When talking about fantasy I must admit I have the highest respect for J.R.R Tolkien. In fact when talking about novels I believe him to be one of the finest world creating writers ever. His use of language and words is astounding. In my mind the next best thing is the work that Brandon Sanderson has done in creating the worlds of Mistborn,Elantris and The Way of Kings.
I absolutely admire how with Tolkien's work you take the Hobbit which is a stand alone story and epic in itself which then flows into The Lord of the Rings with the one ring taken from the previous story. The Lord of the Rings, epic as it is is again revealed to be one part of a tale stretching through the Silmarillion and Sauron a villain who pales compared to the danger of Morgoth.
Here the tales have progressed similarly with Sanderson revealing that the threat to the world was greater than simply the Lord Ruler. That the Lord Ruler was great and mighty and good compared to the evil spirits unleashed in this book. I cannot say too much without revealing the plot but what happens in this novel is staggering. In fact having completed it this afternoon I'm still realing from all the revelations in a positive way.
This is fantasy at its literary best. Not as flowery as Tolkien's writing but solidly composed and with an intelligent and strongly woven plot. That is Sanderson's strength - the details making up his world and the fine tuning of his plot. I'm certain this series will blow me away again in the future and recommend it as one of the best fantasy novels after Tolkien.