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The year is 1805, and Richard Sharpe, having completed his tour in India ("Sharpe's Tiger; Sharpe's Triumph; Sharpe's Fortress), is headed back to England, where he will join a newly formed regiment, the Green Jackets. Traveling aboard Captain Peculiar Cromwell's East Indiaman cargo ship, the "Calliope, is the lovely Lady Grace Hale, whose regal presence may provide intrigue and distraction from what promises to be an otherwise uneventful voyage home.
But nothing is uneventful in the life of Richard Sharpe, even at sea: the "Calliope is captured by a formidable French warship, the "Revenant, which has been terrorizing British nautical traffic in the Indian Ocean. The french warship races toward the safety of its own fleet, carrying a stolen treaty that, if delivered, could provoke India into a new war against the British -- and render for naught all that Sharpe has fought for so bravely till now. But help comes from an unexpected quarter. An old friend, a captain in the Royal Navy, is on the trail of the "Revenant, and Sharpe comes aboard a 74-gun man-of-war called "Pucelle in hot pursuit.
Then Admiral Horatio Nelson arrives, with his magnificent fleet of twenty-seven. What results is a breathtaking retelling of one of the most ferocious and one-sided sea battles in European history, in which Nelson -- and Sharpe -- vanquish the combined naval might of France and Spain at Trafalgar.
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