Complete Guide to the Dune Books in Chronological Order

Dune Books Chronological Order Featured

There are a lot of Dune books. And if you’re like most people, you may not know where to start or in what order to read them. Fear not, intrepid explorer of the Dune universe! This definitive guide will tell you everything you need to know about reading the Dune books in chronological order.

Dune: The Butlerian Jihad is the first book in the list of Dune books in chronological order

Dune: The Butlerian Jihad

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #1
  • Publication Year: 2002
  • Page Count: 624

Description:

Throughout the Dune novels, Frank Herbert frequently referred to the long-ago war in which humans wrested their freedom from “thinking machines.” Now, in Dune: Butlerian Jihad, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson bring to life the story of that war, a tale previously seen only in tantalizing hints and clues.

Finally, we see how Serena Butler’s passionate grief ignites the war that will liberate humans from their machine masters. We learn the circumstances of the betrayal that made mortal enemies of House Atreides and House Harkonnen. And we experience the Battle of Corrin that created a galactic empire that lasted until the reign of Emperor Shaddam IV.

Herein are the foundations of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, the Suk Doctors, the Order of Mentats, and the Navigators of the Spacing Guild. Here is the amazing tale of the Zensunni Wanderers, who escape bondage to flee to the desert world where they will declare themselves the Free Men of Dune. And here is the backward, nearly forgotten planet of Arrakis, where traders have discovered the remarkable properties of the spice melange…

Ten thousand years before the events of Dune, humans have managed to battle the remorseless Machines to a standstill. But victory may be short-lived. Yet amid shortsighted squabbling between nobles, new leaders have begun to emerge.

Among them are Xavier Harkonnen, military leader of the Planet of Salusa Secundus. Xavier’s fiancée, Serena Butler, is an activist who will become the unwilling leader of millions. And Tio Holtzman is the scientist struggling to devise a weapon that will help the human cause. Against the brute efficiency of their adversaries, these leaders and the human race have only imagination, compassion, and the capacity for love. It will have to be enough.

Dune: The Machine Crusade is the second book in the list of Dune books in chronological order

Dune: The Machine Crusade

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #2
  • Publication Year: 2003
  • Page Count: 695

Description:

More than two decades have passed since the events chronicled in The Butlerian Jihad. The crusade against thinking robots has ground on for years. But the forces led by Serena Butler and Irbis Ginjo have made only slight gains. The human worlds grow weary of war, of the bloody, inconclusive swing from victory to defeat.

The fearsome cymeks, led by Agamemnon, hatch new plots to regain their lost power from Omnius. But their numbers dwindle and time begins to run out. The fighters of Ginaz, led by Jool Noret, forge themselves into an elite warrior class, a weapon against the machine-dominated worlds. Aurelius Venport and Norma Cenva are on the verge of the most important discovery in human history. A way to “fold” space and travel instantaneously to any place in the galaxy.

And on the faraway, nearly worthless planet of Arrakis, Selim Wormrider and his band of outlaws take the first steps to making themselves the feared fighters who will change the course of history: the Fremen.

Dune: The Battle of Corrin is the third book in the list of Dune books in chronological order

Dune: The Battle of Corrin

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #3
  • Publication Year: 2004
  • Page Count: 624

Description:

It has been fifty-six hard years since the events of The Machine Crusade. Following the death of Serena Butler, the bloodiest decades of the Jihad take place. Synchronized Worlds and Unallied Planets are liberated one by one, and at long last, after years of struggle, the human worlds begin to hope that the end of the centuries-long conflict with the thinking machines is finally in sight.

Unfortunately, Omnius has one last, deadly card to play. In a last-ditch effort to destroy humankind, virulent plagues are let loose throughout the galaxy, decimating the populations of whole planets… and once again, the tide of the titanic struggle shifts against the warriors of the human race. At last, the war that has lasted many lifetimes will be decided in the apocalyptic Battle of Corrin.

In the greatest battle in science fiction history, human and machine face off one last time… And on the desert planet of Arrakis, the legendary Fremen of Dune become the feared fighting force to be discovered by Paul Muad’Dib in Frank Herbert’s classic, Dune.

Sisterhood of Dune is the fourth book in the list of Dune books in chronological order

Sisterhood of Dune

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #4
  • Publication Year: 2012
  • Page Count: 496

Description:

It is eighty-three years after the last of the thinking machines were destroyed in the Battle of Corrin, after Faykan Butler took the name of Corrino and established himself as the first Emperor of a new Imperium. Great changes are brewing that will shape and twist all of humankind.

