In 1839, after decades of conflict, the Russian army and the Muslims of Chechnya are on the verge of a truce. To prove his commitment to peace, warrior chief Imam Shamil offers a hostage: his son, Jamal Eddin. But once the truce is signed, the Russians spirit Jamal Eddin back to Russia, where Czar Nicholas “adopts” the boy. Immersed in imperial court life, Jamal Eddin matures into the consummate courtier. Still, he maintains his Muslim faith - until he falls in love with a beautiful Russian aristocrat.