To describe the plot of this novel would be to give the impression that it is a parody: the reluctant hero; numberless hordes from the East; dislike turning to love; warriors with mysterious skills; heroism against extreme odds; multiple deus ex machina; spiritual warriors; the battle of Good against Evil - all these appear in thousands of pulp novels churned out every year.
What makes Gemmell's Legend distinctive is its realism - you really believe in these characters; the way in which the action has a single focus - the siege; and, above all, the sense of human determination and suffering against the odds, howver distant and improbable ultimate victory may be. After Legend, all other such plots appear, at best, derivative. Gemmell distils the essence of all the stock characters and situations, blending them into a seamless whole
In a strange way, it wouldn't matter if Evil did triumph over Good in this book - Gemmell's great achievement is to convince us that the struggle is right, necessary and rewarding, in and of itself. Fantasy doesn't come any better than this