The war hero Vorian Atreides has turned his back on politics and Salusa Secundus. The descendants of Abulurd Harkonnen Griffen and Valya have sworn vengeance against Vor, blaming him for the downfall of their fortunes. Raquella Berto-Anirul has formed the Bene Gesserit School on the jungle planet Rossak as the first Reverend Mother. The descendants of Aurelius Venport and Norma Cenva have built Venport Holdings, using mutated, spice-saturated Navigators who fly precursors of Heighliners. Gilbertus Albans, the ward of the hated Erasmus, is teaching humans to become Mentats…and hiding an unbelievable secret.

The Butlerian movement is rabidly opposed to all forms of “dangerous technology.” And it is led by Manford Torondo and his devoted Swordmaster, Anari Idaho. It is this group, so many decades after the defeat of the thinking machines, which begins to sweep across the known universe in mobs, millions strong, destroying everything in its path.

Every one of these characters, and all of these groups, will become enmeshed in the contest between Reason and Faith. All of them will be forced to choose sides in the inevitable crusade that could destroy humankind forever…

Mentats of Dune is the fifth book in the list of Dune books in chronological order

Mentats of Dune

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #5
  • Publication Year: 2014
  • Page Count: 448

Description:

Gilbertus Albans has founded the Mentat School, a place where humans can learn the efficient techniques of thinking machines. But Gilbertus walks an uneasy line between his own convictions and compromises in order to survive the Butlerian fanatics, led by the madman Manford Torondo and his Swordmaster Anari Idaho. Mother Superior Raquella attempts to rebuild her Sisterhood School on Wallach IX, with her most talented and ambitious student, Valya Harkonnen, who also has another goal—to exact revenge on Vorian Atreides, the legendary hero of the Jihad, whom she blames for her family’s downfall.

Meanwhile, Josef Venport conducts his own war against the Butlerians. VenHold Spacing Fleet controls nearly all commerce thanks to the superior mutated Navigators that Venport has created, and he places a ruthless embargo on any planet that accepts Manford Torondo’s anti-technology pledge, hoping to starve them into submission. But fanatics rarely surrender easily…

The Mentats, the Navigators, and the Sisterhood all strive to improve the human race. But each group knows that as Butlerian fanaticism grows stronger, the battle will be to choose the path of humanity’s future. Embrace civilization or plunge into an endless dark age.

Navigators of Dune is the sixth book in the list of Dune books in chronological order

Navigators of Dune

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #6
  • Publication Year: 2016
  • Page Count: 416

Description:

The story line tells the origins of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood and its breeding program, the human-computer Mentats, and the Navigators (the Spacing Guild), as well as a crucial battle for the future of the human race, in which reason faces off against fanaticism. These events have far-reaching consequences that will set the stage for Dune, millennia later.

Dune: House Atreides is the seventh book in the list of Dune books in chronological order

Dune: House Atreides

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #7
  • Publication Year: 1999
  • Page Count: 604

Description:

Here is the rich and complex world that Frank Herbert created in his classic series, in the time leading up to the momentous events of Dune. Emperor Elrood’s son Shaddam plots a subtle regicide. Young Leto Atreides leaves his lush, water-rich planet for a year’s education on the mechanized world of Ix. A planetologist named Pardot Kynes is dispatched by the Emperor to the desert planet Arrakis, or Dune, to discover the secrets of the addictive spice known as melange. And the eight-year-old slave Duncan Idaho is hunted by his cruel masters in a terrifying game from which he vows escape and vengeance. But none can envision the fate in store for them: one that will make them renegades—and shapers of history.

Covering the decade when Shaddam wins his throne, the teenager Leo Atreides becomes unexpectedly the rule of House Atreides. And Pardot Kynes uncovers one of the planet Dune’s greatest secrets. House Atreides stands next to Dune in its power and scope. While this new novel solves some of Dune‘s most baffling mysteries, it presents new puzzles springing from the sands where one day Paul Muad’Dib Atreides will walk. But now, in the years before Paul’s birth, an unforgettable new epic begins. Fans of the Dune chronicles will relish the opportunity to return to the rich and exotic universe created by Frank Herbert. And new readers will be introduced to an incomparable imagination. A future where the fate of the entire cosmos is at stake.

Dune: House Harkonnen is the eighth book in the list of Dune books in chronological order

Dune: House Harkonnen

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #8
  • Publication Year: 2000
  • Page Count: 603

Description:

At last Shaddam sits on the Golden Lion Throne. His precarious position as ruler of the Known Universe dependent on producing a male heir. But his leadership is further threatened by the ambitious Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. The Baron’s insatiable thirst for dominance leads him to plot against some of the most powerful forced in the Imperium, hoping to elevate his own ruthless House to unprecedented heights of power. His primary targets: House Atreides and the mysterious Bene Gasserit Sisterhood. The Sisterhood are unaware of this threat as they prepare to culminate the work of centuries in the creation of a god-child who will sweep away emperors, houses, and history itself in a terrifying new order of religious tyranny.

