Mr. Sanderson does here what he does best - he builds an interesting world, populated with complex characters, and a magic system that the reader can buy into. This is actually the first book of his I ever read, and is the reason I went ahead and started to read the Mistborn series. This book deals with very serious issues, like Mistborn, but there are more lighthearted moments, so it's not as heavy a read. It does have a more "happily ever after" ending than Mistborn, so depending on your preferences this may or may not be to your liking.
If you like standalone books, this is a good one to choose.