Looking for the Dune reading order? All who have read Dune will agree that the first volume is one of the best science fiction novels of all time. If you decided to start reading the Dune series I can only congratulate you. Because you will not regret. In this post, you will be able to check the proper reading order of Frank Herbert’s appraised work.
In which order should I read Dune books? Frank Herbert books in order
So, here is a summary for my suggested Dune read order. First of all, I recommend you read the original work by Frank Herbert, at least the first three books. After you have finished with all his original work you can read the sequels and lately Legends of Dune and its sequel. As a result, If you read all of these books you will become a Dune god and people will kneel to your divine presence.
Here you have Dune books in order:
Dune reading order
- Dune Messiah.
- Children of Dune
- God Emperor of Dune
- Heretics of Dune
- Chapterhouse: Dune
- Hunters of Dune
- Sandworms of Dune
- House Atreides
- House Harkonnen
- House Corrino
- The Butlerian Jihad
- The Machine Crusade
- The Battle of Corrin
- Sisterhood of Dune
- Mentats of Dune
- Navigators of Dune
Where can I buy Dune original series?
If you want to start reading this series, you only have to click on the cover of the book you want to purchase, the link will take you to Amazon.
The following Dune books are in the same order as said before, so this way it will be way easier for you to buy them:
Children of Dune
God Emperor of Dune
Heretics of Dune
Hunters of Dune
Sandworms of Dune
The Butlerian Jihad
The Machine Crusade
The Battle of Corrin
Sisterhood of Dune
Mentats of Dune
Navigators of Dune
What is the proper reading order for Dune? extended guide
As it happens with other long series, there is a bit of controversy regarding the proper order to read this series. Some say it is best to read them in chronological order, meanwhile others think it is better to read them in published order… if you ask me, in this case, I think you should start reading this saga by the one book that made Dune series to be known as one of the best science fiction novels ever, that is, starting by the first book published: Dune.
So, in my opinion, the best Dune reading order is to read first the original series. This is the story of Paul Atreides and the planet Arrakis, where the priceless spice named mélange, sometimes just called “the spice,” is grown. Even though it is usually said that Dune is a series of six novels, for me at least, it is more like a three-book original saga and a three-book sequel. I say this because centuries pass between the third book, Children of Dune, and the fourth, God Emperor of Dune,so I think think they should not be considered at the same level.
Here you have the Dune original saga books in order, with a bit more detail:
- Dune. 412 pages.
- Dune Messiah. 256 pages.
- Children of Dune. 416 pages.
This would be like the basic pack, the must-read I would say. If you read these three books you will know how the story of Paul Atreides concludes. Of course, Dune keeps being alive after him.
The extended Dune reading
If you are willing for more Dune, and trust me you will, you have way more to read. Following to Children of Dune you have I call a three-book sequel.
- God Emperor of Dune.
- Heretics of Dune.
- Chapterhouse: Dune.
Unfortunately, the latest book, Chapter House: Dune, ends with a cliffhanger and since the author died the next year after this book was published,1985, he left a lot of the plotlines unsettled.
However, this matter was somehow resolved by the two next novels written by Brian Herbert, Frank Herbert’s older son, and Kevin J. Anderson (spin-off novel writer for Star Wars or Starcraft among others and also known for his work The Saga of Seven Suns). Please notice that, from now on, all the novels mentioned are not written by Frank Herbert but by his son and Kevin J. Anderson.
- Hunters of Dune.
- Sandworms of Dune.
Still want more? At this point, the reading order gets more and more complicated, two prequel series, and sequel of one of those prequels…none of these will be Frank Herbert’s work as previously explained.
First Dune prequel
The first prequel is set just before the first published book, that is, before the Arrakis conflict. These books are narrated from the point of view of three noble houses, which give the name to each manuscript:
- House Atreides.
- House Harkonnen.
- House Corrino.
Second prequel (Legends of Dune) and its sequel (Great Schools of Dune)
While the first prequel happens just before the first Dune novel, this prequel narrates a story occurring thousands of years before.
- The Butlerian Jihad.
- The Machine Crusade.
- The Battle of Corrin.
This second prequel trilogy has a sequel trilogy also:
- Sisterhood of Dune.
- Mentats of Dune.
- Navigators of Dune.
