In this installment of the bestselling historical fiction series featuring Major Richard Sharpe, a corrupt political enemy is determined to disband the South Essex Regiment—and to destroy Sharpe's life.
After reluctantly returning to England in order to march into France with his regiment, Sharpe discovers an illegal recruiting ring that sells soldiers like cattle to other divisions. The ringleaders know Sharpe is on their trail, and they try to kill him at every turn, determined to bring his regiment to the ground. But Sharpe is fighting for his command, and as he moves from the dark slums of London to the highest courts of political power, Sharpe will risk charges of treason and death for a final chance at revenge. Not even the influence of the Prince Regent can protect Sharpe as he undertakes the most desperate gamble of his career.