Frank Herbert’s Heretics of Dune is probably my personal favorite of the series. In Heretics, Herbert begins to set up the final stages of his epic. The following is a recap of the story and contains spoilers!
As people start returning from “the scattering”, the Bene Gesserit and the Bene Tleilax vie for control of humanity, with a Duncan Idaho ghola caught between them. Retired General, Miles Teg, is called upon by the Bene Gesserit to protect and train the young Duncan. As Taraza investigates rumors of a powerful group from the scattering called the Honored Matres, her second in command, Darwi, goes to the planet Rakis to investigate a young girl who can allegedly control the sand worms.
On Rakis, after finding and beginning to train the young Sheenana in the ways of the Bene Gesserit, Dar and Tar make a deal with the head of the Bene Tleilax that will give them control of the spice production and continue pushing humanity down the golden path Leto II had set them upon centuries before. An attack by the Honored Matres kills Tar, but not before she can merge her memories with Dar’s. Teg continues to train the boy when the Matres find them and Teg is captured in order to allow Duncan and a Bene Gesserit sister to escape.
While being tortured by subordinates of the Matres, Teg awakens the ability to interact with and perceive time much faster than any known human. He escaped captivity and rallies up allies to feed him soup and help him find and rescue Duncan. The Bene Gesserit sister and Duncan believe they have escaped when they run into an Honored Matre named Murbella. The sister manages to trick Murbella into believing she is actually a Great Honored Matre and not a Bene Gesserit. Murbella, fooled, takes the two into her home and then proceeds to show the sister how they bind men to their will through a sexually induced trance, using Duncan as an example. However, a countermeasure for such an act was imprinted on the ghola and Duncan instead imprints on Murbella, binding her to his will.
Teg eventually finds Duncan and the captured Murbella and takes them to Darwi. In a final mission, Dar asks Teg to defend Rakis, and he does so, provoking the ferocity of the Matres’ wrath. The Matres destroy the planet and all of the worms, save one, which has been taken in a No-Ship by Dar and Sheenana to the secret base of the Bene Gesserit, the planet Chapter House.
And with that, we go on to the final book in Frank Herbert’s Dune Saga, Chapterhouse: Dune.