Warbreaker, by Brandon SandersonRead about the other entries on the list.
Sanderson is known from writing towering multi-book sagas like Mistborn and The Stormlight Archives, but he can also do it in one. In Warbreaker, he creates a fully-formed world with a beautiful, unique, and complex magic system—Awakening, the use of breath and commands to give an illusion of life to inanimate objects, fueled by draining the colors in from the surrounding environment. The story is no less layered or intriguing, as a marriage-by-treaty deception leads to reversals, betrayals, and mysteries revealed. The characters are slowly revealed like the layers of an onion, and a plot that could have easily been stretched out over three volumes is more satisfying encapsulated into a single adventure.