David Gemmell is a legend (much like the title of one of his books). I know GRRM, Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson are all the rage but Gemmell is a giant among men. His books are always action packed, intelligent and passionate, extra points also for them generally of being of medium lengths (300-600 pages). I love every one of his books that I have read but for the purpose of constructing my top 20 goodreads shelf I choose Lion of Macedon as being representative of his greatness.
Lion of Macedon is based on Greek mythology with Parmenion being the main protagonist, his development from a lowly half-Spartan into "The Death of Nations". The story is full of magic, strategies and tragedy, the complete story spans just two books, this one and the sequel Dark Prince
, which features a semi-possessed Alexander the Great. There is no question of reading just the first volume and abandoning the rest of the story, I can not imagine anybody wanting to do that.