Epeolatry Book Review: Sands of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson


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Title: Sands of Dune
Author: Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 28th June, 2022

Synopsis: Collected for the first time, these Dune novellas by bestselling authors Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson shine a light upon the darker corners of the Dune universe. Spanning space and time, Sands of Dune is essential reading for any fan of the series.

The world of Dune has shaped an entire generation of science fiction. From the sand blasted world of Arrakis, to the splendor of the imperial homeworld of Kaitain, readers have lived in a universe of treachery and wonder.

Now, these stories expand on the Dune universe, telling of the lost years of Gurney Halleck as he works with smugglers on Arrakis in a deadly gambit for revenge; inside the ranks of the Sardaukar as the child of a betrayed nobleman becomes one of the Emperor’s most ruthless fighters; a young firebrand Fremen woman, a guerrilla fighter against the ruthless Harkonnens, who will one day become Shadout Mapes.

Love them or hate them, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson return once more to the world of Dune. Personally, I’ve quite enjoyed the way that they’ve fleshed out Frank Herbert’s original work and this collection of four novellas really helps expand upon both characters from the original book and some of the backstory behind the world he created. In fact, I feel that the two personal stories included within felt rather close to the type of story that the elder Herbert did a fantastic job of telling.

Let’s dive in. The four tales are: The Edge of a Crysknife, Blood of the Sardukar, The Waters of Kanly, and Imperial Court.

In The Edge of a Crysknife we revisit a character that hasn’t been in the spotlight for years. We’re taking a deeper dive into the history of the Shadout Mapes. We get to find out how this Fremmen warrior became the woman who we wanted to know more about from the original ‘Dune.’

Following this is Blood of the Sardukar. In it, we follow one of the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV’s Sardukar soldiers. His goal is to follow his Lord’s command to the letter. While Duke Leto Atreides is scheduled to die, this warrior wishes to carry out the wish that Leto is not tortured and why he is so apt to follow this order that almost seems to be against the very nature of these bloodthirsty warriors.

Third up is another visit with an old friend. The Waters of Kanly gives us a tale of what Gurney Halleck was up to after his Duke has been killed and how he continues on while under the impression that both Paul and the Lady Jessica have likely met the same fate. Vengence is on this Warmaster’s mind, and we’ll get insight into his ideas for revenge.

Finally, we go far into the past to some of the historical novels that Briand and Kevin had previously written that shows us more of how House Atreides and House Harkonnen became sworn blood enemies in a feud that would last tens of thousands of years.

Sands of Dune shares four great stories that flesh out the mythos created by Frank Herbert and gives us a closer look at both key characters and larger plot points from the universe.


Available from Amazon and Bookshop.

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