Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson have once again expanded the universe of Frank Herbert’s Dune (please see my review of Dune: House Atreides). For this new graphic novel, the authors take their readers to the Battle of Arrakeen, a pivotal scene in the original science fiction classic when House Atreides are taken by their enemies the Harkonnens and the emperor’s Sardaukar. But instead of witnessing the fall of the Atreides, readers are treated to the experiences of two men during the siege.

As the siege on House Atreides thunders all around, two men from both sides of the fight recall their younger days and how they wound up in the middle of battle. In “Blood of the Sardaukar,” illustrated by Adam Gorham and colored by Patricio Delpeche, Jopati Kolona is a member of the Sardaukar, the emperor’s elite military known throughout the galaxy for their ferocity and devotion to the fight. He knows his mission, to lay siege on the capital Arrakeen and capture Duke Leto Atreides and his family. But with revelations from his past circling his mind, his loyalty to the emperor may be tested. In “A Whisper of Caladan Seas”, illustrated and colored by Jakub Rebelka, Sergeant Hoh Vitt of the Atreides guard and his men are trapped underground with few provisions. As the men’s hope for survival dwindles, Vitt takes it upon himself to use his family’s storytelling power to comfort them. With only words and his mind, he takes them back to the lush oceans of Caladan, the home of House Atreides, but how far will he have to travel to give them the will to survive?

Once again, it is best for new readers to have prior knowledge of the Dune series in order to enjoy this emotional and action packed graphic novel. Those who are unfamiliar with this universe’s warring houses, its planets, and the mental skills that exist may definitely be confused while reading these tales. However, devoted fans and readers will appreciate the authors’ choice in characters and settings, giving them a glimpse into the battle from another point of view. The short stories expand the known universe and provide an emotional look into the struggles of battle worn men. As for the illustrators and colorists of each tale, their use of panel placement keeps each story flowing from one action to the next. The vast landscapes of each planet and its environment are detailed very well, along with the emotions and actions of each character, especially the main characters Jopati and Vitt. Their choice of color allows them to invoke the heartbreak and violence of war, as well as the advanced technology and mental prowess on each side of the fight.

For patrons who can’t get enough Dune, give them this newest edition to the graphic novel series. Science fiction readers who are familiar with the works of Frank Herbert or the space opera genre may want to give this a try. If they so happen to enjoy it and want to read more, give them the three volume graphic novel series Dune: House Atreides as well as the original science fiction classic.

Dune: Tales from Arrakeen
By Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
Art by Adam Gorham, Patricio Delpeche, Jakub Rebelka,
BOOM! Studios, 2022
ISBN: 9781684157709

NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+)

  • Gloria

    | She/Her Children's Librarian, Elmont Memorial Library

    Gloria is a full-time children’s librarian at the Elmont Memorial Library in Long Island, New York where she runs a monthly STEAM program, a graphic novel book club, and storytime for preschoolers. During her free time, she is found reading anything and everything from the classics, to poetry, to the newest best seller. Her other interests include writing, online games, exploring new areas in her home state, and spending time with friends, family, and colleagues. She has also written articles and reviews for the website Cosplay, Comics, and Geek Culture in Libraries and on her personal Goodreads page.

Liked it? Take a second to support us on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!