With the emperor Napoleon at its head, an enormous French army is marching toward Brussels. The British and their allies are also converging on Brussels-in preparation for a grand society ball. And it is up to Richard Sharpe to convince the Prince of Orange, the inexperienced commander of Wellington's Dutch troops, to act before it is too late. But Sharpe's warning cannot stop the tide of battle, and the British suffer heavy losses on the road to Waterloo. Wellington has few reserves of men and ammunition; the Prussian army has not arrived; and the French advance wields tremendous firepower and determination. Victory seems impossible. In this, the culmination of Richard Sharpe's long and arduous career, bernard Cornwell brings to life all the horror-and all the exhilaration-of one of the greatest military triumphs of all time.