Dune books in order: Frank Herbert’s books guide

Looking for the best Dune reading order? All who have read Dune will agree that the first volume of this series 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 it. In this post, you will be able to find all the Dune books in order by Frank Herbert and also the subsequent novels written by his son Brian, and Kevin J. Anderson.

But not only you will find the Dune series order here, you will also find a great Dune book set recommendation at the end of this post, make sure you don’t miss it because getting such a book collection is a great way to start this series.

Dune reading order? 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.

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. Here you have the original Dune books in order, if you are looking for the rest of the books of the series, they are in the next section of this post.

Dune

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Dune Messiah.

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Children of Dune

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Heretics of Dune

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Chapterhouse: Dune

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Now that you have the Dune series order, what if you get this amazing Dune book set?

This Dune book set collects the first six books in the series (which are the books written by Frank Herbert), this set has a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating and is a great way to start this series:

In this Dune book set you can choose between paperback, hardcover, and Kindle formats so you can choose the one that fits better to you.

Dune books in order including Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson work

After the original series by Frank Herbert, you have the following books to read. Here goes the order of the Dune books (extended series)

Hunters of Dune

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Sandworms of Dune

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House Atreides

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House Harkonnen

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House Corrino

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Sisterhood of Dune

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Mentats of Dune

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Navigators of Dune

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A list with the Dune book order 2020

Here is an updated list with the Dune book order:

Dune reading order

Dune books in order, dune series order
Keyword Dune reading order

Publisher:

  • Ace Books

Reading order:

  • Dune
  • 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

So this is the complete Dune series order. If you read all of these books you will become a Dune god and people will kneel to your divine presence.

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 order

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.

Dune Messiah

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.

Adaptations

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…

If Hyperion by Dan Simmons a look appeals to you, you might want to read this saga. It has a lot of similar themes, plot, and saga to Dune, and it has excellent word building and is one of those stories that stick with you.

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.

49 Comments on "Dune books in order: Frank Herbert’s books guide"


  • Gotta love Paul Atreides!

    XX.

  • Ah, are the books by Herbert jr worth to read?


  • I’m going to read the first book in the series before Villeneuve’s adaptation gets released, anyone else?


  • Thank you, very easy to follow, I always wanted to start the Dune series and now I have some spare time and money to get the books.

  • In what order should I read dune if I want to follow chronology?

  • Now I know how to read Dune series! great, thanks

  • Will read Dune now!


  • I think I will just read the original series by Frank Herbert, thanks

  • There are so many books in the Dune series? wow


  • I knew this series was hard to start reading, really glad I found you Wottaread.

  • The Dune reading order I needed, thanks

  • I think this book shouldnt be a movie, it should be a series like GOT


  • Thanks for sharing, this article was quite helpful to me, now I can start reading Dune, finally.

    King regards,
    Lunding Cannon

  • Gotta admit I’m just here preparing for the 2020 adaptation


  • Probably my favorite book series of all time, it managed to change my life as a teenager

  • So, it makes no sense to read Childrens of Dune first I guess?


  • I missed these books.I Read them while I was high school.


  • The perfect guide for starting Dune, congrats for this post, really.

    L.R.

  • So, nobody said it yet? best scifi series ever


  • Death to all Harkonnen!


  • Ty, useful.


  • I tried to read the first book when I was just a kid, it didn’t go well, it had to put it off. Time to try again.


  • Lots of books!

  • Ty, I will get a cool box set for my brother, he loved the first book in this series and his birthday is next week


  • Well, Frank Herbert’s work is amazing!


  • Thanks for this reading order, really needed it


  • I just wanted to reread this series, I a huge fan of Dune.


  • Ty for this post, I always wanted to start Dune


  • Terrific article! Teasy to follow, bought all the first 3 books!


  • I just read the first book in the series, a friend gifted it to me, and now I want more so I’m getting all of them!


  • I might need some help from a Dune expert, which books should I read if I want to follow the upcoming movie?


  • I don’t know, it feels like the series should have ended when Frank Herbert died…


  • Ty for this, I bought the first book in the series, they say its the best one isnt it?


  • I was told I knew nothing about the scifi genre if I haven’t read the Dune series, time to ammend that mistake


  • I think I’m only going to read Frank Herbert’s, the ones written by his son not so much interested dunno why


  • Thanks for this Dune reading order, it’s for my boy


  • I only wanted to refreshen this series before the movie, ty

    KAt


  • Wow, this series is waaaaay longer that I expected it to be, I’ll read the first one and then we’ll see ;D


  • I got time before the movie gets released, I have to read fast tho!

  • Should I read this series in order to watch the movie?


  • I always wanted to start reading Frank Herber’s series


  • I’ve always wanted to read Dune, time to go!


  • Thank you, I might gift some of these books to my sister.

  • I have read them all, in chronological order of events.
    The first novel is, of course, legendary, and, as I recall, the rest of those written by Frank work together wonderfully.
    Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the other 13 and, worst of all, I thought the conclusion to the saga was TERRIBLE.
    Good luck.

  • Dune series is my all time favorite sci-fi series. I’ve read them all, albeit quite a while ago. You haven’t read sci-fi until you encounter this tapestry of space, time, technology and humanity. I would start with the three prequels for the fascinating background to the characters and history that presents itself in Dune.


  • I read all the prelude series by Brian but never the originals by Frank. After reading your comments I’m off to buy these. Can’t wait! Thanks.


  • Great post thank you, big sci fi fan but somehow never worked up the guts to dive in although my dad was also a big Dune fan. Will dive in now. Just struggling to make sense of the maths that 1969 is 12 years after 1965 though…

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