Paul of Dune

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

While we are busy writing new novels in the incredible Dune universe, many other people contribute to what the reader sees on the printed page, and are important to the series. We would like to thank Tor Books, Hodder & Stoughton, WordFire Inc., the Frank Herbert family, Trident Media Group, New Amsterdam Entertainment, and Misher Films for their contributions and support. As always, we are especially grateful to Frank Herbert, who left the most remarkable literary legacy in all of science fiction, and to Beverly Herbert, who devoted so much of her own talents and energy to the success of the series.

History is a moving target that changes as fresh details are discovered, as errors are corrected, as popular attitudes shift. Historians carve the sculpture that is Truth not out of granite, but out of wet clay.

—from the preface to The Life of Muad’Dib,

Volume I, by the PRINCESS IRULAN

Forgive my impertinence, Mother Superior, but you misunderstand my purpose. In writing about the life of Paul Atreides, the Emperor Muad’Dib, my intent is not simply to chronicle historical events. Have we not learned lessons from our own Missionaria Protectiva? Deftly handled, myths and legends can become tools or weapons, while mere facts are just… facts.

—the PRINCESS IRULAN, letter to the Mother School on Wallach IX

PART I

Emperor Muad’Dib

10,194 AG

One Year After the Fall of Shaddam IV

Much more remains of my father than these few fragments. His bloodline, his character, and his teachings have made me who I am. As long as the universe remembers me as Paul-Muad’Dib, so too will Duke Leto Atreides be remembered. The son is always shaped by the father.

—inscription on the Harg Pass Shrine

A serene ocean of sane stretched as far as the eye could see, silent and still, carrying the potential for terrible storms. Arrakis — the sacred world Dune — was becoming the eye of a galactic hurricane, a bloody Jihad that would rage across the planets of the crumbling Imperium. Paul Atreides had foreseen this, and now he had set it in motion.

Since the overthrow of Shaddam IV a year ago, millions of converts had joined Paul’s armies in addition to his own Fremen warriors, all of whom had pledged their lives to him. Led by his fanatical Fedaykin and other trusted officers, his holy warriors had already begun to fan out from staging areas, bound for specific star systems and targets. Just that morning, Paul had sent Stilgar and his legion off with a rousing speech that included the words, “‘I bestow strength on you, my warriors. Go now and perform my holy bidding.’” It was one of his favorite passages from the Orange Catholic Bible.

Afterward, in the heat of the afternoon, he had taken himself far from the bedlam of the city of Arrakeen, from the agitated troops and the fawning clamor of worshippers. Here in the isolated mountains, Paul required no Fremen guide. The high desert was silent and pure, giving him an illusion of peace. His beloved Chani accompanied him, along with his mother, Jessica, and his little sister. Not quite four years old, Alia was vastly more than a child, pre-born with all the memories and knowledge of a Reverend Mother.

As Paul and his companions ascended the stark brown mountains to Harg Pass, he tried to cling to a feeling of serene inevitability. The desert made him feel small and humble, in sharp contrast to being cheered as a messiah. He prized each quiet moment away from the devoted followers who chanted, “Muad’Dib! Muad’Dib!” whenever they glimpsed him. Before long, when news of the military victories started streaming in, it would