Ace, Aug 2009, $25.95
In the past twelve years (since the HERETICS OF DUNE), the Honoured Matres have devastated the Bene Gesserit to the point their adversaries are nearing extinction; their last enclave is a slowly changing Chapterhouse into the desert realm like they once had on Dune. The desperate Bene Gesserit Mother Superior Darwi Odrade knows her Sisterhood is in deep trouble. Their only hope resides with technology taken from the now almost extinct Bene Tleilax whose last survivor Scytale is in captivity.
The Bene Gesserit Sisterhood creates a ghola of Miles Teg, but no one knows how to use it against the enemy only that they must train the ghola to be their counter weapon as he has been used in many lifetimes before. Meanwhile the Sisterhood also mentors with training the application of the Coda ex Honoured Matre Murbella and her lover Duncan Idaho in hopes that they prove useful. However a tribe of Jews offer to help the Bene Gesserit as they know what the final solution means to them if the Honoured Matres win as seems likely.
This is a reprint of the 1985 final book written by Frank Herbert in the Dune Chronicles with the concentration about 90 plus percent on Odrade and her efforts to save her group by correcting a major defect in all of the Bene Gesserit that leaves them vulnerable to the enemy. This is a fascinating well written tale; however that focus also means minimal appearance by the Honoured Matres so the big theme never moves forward much. The completion of that overarching saga was done in collaboration by the late great author’s son Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson based on notes left behind. Fans should read previous Dune books before Chapterhouse and the collaboration of Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson starting with HUNTERS OF DUNE to obtain the full flavor as this entry is a betweener tale.