In Vienna, 1815, as the political aristocrats of Europe assembled to determine the fate of the continent after the wars of the last twenty years, the news arrives that Napoleon has returned to France. Bonaparte -- the revolutionary turned emperor and 'disturber of the world's peace' -- had been defeated and exiled to Elba, but now he is fast advancing on Paris, gathering troops and taking cities without firing a single shot. Europe's peace is not to last. NAPOLEON AND THE HUNDRED DAYS brilliantly re-lives the rise and fall of Bonaparte's empire, and brings to life the characters who shaped it: Wellington, the Iron Duke; Napoleon's great love, Josephine; the duplicitous Tallyrand, his erstwhile foreign secretary; and, of course, Napoleon himself. Showing where the mistakes were made and how the path to war became inexorable, it culminates in a virtuoso description of the Battle of Waterloo itself. Displaying his customary blend of historian's and novelist's eye, Stephen Coote paints a vivid portrait of the legendary emperor and military genius, whose energy, courage and tenacity won -- and lost -- him a vast empire.