I'm a huge book nerd, a biblophile even. If haven't read them yet, I highly suggest checking out Brandon Sanderson.
Sanderson brings a lot to the table. If you've heard absolutely anything about him, it probably involved his amazing magic systems. Which really are just plain brilliant and great fun. That's not all though, he builds...well, you can't say 'beautiful ', because two of them are actually pretty dark, but they are extremely well done. His characters, their motivations..reading his work makes it clear that he has an understanding of how people work.
Anyway, he's put out nine books in his four or so years of being published. The quality of his books never suffer for their quantity.
Elantris is his first published novel, and feels a bit more 'safe' than his other books. The overall progression is slower and there isn't much action (till the end, but he has a flair for endings that could be describes as a bit of an avalanche.) The story itself progresses rather nicely, as do the character relations.
After Elantris, he worked MISTBORN (capitalized because he does so when talking about it on his site, and it looks right to me.) MISTBORN takes place in one of his darker worlds. Long ago, a great evil fell across the land, choking life from it and threatening to eradicate all life. Wherever it's influenced touched, life was crippled, plants wilted, crops died, famines came and people died. Swords were ineffective against it, armies useless. To drive it back, a great hero rose up to drive back this evil. He failed. The Dark Lord rose up and ruled the world for a few thousand years. Fun stuff.
Warbreaker has an interesting story behind it, sort of. Rather, it's interesting in that you can download it for free off of Sanderson's website, and it still got onto the New York Times Best Seller list. If you want to get into this writer, this is a great starting point. Because it's, you know, free.
The Way of Kings is his most recent book, and another series. This is going to be the defining series for him as an author, what Lord of the Rings was for Tolkien. Storms ravage the land, settlements and plant-life reflect this. Grass itself draw into the ground to avoid damage, cities are built behind Stone bluffs for protection. The book itself is filled with some beautiful illustrations and, well, this book feels kind of hard to describe. Not only is it written extremely well, it's very enjoyable and works fantastical equipment into the setting pretty well.
Doing the art for Sanderson (symbols, maps, cover art, illustrations), is Isaac Stewart. He sells some of his own merchandise in relation to some of the stuff sold on Sanderson's personal site. The bookmark you can order, for example, is quite amazing and definitely worth the two dollar price tag. If you're looking for decoration for your wall, I also suggest the MISTBORN poster of the Allomatic Metals.
He also boasts the standard merch, t-shirts, and not so standard, such as decals. (And, the bookmark, poster, looks like more merch will be put up on the site over time, so checking back every now and then will be a good idea.)
Also, there's a contest on the site at the moment that I'm hoping to win. You enter by posting links to his site somewhere, and notifying him of the links.
So, part of this post is for me. Hoping I win a free shirt.
Anyway, happy hunting, all.
EDIT: Thanks to....actually, the name of the person who responded to me wasn't in the email. Anyway, I failed at wording in the above paragraph when I was talking about Inkwing. "He sells some of his own merchandise", specifically. That implies that Isaac creates his own stuff, and sells it. Which isn't at all what I meant. Or, it kind of is. As far as I can remember, Isaac does create the symbols used, but I could be wrong and will be checking that fact tonight.
Right, trying again. Some of the stuff for sale (at the time of this post, most of the stuff, actually,) features stuff from Sanderson's books.
I was also told that Inkwing will have new shirts in October, designed by someone named Ben (no last name given,) who was one of the other artists for The Way of Kings. Also noted that he might be doing prints for Inkwing as well.
Here's to hoping he does, the art in The Way of Kings is simply wondrous, an artist with that skill has to create more.