David Gemmell - Legend

This is the Public Pre-Order page for the Curious King Edition of David Gemmell’s “Legend”, illustrated by Justin Sweet and contributed to by Stella Gemmell and Mark Lawrence!

Legend,” the debut novel by David Gemmell, is a seminal work in the heroic fantasy genre. The story is set in the war-torn world of Drenai and centres around the defense of the impregnable fortress of Dros Delnoch. Facing a massive invasion by the barbarian Nadir horde, the Drenai people are in desperate need of a hero. Enter Druss the Legend, an ageing warrior of legendary status, who comes out of retirement to lead the defense.

The plot weaves themes of courage, sacrifice, and redemption as Druss, along with a band of disparate heroes, including the enigmatic warrior Rek and the priestess Virae, stand against overwhelming odds. The fortress must hold for several days to give the Drenai army time to muster. Each gate within Dros Delnoch represents a stage in the defence, symbolising hope and resistance against despair.

A fascinating aspect of “Legend” is its connection to Gemmell’s personal life. During the writing of the first draft of this novel, Gemmell faced a potential cancer diagnosis. He initially intended the story as a form of therapy, with the siege representing his battle against the disease. Gemmell decided that the ending of “Legend” would hinge on his medical results: if the diagnosis confirmed cancer, the fortress would fall, symbolising his defeat; if not, the fortress would stand, symbolising his triumph. Ultimately, the results came back negative, and the fortress of Dros Delnoch stands, embodying hope and resilience.
Legend” is more than just an epic tale of war; it is a story of enduring spirit and the fight against insurmountable odds, deeply influenced by the author’s personal brush with mortality. This layer of emotional depth adds to its powerful narrative, making it a classic in fantasy literature.

About the Editions


Limited to 500 copies only, the Standard edition is 366 pages, printed letterpress on Munken Rough Cream 120gsm by Phil Abel at Hand & Eye Press in London.

This is the only version that comes with Justin Sweet’s dustjacket.

It is quarter bound in green buckram cloth and a cream colorplan paper. The cover features a two colour image of Druss the Legend by Justin Sweet hot foil stamped in black and gold. The spine is also foil stamped in two colours. It also features a rounded spine, head/tailband and coloured ribbon.

The endpaper will be another landscape illustration by Justin Sweet. There will be another 6 colour images within the book, 5 interior images and 1 frontispiece, as well as a host of B&W line drawings within the text.

The book is protected by a green buckram slipcase with the author and title foil stamped in gold on both sides of the slipcase. The label is also Munken Rough Cream and hot foil stamped.

This edition is signed by Stella Gemmell and Mark Lawrence as well as the artist Justin Sweet.

This title is printed as a standalone and as such has no rights going forward.

Pre-Order Price: £185

Published Price: £200


Limited to 200 copies only, the Deluxe edition is 366 pages, printed letterpress on Munken Rough Cream 120gsm by Phil Abel at Hand & Eye Press in London.

The book is fully bound in Pewter Goat with an all over 3-colour foil stamping design of Druss the Legend “Deathwalker” by Justin Sweet. The spine is rounded and has two colours of foil stamping, light blue and gold. The top edge of the bookblock has been hand coloured light blue with grey flecks by the artisans at Ludlow Bookbinders.

The enclosure is a pewter goat leather capped slipcase with a marbled cloth covering by Freya Scott at Paperwilds. There is also a leather label inset into the spine of the slipcase.

As with the Standard Edition, this book comes will an illustrated endpaper by Justin Sweet and a further 6 tipped-in plates (including a frontispiece).

This edition is signed by Stella Gemmell and Mark Lawrence as well as the artist Justin Sweet.

Pre-Order Price: £525

Published Price: £550


Limited to just 26 editions and printed letterpress on GF Smith Natralis 140gsm paper by Phil Abel at Hand & Eye Press, this edition features unique bindings, case and title setting.

Bound in finest Pentlamd Crimson goat with large blue leather onlay of Snaga covering the front/back covers. The design has two colours of foil stamping across the boards. All 3 edges of the book are gilded gold.

As with the previous editions there will be 6 tipped-in pieces of art (including a frontispiece). The Lettered also comes with a new unique marbled endpaper and foldout piece of art (the illustrated endpaper used in the other two editions).

It is housed in a fully leather-bound rounded solander case with Crimson Pentland goat. There are two axe heads embedded into the front and back boards of the Solander, and these were cast in an alloy of multiple metals by Peter Canham of Ystabl, Wales and hand-finished to give them their worn look. Each pair are unique.

There are three blue pentland goat onlays on the case, one large only on the spine, and two strips at the end of each board. The design is completed with two colours of hot foil stamping, and the trays are covered in a sumptuous dark blue.

This edition is signed by Stella Gemmell and Mark Lawrence as well as the artist Justin Sweet.

Pre-Order Price: £2150

Published Price: £2300


This is the public pre-order of Legend by David Gemmell, illustrated by Justin Sweet. All 500 Standard Editions area available to purchase, and a minimum of 50 Deluxe Edtions .

If there are any Publisher Rights owners who pass on the Deluxe of Legend, these will also go up for sale. These copies with Publishers Rights will be be randomly selected by July 17th, so keep an eye out on your email to see if your copy comes with Publishers Rights. This means if you are one of those randomly selected, you will be able to pre-order our next title (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) without having to wait for the public pre-order.

Any Lettered Editions that are not taken up by rights holders will be sold via lottery. All interested parties in buying a Lettered Edition,  please send an email to support@curiousking.co.uk by July 17th at 3pm BST. The successful people will be contacted via email and be invited to purchase their copy of the Lettered Edition. Please note, this is a lottery to PURCHASE and not win (sorry, I’ve had to clarify before).

Our plan is to ship all books by the end of the year, and will keep everyone informed on our monthly newsletters!

Endpaper of Deluxe and Standard by Justin Sweet