“Sisterhood of Dune” – Book Review

Posted: February 24, 2012 in Books, Current Events, Reviews

Sisterhood of Dune is an interesting parable for our times.  While it will be most interesting and understandable to those who are following the Dune megaseries, it provides an enlightening reflection on a major issue of our times.

The story takes place several hundred years after the battle of Corrin, when the human race finally overthrows a millennium of tyranny by computer AIs and mechanical tyrants.  The Butlarians become a fanatical, anti-technology group that reaches religious proportions and begins a cleansing campaign that even the new Emperor is unable to control.  Troughout the story we see the strength of this fanaticism slowly build until it is a force that none of the power structures are able to stop.  In the beginning these opponents depend on the integrity of human reason, only to find it easily swept up by passion.

The fanatics become bolder as they gain more momentum; at first they opposed only thinking machines but soon they wish to eliminate all technology.  As they become more powerful, you see that the very thing they are fighting against also begin to gain more power.  That which is suppressed is given power in the end.

Sisterhood of Dune is a bit slow in the uptake, but quickly weaves drama and conflict in which allows us to see many of the vested groups familiar to us from the other books begin to evolve and take shape.  It is interesting to see some of these powerful groups at their fledgeling stage.

More importantly, it is a cautionary tale about anti-intellectual fanaticism and how easily it can grow if allowed to take root.  Many conservative extremists in our current society would like nothing better than to hobble intellectual and scientific communities.  When your position is one of ignorance, it is important to silence those who know better.  From that perspective, Sisterhood of Dune is an enlightening and frightening tale.

I would give this book a B+.



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