It is 1805 and Ensign Richard Sharpe, having survived the extraordinary siege at Gawilghur, has been seconded to join the newly formed Green Jackets. So he is due to return to Britain.
His voyage home should be a period of rest, but his ship is riven with treachery and threatened by the "Revenant", a French sea-raider that is terrorizing British shipping in th Indian Ocean. Betrayed and defeated, Sharpe is imprisoned on the Ile de France, doomed to rot there until the war ends. But an unlikely ally secures his escape onto a British warship that is hunting the "Revenant".
That hunt turns into a pursuit as the French ship races home, and when she encounters the combined French and Spanish fleets of Cadiz, it seems Sharpe's enemies are safe. But over the horizon is another fleet, led by Nelson, and Sharpe's revenge will come when the two armadas meet on a calm October day off Cape Trafalgar.
'Sharpe's Trafalgar' brings Sharpe to sea for the first time, and finds Richard Sharpe in his finest fighting form.