With his fiery Irish blood and well-known reputation for trouble, Lieutenant George Markham leads his embattled Royal Marines against the French in Corsica. His mission: to seize the island. Markham ventures across the island to persuade the veteran war hero Pasquali Paoli to unite the Corsicans behind him. But their loyalty remains torn by a heritage of vendettas, French bribery, and cross and double cross. Enemies abound, and the only men Markham can rely on are the grim, taciturn Sergeant Rannoch and a man who owes Markham his life – Bellamy, the educated, black Marine.