Based on a True Story
After arriving in China in 1854, Robert Hart falls in love with Ayaou, but his feelings for her sister go against the teachings of his Wesleyan-Christian upbringing. To survive he must learn how to live and think like the Chinese, but he soon finds himself thrust into China’s Opium Wars, where he makes an enemy with an American soldier of fortune known as the Devil Soldier.
In time, Hart becomes the only foreigner the emperor of China trusts, and he plays a crucial role in ending the bloodiest rebellion in history. He owes his success largely to Ayaou, his Chinese concubine.