After the siege of Cuidad Rodrigo, the Dule of Wellington plans to lay siege to Badajoz. Meanwhile, Teresa tells Sharpe he is now the father of their daughter, Antonia, who is in their target city of Bada...展开joz.
A new draft arrives from England with Col. Windham and Capt. Rymer. In charge of the men is Sgt. Hakeswill, a murderous figure from Sharpe's past in India. Hakeswill becomes obsessed with Teresa and plans to use her to revenge himself on Sharpe.
Sharpe is told that the regiment no longer has a place for him as a captain, but he chooses to stay on as lieutenant and is made Quartermaster. In a bid for promotion he requests permission to lead the Forlorn Hope when the breach at Badajoz is stormed, but he is refused.
Sharpe is given the task of guiding Capt. Rymer and the Forlorn Hope to the breach. He watches as they are repulsed leaving many, including Rymer, dead. Against his previous orders, Sharpe takes his Chosen Men to the breach and leads the storming. They are successful.
Sharpe frantically looks for Teresa, but Hakeswill gets there first, intent on raping her. After a fight, Hakeswill is injured and flees. Sharpe has reason to be happy, he holds his daughter for the first time and is given command of the Light Company again, together with his captaincy. Burt will his happiness be short lived?