I had given up. In my mind, a good fantasy story was a project. At least three books, sometimes as many as 11. I had convinced myself that it was probably easier to fully know and enjoy a fantasy series than to read the holy texts and become a Brother of the Latvian Orthodox Church, but not by much.
Then I came up on this book. Gemmell's writing style is flowing and lucid, and the plot of the story rocks. Its about how a warrior with a split personality, a musician possessing ancient magic, a cunning general and a old but brilliant engineer come together to save the world from an invasion by an ancient species. Even though the book is only 500 pages (fantasy readers will know what I'm talking about), the plot is very well developed and definitely gets you thinking. Of course, the plot or characters are not developed with the intensity of Jordan, Salvatore or Eddings, but they get more than one book to do it. Others I know have called the ending a bit abrupt but to me it made perfect sense.
This is definitely a book you can sink into and enjoy in one straight sitting. Regular fantasy fans will definitely enjoy it, but its also a great start for people who've been kept away from fantasy because they see a story that spans eleven books and counting!