I consider this book special within the library of David Gemmell novels. One thing (rather obviously) that makes it special is the fact that the main character is a woman. This is not to say that David Gemmell does not have strong, female characters in his other novels. He does. And plenty of them. However, Sigarni IS Ironhand's Daughter, she is not just a character that other heroes meet as part of their travels.
Sigarni, like most great Gemmell characters, is a flawed character. Initially, she can appear arrogant and rather uncaring. It is hard to develop any sympathy for her (that comes later). Strangley, some of the male characters about her are more easy to sympathise with, particularly her brave, loyal dwarf friend.
It is not until something life-changing and horrific happens that one is completely swept into Sigarni's world. These early pages of the novel remind me a lot of the first third of the movie Braveheart, not only because the people are highlanders, but also the arrogance of the overlords and the apparently insurmountable odds stacked agaisnt our champion. But it does not end there, that is only the beginning. Sigarni also has to battle the prejudices of her own people, and the darkness in her own heart in order to achieve the destiny she finds herself thrust towards.
There are some usual Gemmell plot tools in the book, including gates to other worlds, dimensional time travel, near-immortal wise-men, demon conjuring evil sorcerors, etc., but none of these are the main focus of the book and they only add to the complexity and enjoyability of the main storyline.
I don't want to ruin the book for anyone else, so I will leave my descriptions there.
Read this especially if the female characters in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time novels really, really irritate you. This will refresh you and give you an appreciation of truly strong, well-rounded female fantasy characters.