Sergeant Richard Sharpe witnesses a murderous act of treachery and, with Sir Arthur Wellesley, faces the Mahratta Horde. The paths of treachery all lead to the small village of Assaye. Outnumbered and outgunned, Wellesley, with a diminished British army, plunges his men into the white heat of battle. A battle that will make his reputation, and perhaps Sharpe's too. Soldier, hero, rogue - Sharpe is the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage. He knows no other family than the regiment of the 95th Rifles whose green jacket he proudly wears.