The desert world Dune, the machine world IX, and countless other conquered planets groan under the numbing slavery of cruel new masters determined to exploit their resources—most notably the addictive spice melange found only on Dune. But small bands of renegades begin to fight back, lighting the spark of freedom against overwhelming odds. New, unexpected heroes arise: young and resourceful Liet-Kynes on Dune, wily and patient C’tair on IX, and the unyielding Gurney Halleck in Giedi Prime, driven to vengeance against his Harkonnen overlords.

For Leto Atreides, grown complacent and comfortable as ruler of his House, it is time of momentous choice. He must choose between love and honor, friendship and duty, safety and destiny. Leto has finally produced an heir to House Atreides, Victor. And he will make whatever choices necessary to protect the young boy and ensure his legacy as Duke. Ultimately, however, for House Atreides there is just one choice—strive for greatness or get crushed.

Dune: House Corrino is the ninth book in the list of Dune books in chronological order

Dune: House Corrino

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #9
  • Publication Year: 2001
  • Page Count: 512

Description:

Fearful of losing his precarious hold on the Golden Lion Throne, Shaddam IV, Emperor of a Million Worlds, has devised a radical scheme to develop an alternative to melange, the addictive spice that binds the Imperium together and that can be found only on the desert world of Dune.

In subterranean labs on the machine planet Ix, cruel Tleilaxu overlords use slaves and prisoners as part of a horrific plan to manufacture a synthetic form of melange known as amal. If amal can supplant the spice from Dune, it will give Shaddam what he seeks: absolute power.

But Duke Leto Atreides, grief-stricken yet unbowed by the tragic death of his son Victor, determined to restore the honor and prestige of his House, has his own plans for Ix.

He will free the Ixians from their oppressive conquerors. Then restore his friend Prince Rhombur, injured scion of the disgraced House Vernius, to his rightful place as Ixian ruler. It is a bold and risky venture, for House Atreides has limited military resources and many ruthless enemies, including the sadistic Baron Harkonnen, despotic master of Dune.

Meanwhile, Duke Leto’s consort, the beautiful Lady Jessica, obeying the orders of her superiors in the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, has conceived a child that the Sisterhood intends to be the penultimate step in the creation of an all-powerful being. Yet what the Sisterhood doesn’t know is that the child Jessica is carrying is not the girl they are expecting, but a boy.

Jessica’s act of disobedience is an act of love. It is her attempt to provide her Duke with a male heir to House Atreides. But this act, when discovered, could kill both mother and baby.

Like the Bene Gesserit, Shaddam Corrino is also concerned with making a plan for the future — securing his legacy. Blinded by his need for power, the Emperor will launch a plot against Dune, the only natural source of true spice. If he succeeds, his madness will result in a cataclysmic tragedy not even he foresees: the end of space travel, the Imperium, and civilization itself.

With Duke Leto and other renegades and revolutionaries fighting to stem the tide of darkness that threatens to engulf their universe, the stage is set for a showdown unlike any seen before.

Dune: The Duke of Caladan is the tenth book in the list of Dune books in chronological order

Dune: The Duke of Caladan

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #10
  • Publication Year: 2020
  • Page Count: 320

Description:

Leto Atreides, Duke of Caladan and father of the Muad’Dib. While all know of his fall and the rise of his son, little is known about the quiet ruler of Caladan and his partner Jessica. Or how a Duke of an inconsequential planet earned an emperor’s favor, the ire of House Harkonnen, and set himself on a collision course with his own death. This is the story.

Through patience and loyalty, Leto serves the Golden Lion Throne. Where others scheme, the Duke of Caladan acts. But Leto’s powerful enemies are starting to feel that he is rising beyond his station, and House Atreides rises too high. With unseen enemies circling, Leto must decide if the twin burdens of duty and honor are worth the price of his life, family, and love.

Dune is the eleventh book in the list of Dune books in chronological order

Dune

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #11
  • Publication Year: 1965
  • Page Count: 720

Description:

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for…

When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream. 

Dune Messiah is the twelfth book in the list of Dune books in chronological order

Dune Messiah

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #12
  • Publication Year: 1969
  • Page Count: 288

Description:

Dune Messiah continues the story of Paul Atreides, better know—and feared—as the the man called Muad’Dib. As Emperor of the Known Universe, Paul possesses more power than a single man was ever meant to wield. Worshipped as a religious icon by the fanatical Fremen, Paul faces the enmity of the political houses he displaced when he assumed the throne—and a conspiracy conducted within his own sphere of influence.

And even as House Atreides begins to crumble around him from the machinations of his enemies, the true threat to Paul comes to his lover, Chani, and the unborn heir to his family’s dynasty….