That would be all, there are also short stories but we will leave it there from now. If you are willing for more Dune just leave a comment and I will provide you more info about the short stories!
What is this Dune about?
If you were searching for the Dune reading order you probably know what is this series about, but in case you just came here by coincidence:
In 1965, a book was quietly published which later became an incredible success. Reportedly, it is Frank Herbert’s Dune Saga. The Dune series is somewhat complicated, and a bit slow-witted. This novel was previously rejected by over 20 publishers before an automobile manuals publisher took on the book.
Dune is a series that encompasses six books that are not individually dependent upon one storyline. Though Dune Messiah, the second book in the series firmly establishes the 5,000-year time frame of the remaining novels as “the Golden Path” and ties them all loosely together. Each story itself accounts for a brief, and possibly most significant of periods with that path.
Most importantly, the series as a whole is excellent. What sets this series above most others is its sheer scope. Encompassing a timeline of some 7,500 years, Herbert was able to justifiably link the first book, Dune, with the last, Chapterhouse: Dune. Let take a look at books individually.
The first book in the series: Dune
About forty years after its initial publication, Dune persists as a significant book in the fiction genre and is easily the most notable of the series. It is here that the author sets the foundation for the remaining series. Of them all, Dune comprises the most comprehensive and, most complete story. On the periphery, the predominant saga is political intrigue and maneuvering. But through Herbert’s expert characterizations and strong world-building, the issues he addresses parallel issues we are still suffering in recent times.
Originally published in 1965, and set outwards of 20,000 years in the future; the original saga revolves around the political strife between three noble houses, House Corrino, House Harkonnen, and House Atreides. The story revolves around the battle for sovereignty over the planet, Dune. This strife fuses political, economic, religious, and even mystical intrigue and manipulation.
This book publishing date was in 1969, twelve years after Dune. Though the central narrative is wholly reliant upon the first book, Herbert successfully crafted a sequel able to stand on its own without having intimate knowledge of its forerunner; Dune.
Dune Messiah, while a highly enjoyable read, seems secondary and in place only to serve as a launching point for the four subsequent books.
Children of Dune
In 1976, nine years after the Dune Messiah, the new Emperor’s children are getting of age in a time of the massive social and economic revolution. Children of Dune is one of the weaker books of the series.
As with Dune Messiah, Herbert focuses on a singular theme picked from Dune and thrashes better, and with a likely better result. His explorations are fascinating, and a must read for all lovers of books.
God Emperor of Dune
A reader needs the knowledge of the earlier series to understand the premise for God Emperor of Dune published in 1981. Since this novel is, for some, weak. Herbert was well aware of this, as the early chapters are filled with a rehashing of information from the previous three novels. Without this, there is just no way God Emperor of Dune would have stood on its own. Beyond initial pages, which may be a bit repetitive from his previous novels; lies Frank Herbert’s thorough exploration of religious fanaticism through the 4,000-year-old Leto II, the immortal Emperor of Dune.
In addition, the author breaks from the style of the previous series in that significant segments of narration are teaching dialogue from Leto II.
The duo; Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse Dune
There is no way to isolate these two novels published in 1984 and 1985 respectively. There isn’t a complete story contained within either one individually, and neither one can stand individually on an average read. Collectively, though, they make for a rich, complex; and potent ending that stands out among previous books as the best writing and most enjoyable read since the original Dune 20 years earlier.
The storylines weave and evolve throughout the two novels. At times they seem to drag slightly, but the culmination in Chapterhouse Dune makes it all worthwhile.
However, taken individually, Heretics of Dune is placed slightly below Chapterhouse Dune only because there is no adequate resolution to the ongoing storylines.
Who wrote this series?
Frank Herbert was a world celebrated and commercially thriving American science-fiction author. Also, Frank was also the father of another erudite author, Brian Herbert. Another great book by Frank Herbert is the Priests of Psi, a novella which was the cover story for the February 1960 issue of Fantastic.
Dune had a movie adaptation in the 80s. But that’s not all, a new movie of Dune started filming this very same year. If you want to know more just check the following article Dune upcoming movie.
You will love this series if you liked…
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Did you know Dune is having a movie adaptation? make sure you read the books first, here you found Dune reading order order, so no excuses! you still got time to read them.
Take a look at The Witcher reading order if you like fantasy stories.