Pearls of Lutra, US Cover

Year Published: 1996
Illustrator: Allan Curless
US Cover Artist: Troy Howell
UK Cover Artist: Chris Baker
Page Count: 408
ISBN: ISBN 0399229469
ISBN-13: ISBN 9780399229466
Chronological Order: 11
Publication Order: 9

The Pearls of Lutra, UK Cover

Note: In the U.S., this book is titled Pearls of Lutra. In the UK, it is known as The Pearls of Lutra.

Book Divisions (English)

  • Book 1: Six Tears for an Abbot
  • Book 2: Westward the Warriors
  • Book 3: When Tears Are Shed


When gathering herbs near the quarry in Mossflower Woods, the young Redwallers Tansy and Arven come across a mysterious skeleton among the rocks. They are presently disoriented in a rainstorm and, failing to return to the abbey before the breaking of the storm, are rescued by Martin II. Martin is the son of Mattimeo and the current abbey champion. Tansy, a young hedgehog who is considered generally capable and intelligent, piques Martin's curiosity, who quickly leads curious Redwallers back to the quarry to examine the mysterious skeleton. Along the way, they meet two travelers: the irrepressible hare Clecky and his owl friend Gerul.

Meanwhile, far across the western sea on the tropical isle of Sampetra, trouble is brewing. The emperor of all corsairs that make their berth at Sampetra is Ublaz Mad Eyes, a large, sinewy pine marten with a hypnotic stare. His elite forces are an army of barbaric native monitor lizards, led by Lask Frildur, as well as a regiment of big searats that carry tridents as a mark of their rank, headed by Sagitar Sawfang. The stoat captain Conva had been sent out to retrieve the Tears of all Oceans, and when he returned without them, Ublaz is quite unhappy. The Tears, six perfectly spherical rose-pink pearls, were the valuable possessions of the otters of Holt Lutra. Conva's crew had murdered the entire holt and had secured the pearls, only to have them stolen by the weasel Graylunk, who fled into Mossflower Woods. Conva tracked him to Redwall Abbey, where Graylunk took refuge, before returning to Sampetra.

Ublaz is not pleased and presently murders Conva. He then sends out an elite force of monitor lizards, headed by their general, Lask, to Mossflower to retrieve the pearls. They are escorted by the ferret captain Romsca and her crew.

However, the daughter of the Lutra chieftain is not dead. Far away on the western shores, Grath Longfletch, a strong female otter, was at the gates of Dark Forest before being found by a pair of bankvoles, who nursed her back to health. The otter fashioned a powerful bow and a quiverful of green-fletched arrows, with which she planned on wreaking her revenge. She eliminates a longboat-crew of searats and then takes their boat southward into Mossflower, where she hopes on finding the corsairs that slew her family.

Presently, Conva's brother Barranca, a very popular corsair captain, docks his ship at Sampetra. When he discovers that Ublaz has killed his brother, he begins hatching a plan to overthrow the pine marten and take the island for himself. With the fearsome Lask and a score of his lizards gone to Mossflower, Barranca decides to seize his chance. Many of the other captains back the wily stoat.

Back at Redwall, it is determined, with the help of the old bankvole recorder Rollo, that the skeleton in the quarry was indeed Graylunk the weasel. He had become gravely injured in a fight with the weasel Flairnose, whom he killed, over the pearls before seeking safety at Redwall. There he befriended an old squirrel called Fermald before he went off to die in Mossflower. Fermald, a clever old beast, had expertly hidden the pearls throughout the Abbey before passing away several seasons ago. Tansy and Rollo, along with the hedgehog maid's friends Craklyn the squirrel and Piknim the mouse (both very clever young beasts), begin a search for the six exquisite pearls. The dibbun Arven and his two partners in crime, the moles Diggum and Gurrbowl, occasionally help in the search. In Fermald's attic the first hint is found - in the form of a riddle - and from there on, each pearl found comes with another riddle for finding the next.

When Durral, the mouse Abbot of Redwall, takes young Viola Bankvole for a stroll in Mossflower Woods, they are brutally captured by Lask and his troops. The evil Monitor General, along with Romsca the ferret, had managed to traverse the western sea and land at Mossflower. Lask binds the Abbot and the bankvole and attempts to ransom them for the pearls at Redwall. However, the pearls have not yet been found, and Lask and his lizards take the two Redwallers back to the ship to be captives at Sampetra.

