This was a great book - I thoroughly enjoyed it and despite a couple of niggles I really got lost in the story and was intrigued with the world Sanderson built.
It is told through the eyes of three main characters: Sarene, Raoden and Hrathen and we meet numerous likeable characters along the way (and some not so likeable). The story of Elantris and Aons is intriguing too.
Whilst this is mainly a kind of fantasy story, there is a side-story of a slow-building romance of sorts, although it is more about the love for a nation and its people.
There are many similarities with an historical setting with the king, court politics and the way women are perceived, but our strong heroine does trash most of these perceptions...however there is no historical detail as it is set in a completely fantasy world.
I felt the ending, whilst not disappointing, was slightly short/rushed in a way and there were a few things that I would have liked to know more about before we left these characters.
I would definitely be keen to read more of Sanderson's writing after reading Elantris.