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Emperor:_Battle_for_Dune

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    In the year 10190, empires seed the universe and statesmanship -- long ago, the fussy art of managing countries -- guides the destiny of whole galaxies. Houses are the basic political unit, aristocratic -- or simply autocratic -- ruling bodies that run their empires through tithes or terror, ballots or belligerence.
    Planets, of course, are the currency. But no planet is as valuable to these vying Houses as the dust-choked planet of Arrakis, also known as Dune. Home to a coveted spice called Melange, Arrakis is the virtual center of the universe. The House that controls Dune controls the spice Melange, which prolongs human life by centuries, enhances mental powers and makes interstellar space travel possible by folding the fabric of the universe. The House that controls Dune, controls all.
    Deviousness and treachery are the most often-used tools in the struggle to control Dune -- but few have used them with such success as the late Padishah Emperor Frederick IV, Ruler of the Known Universe. The emperor's plan of playing the major and minor houses against each other -- from the noble House Atreides to the brutish House Harkonnen -- as they competed for mining rights on Arrakis was nearly successful. But the emperor's great ambition only made for a greater fall, and with his death, Arrakis again lies open to conquest.
    The Houses ready for battle -- a battle of weaponry and wits, diplomacy and deceit. Who will ascend to the throne of Emperor? What House will control Dune? What House will hold the key to the universe?