My first exposure to Gemmell. What I found striking is that the narrative addressed gender issues, notably how women are treated (or mistreated) in pre-industrial, patriarchal societies. This isn't a feminist book, by any stretch, but I found it striking that Gemmell, through his male characters, takes a stab (ha) at the issue of misogyny.
Action-packed and fast moving. Entertaining, but not particularly memorable.