The beginning for a great writer,
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This review is from: Elantris (Kindle Edition)
Many reviews rate this book as a "great start for a debut author."
Reality is this is a solid book. It is not great and it certainly is not poor. It is a fairly formulaic fantasy story which is written well and with some nice characters. But the reality is that it is forgettable particularly in terms of what Sanderson has written since.
I came to this having read most of Sanderson's works and it is not in the same league. So yes there is an element of an author finding his style and learning the trade but that still does not make the book better than it is when judged simply as a book.
No matter what you would say reading this is that there is potential here - perhaps Sanderson might have written this story differently now - he occasionally loses focus on the story but is always saved by a good collection of characters and a unique magic system (although not as well explored as in his other works). the standard twist at the end is well developed throughout.
I would recommend others to read as a starting point to Sanderson's books with the promise that the potential is realised in later books. For fans who have read his other works do read if simply as a filler but it won't change your world!