Set in the 1850s in Czar Alexander II's Russia, this routine costume drama and adventure film focuses on the strife between the Circassian Muslims, led by Shamil (Edmund Purdom) and Czar Alexander (Massimo Girotti). As a condition of an early truce, Shamil's young son Jamal (John Drew Barrymore) is sent to be raised and trained in the elite Imperial School of Cadets. The plan partially works, since Shamil grows to manhood enjoying the aristocratic life, but he is still drawn to his roots like iron filings to a magnet. His interior conflict is made all the worse when a princess, Tatiana (Georgia Moll), falls for him. At the same time, the exterior conflict between the Circassians and the Russians is heating up toward an explosive conclusion.