I usually leave my reviews of books to the toolbar at the right of the blog, but these books were so good that they deserve a mention here.
Name dropping time. I met Brandon Sanderson at an Orson Scott Card book signing I went too (I am a huge OSC fan). I was second or third in line for OSC and went over to Brandon who was not yet very famous. I'm pretty sure he had just published the second book in the Mistborn series. I asked him what book of his I should read first, and he recommended Elantris, which was his first book, as it was a stand alone. He said he thought his other books were better, but that I might try the stand alone book before investing any time in a series. I enjoyed Elantris thoroughly but it took me a while to read these books. I don't remember why I picked it up, but I definitely remember the moment I set down the final book.
These books are simply a joy to read. Except for a slow part at the beginning of the second book where the troubles of Kingship are played out for a while, the books moved fast while still feeling meaty. These books constantly surprised me with their originality. The world that Brandon (I can call him by his first name because I met him) is extraordinarily complete and compelling. The action scenes were as good as a great movie and the philosophical debates meaningful and relevant. Just when I thought I figured out the book I hadn't. And just when you thought I was never going to stop talking about these books, I did.