We’re back in soap opera territory here, as the nominal plot involves Elric being summoned by his father Sadric’s ghost. His father hates him, of course, because his mother died in child birth and Elric turned out to be a puny, weak, embarassing albino. Sadric is a dick. He hasn’t gone straight to Hell because before he died he hid his soul in a rosewood box, which he entrusted to a servant, who either sold it or lost it. Elric has to retrieve his father’s soul, or else Sadric will be a total jerk and haunt him forever.
Elric rides a dragon through the multiverse, to alternate realities. He end up in a caravan made up of entire villages on wheels, which circle the world on a giant road. The people claim to be free, but their dirty secret is that each giant village-wagon is being pushed by slaves hidden underneath. He later ends up on a boat sailing through a sea of what appears to be mercury or molten lead. His little adventuring party at one point includes a 19th century English poet, a werewolf sailor, a family of precognitives, and a giant talking toad. Put that weirdness in your D&D game and smoke it. Oh, then there’s The Rose, the warrior-woman of the title who is quite possibly the least interesting character in the book. Not that she isn’t interesting, but she’s a fairly standard fantasy character in the midst of this strangeness.
It’s a great stand-alone novel, and it slides nicely into the continuity of the first two trilogies. But it also nicely sets up the existence of “our” Earth in Elric’s multiverse, and makes a nice seque into the von Bek-centric later novels.