It is 1815. Sharpe is serving on the personal staff of the inexperienced and incompetent Young Frog‚ William‚ Prince of Orange‚ who has been given command of a large proportion of the Allied force. More concerned with cutting a dash at a grand society ball in Brussels‚ the Young Frog refuses to listen to Sharpe's scouting reports of an enormous army marching towards them with the lately returned Napoleon at its head.
When the Battle of Waterloo commences‚ Sharpe has to stand by and watch military folly on a grand scale. But at the height of the conflict‚ just as victory seems impossible‚ he makes a momentous decision. With his usual skill‚ courage and determination he takes command and the most hard-fought and bloody battle of his career becomes Sharpe's own magnificent triumph.