Children of Dune is the thirteenth book in the list of Dune books in chronological order

Children of Dune

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #13
  • Publication Year: 1976
  • Page Count: 496

Description:

The children of Dune are twin siblings Leto and Ghanima Atreides, whose father, Emperor Paul Muad’Dib, disappeared in the desert wastelands of Arrakis nine years ago. Like their father, the twins possess supernormal abilities—making them valuable to their manipulative aunt Alia, who rules the Empire in the name of House Atreides.

Facing treason and rebellion on two fronts, Alia’s rule is not absolute. The displaced House Corrino is plotting to regain the throne while the fanatical Fremen are being provoked into open revolt by the enigmatic figure known only as The Preacher. Alia believes that by obtaining the secrets of the twins’ prophetic visions, she can maintain control over her dynasty.

But Leto and Ghanima have their own plans for their visions—and their destinies….

God Emperor of Dune is the fourteenth book

God Emperor of Dune

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #14
  • Publication Year: 1981
  • Page Count: 496

Description:

More than three thousand years have passed since the first events recorded in Dune. Only one link survives with those tumultuous times: the grotesque figure of Leto Atreides, son of the prophet Paul Muad’Dib, and now the virtually immortal God Emperor of Dune. He alone understands the future, and he knows with a terrible certainty that the evolution of his race is at an end unless he can breed new qualities into his species. But to achieve his final victory, Leto Atreides must also bring about his own downfall …

Heretics of Dune is the fifteenth book

Heretics of Dune

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #15
  • Publication Year: 1984
  • Page Count: 688

Description:

Leto Atreides, God Emperor of Dune, is dead. In the fifteen hundred years since his passing, the Empire has fallen into ruin. The great Scattering saw millions abandon the crumbling civilization and spread out beyond the reaches of known space. The planet Arrakis—now called Rakis—has reverted to its desert climate, and its great sandworms are dying.

Now the Lost Ones are returning home in pursuit of power. And as these factions vie for control over the remnants of the Empire, a girl named Sheeana rises to prominence in the wastelands of Rakis, sending religious fervor throughout the galaxy. For she possesses the abilities of the Fremen sandriders—fulfilling a prophecy foretold by the late God Emperor…

Chapterhouse: Dune is the sixteenth book

Chapterhouse: Dune

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #16
  • Publication Year: 1985
  • Page Count: 622

Description:

The desert planet Arrakis, called Dune, has been destroyed. The remnants of the Old Empire have been consumed by the violent matriarchal cult known as the Honored Matres. Only one faction remains a viable threat to their total conquest—the Bene Gesserit, heirs to Dune’s power.

Under the leadership of Mother Superior Darwi Odrade, the Bene Gesserit have colonized a green world on the planet Chapterhouse and are turning it into a desert, mile by scorched mile. And once they’ve mastered breeding sandworms, the Sisterhood will control the production of the greatest commodity in the known galaxy—the spice melange. But their true weapon remains a man who has lived countless lifetimes—a man who served under the God Emperor Paul Muad’Dib….

Hunters of Dune is seventeenth book

Hunters of Dune

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #17
  • Publication Year: 2006
  • Page Count: 528

Description:

As designed by the creative genius of Frank Herbert, the primary story of Hunters and Sandworms is the exotic odyssey of Duncan’s no-ship as it is forced to elude the diabolical traps set by the ferocious, unknown Enemy. To strengthen their forces, the fugitives have used genetic technology from Scytale, the last Tleilaxu Master, to revive key figures from Dune’s past—including Paul Muad’Dib and his beloved Chani, Lady Jessica, Stilgar, Thufir Hawat, and even Dr. Wellington Yueh. Each of these characters will use their special talents to meet the challenges thrown at them.

Failure is unthinkable–not only is their survival at stake, but they hold the fate of the entire human race in their hands.

Sandworms of Dune is the eighteenth book

Sandworms of Dune

  • Dune Books in Chronological Order: Dune Book #18
  • Publication Year: 2007
  • Page Count: 546

Description:

Based directly on Frank Herbert’s final outline, which lay hidden in two safe-deposit boxes for a decade, Sandworms of Dune will answer the urgent questions Dune fans have been debating for two decades: the origin of the Honored Matres, the tantalizing future of the planet Arrakis, the final revelation of the Kwisatz Haderach, and the resolution to the war between Man and Machine.

Conclusion

Dune spans a total of 18 books. Frank Herbert wrote the original six and his son co-wrote the other 12 with Kevin J. Anderson. It’s easy to see how one could get lost in such a massive series. But hopefully this guide has helped provide some clarity. So whether you’re just getting started or you’re looking to revisit the series, now you know the order in which to read the Dune books.

What Dune books have you read so far? What do you have left on your list?

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