In 1819, a soldier of the 6th Light Dragoons, disillusioned with life, has a chance encounter with an eminent English poet that leads him to rethink his future.  He reunites with his depleted regiment and is charged with raising a new troop to go to India.  But what should have been a relatively simple operation becomes a dark and dangerous march through the jungle as the ill-equipped and inexperienced men race to confront the Burmese warboats.