Fenring poisons the ancient emperor of the Imperium, Elrood IX, in a devious tactic that would promise the emperor a slow, insidious death that would take over his mind and body in a matter of years. His son, Prince Shaddam IV, is power hungry and impatient to reign the throne so he and Fenring see it as a subtle, unsuspecting way to become the Emperor.

• The Emperor is secretly working with the Tleilaxus, who took over IX, to research an alternative form of synthetic spice which would in consequence brake the Harkonnen monopoly of spice production on Arrakis and promote self-sufficiency and economic benefits to House Corrino and the imperium.

• The Baron Harkonnen discovers about the synthetic spice research on IX and devises and subtle and devious plan with the help of his twisted mentat Piter De Vries. He plans to frame Duke Leto Atreides by a most deceiving tactic which would inevitably erupt a full scale war between the Tleilaxus and the Atreides, effectively wiping out an enemy and destroying a possible threat to Harkonnen spice production and revenue. The plan was to make it look as if the Atreides had attacked the Tleilaxu ships through the utilisation of an invisible spaceship by Rabbon Harkonnen.  Things do not go as planned and through a massive process of arbitrary legal battles called “Trial by Forfeiture” in the Lansraad court the accusations are finally dismissed by a testimony from the recently coronated Shaddam IV. Shaddam was black-mailed by Duke Leto who bluffed about having full knowledge of his activities with the Tleilaxu on IX. The Emperor Shaddam took no chances as information of this confidentiality could lead to the end of his reign as Emperor and severe punishments by the Landsraad

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The only Prelude book I've read (and the only BH/KJA book actually) is House Harkonnen, and I found it intensively boring, sometimes stupid, and sometimes contradicting what is written in FH's books. Anyway, most of events from House Atreides that you mention here are kindly repeated by the authors in House Harkonnen, some even several times. It is also very annoying that they are always worrying that the reader has forgotten what was written previously, so they keep telling things again and again >:(

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Far from boring, quite interesting and intruiging. These reason why BH/KA have to repeat everything they way is probably due to the fact that some Dune fans have the attention spans of a 5 year old and need to be reminded of the  plot and what is happening in the story.

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