Martin, Clecky, Gerul, and Skipper pursue the lizards through Mossflower, slaying several but failing to rescue the captives. Gerul and Skipper become wounded and are sent back to the Abbey, but the others chase the lizards to the western shore. There, they meet up with Grath Longfletch, who had caught sight of Romsca's ship, the Waveworm, and attempted to pick off some of the vermin. She had also previously met up with the Guosim. Durral manages to help Viola get to safety on the shore, but the ship departs before he can escape. Viola is sent back to Redwall with two shrews to guide her, and Grath, Clecky, Martin, and the Log-a-Log's two sons use discarded vermin boats to form the Freebeast, a double-outrigger vessel with which they pursue Romsca, Lask and their captive Durral across the sea to Sampetra. Viola, who has sneaked aboard, also ends up coming along.

On Sampetra, the popular captain Barranca has been slain by Rasconza, a clever fox corsair who takes over the rebellion against Ublaz. Sensing danger in the wily fox, Ublaz sabotages his ship, and Rasconza ends up losing his entire crew save his steersrat, Guja. This treacherous act causes Rasconza to intensify his efforts to revolt against the emperor, and Sampetra is plunged into all-out war.

In the search for the six pearls, the Redwaller friends slowly but surely find them all, though not without paying the price. The young mouse Piknim ends up being slain by the cruel jackdaws at St. Ninian's in an attempt to find a pearl there. The church is burnt down to prevent evil from using it again, and the quest resumes. All the pearls are eventually found.

Martin, Grath and their friends closely follow Romsca and Lask across the ocean, and end up meeting the otters of Holt Rudderwake along the way. Inbar Trueflight, a skilled bowsbeast, comes along on the quest. When straying into the icy northern waters, they also meet up with Hawm, a massive grey seal, and his clan. The seals attach ropes to the Freebeast and power it along at impressive speed.


Durral and Lask Frildur aboard the Waveworm

On the Waveworm, Durral is underfed and mistreated, but the ferret captain Romsca protects him from the fierce violence and hunger of Lask's cruel monitor lizards. Lask and Romsca, who had been at odds with one another since the beginning, finally duel on the deck. Romsca ends up slaying Lask, but is fatally injured in the process. Her crew, along with all of Lask's lizards, is completely decimated in the ensuing battle. Durral attempts to help Romsca, who had been kind to him. She confesses that she would like to have been a goodbeast before she dies, and also gives the mouse Abbot instructions on how to set the rudder to fix the ship toward Sampetra. As the last living creature aboard the ship, the old Abbot sails alone in the direction of the isle.

When Durral reaches Sampetra, Ublaz chains him up in his chamber. Meanwhile, the rebellious corsairs, led by Rasconza, attack the palace. Rasconza is eventually slain by Sagitar, who had defected from Ublaz. Rasconza mistook her for a traitor and killed her with a throwing dagger, and when Rasconza leaned over to hear what she said, she stabbed him, dying along with him.

When Martin, Clecky, Grath, Inbar, the shrews and Viola arrive on Sampetra, battle ensues. Most of the monitor lizards and wave-vermin are killed, and Martin corners Ublaz alone in his palace. They duel, but Ublaz accidentally steps on a poisonous snake that he had hypnotized and kept as a pet. The snake bites him and he dies.

Durral is rescued and the warriors all return to Mossflower. Grath stays with Inbar at Holt Rudderwake, but the others meet Tansy and her friends at the shore. The young hedgehog has the pearls, but now that the truth of them has been realized - that they cause beasts to do evil, greedy things - Tansy casts them out into the sea to be forever lost. For her hard work, perseverance and aptitude, Tansy is made Abbess of Redwall to succeed Durral.

Characters in Pearls of Lutra


  • Lutra is a genus of otters.

Release details

Books in the Redwall Chronicles, by Brian Jacques

Redwall | Mossflower | Mattimeo | Mariel of Redwall | Salamandastron | Martin the Warrior | The Bellmaker | Outcast of Redwall | Pearls of Lutra | The Long Patrol | Marlfox | The Legend of Luke | Lord Brocktree | Taggerung | Triss | Loamhedge | Rakkety Tam | High Rhulain | Eulalia! | Doomwyte | The Sable Quean | The Rogue Crew

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