Books like this are why I love fantasy. World-building and magic-building that <i>works</i>, characters that are real and have pasts and reasons for being who and what they are, action and adventure that you can sink into. And that's just the first book of the trilogy!!
I really enjoy Brandon Sanderson's writing. The man can write a fight/battle scene to stand with the best. He creates wonderful characters, I just hope that in future novels there will be more fantastic women to root for as well as young Vin. His dialogue is also terrific. The banter between the 'crew' members is fun and real as are the more serious conversations of planning and WTF just happened.
There are deaths, yes, but not as many as I had feared. Brandon isn't exactly on a par with George R.R. Martin in the killing off of major characters club - but he's not afraid to do what needs to be done.
I mentioned in an earlier post this morning about how I could see see a Judas/Jesus parallel with the story of Kell/Vin and I still see it... only the outcome was different. I still stand by it. :)
All in all, this was a terrific book and I have absolutely no qualms in recommending it to anyone looking for a juicy fantasy read.