The Fortress of the Pearl

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An Elric novel.

Publishing History (UK)

  • Hardcover, Gollancz, 256pp., ISBN: 0-575-04515-9, 1 Jun 1989, Cover by Geoff Taylor
  • Trade Paperback, Grafton, 256pp., ISBN: 0-586-20883-6, 29 Mar 1990, Cover by Geoff Taylor
  • Mass Market Paperback, Grafton, 272pp., ISBN: 0-586-20884-4, 27 Sep 1990, Cover by Geoff Taylor

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Omnibus Publication (UK)

Publishing History (US)

  • Hardcover, Ace, 231pp., ISBN: 0-441-19123-1, Sep 1989
  • Mass Market Paperback, Ace, 212pp., ISBN: 0-441-24866-7, Dec 1990, Cover by Dawn Wilson

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Omnibus Publication (US)


* * The following section may contain spoilers * *

In the ancient city of Quarzhasaat, Elric is coerced by Lord Gho Fhaazi into retrieving the Pearl at the Heart of the World so the nobleman might secure a position on the Council of Seven, Quarzhasaat's ruling body. In the course of his quest Elric is variously accompanied by the dreamthieves Alnac Kreb and Oone, the mysterious Jaspar Colinadous and Lady/Queen Sough. Travelling through the seven Dream Realms, Elric and Oone encounter the Pearl Warrior, the Count of Magnes Doar, Balis Jamon and Chamog Borm before eventually rescuing the Bauradim Holy Girl, Varadia, from the Fortress of the Pearl. Upon returning to Quarzhasaat with the much-coveted Pearl, Elric takes his revenge upon Lord Gho Fhaazi, the Council and Quarzhasaat itself. In an epilogue Oone reveals to Varadia that she is pregnant with Elric's twin daughter and son.


The middle section of the novel, where Elric and Oone travel through the Dream Realms, is not dissimilar to Rackhir's journey in To Rescue Tanelorn... as well foreshadowing as Elric's later journey underground in 'While the Gods Laugh'. The mentor/neophyte relationship between Oone and Elric has similarities to that of Virgil/Beatrice and Dante in The Divine Comedy while their journey as a whole also has echoes of The Pilgrim's Progress by Bunyan.


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