The Rithmatist

The Rithmatist

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The Rithmatist 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 reviews.
MereChristian More than 1 year ago
Brandon Sanderson is known for his inventive and intricate systems of magic that he develops for his novels. His are sort of the opposite of Terry Brooks and other authors' fantasy settings wherein the magic is inherently unpredictable and unsystematic. Which type of story-telling is preferable is up for debate. I kind of like both types of stories, those <i>with</i> , and those <i>without</i> , orderly and logical systems of magic. In his new YA novel, <i>The Rithmatist</i> , Sanderson has the incredibly detailed and consistent magic system called &ldquo;Rithmatics&rdquo;, but with a twist. You see, the main protagonist, who knows the most there is to know about this system is <i>not</i> a Rithmatist. The teenage boy, Joel, is the son of a chalkmaker, who has always shared his late father's fascination for Rithmatics. The essential gist of Rithmatics is that, by the use of intricate drawings with chalk, based in mathematics in part (thus the name of the system), the talented Rithmatist can create defenses and little animals (called &ldquo;chalklings&rdquo;) that do their bidding. Of course, there is so much more to this story than what I've said so far, but to say too much more would be to massively spoil the story. Anyone who has read Sanderson's novels knows that he is apt to have one huge revelation after another in the second half to last third of his books. So, in order to not give away huge plot points, I can't say too much, except that Joel is, despite not being a Rithmatist, much more special to whatever otherworldly forces are at work on the side of the good guys. There really wasn't much to critique here. I think that the set-up is interesting, in that one could argue it is a non-wizard against a group of the most powerful evil magic-users. I suppose that the book's ending could be seen as a let-down. It concludes with a major revelation of defeat and a victory by Joel and his friend/sort-of girlfriend, Melody (who is, unlike Joel, a Rithmatist), and.... that's it. We see some of the results of Joel's victory, but not all. What will happen with the amazing feat Melody and Joel accomplished at the end? We shall see. The ending was one massive sequel hook that felt a little flat. But that is about the only criticism I can think of about this book. I think that Sanderson handled the burgeoning friendship and potential romance between Joel and Melody quite well. Joel and Melody don't have some passionate love affair, but they are obviously leaning towards developing feelings for each other. It is a teenage crush type of situation that is written in a really sweet way. Then there is Mr. Fitch, who does a fine job of being a really great character, even while being mild and fearful. His awesomeness at the end (minor spoiler there!) will not be foreseeable given his nervousness and fearfulness for part of the book. I just have to say that the type of informal family made up of Joel, his mom, Fitch, and Melody was really nice and fun to root for and read about. One quick note for those who read the book is to pay attention to the descriptions of Rithmatic concepts before each chapter, they seem to be applicable to a certain event near the end of the book. At least, that was my interpretation from the use of a certain feminine personal pronoun. Once again, Sanderson delivers a master-stroke, this time for the YA market. Highly Recommended.
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
I had read an excerpt of this book before it came out and was very intrigued. It seemed like a new and interesting idea. Now I've read the book and I am delighted. It is really fun with well developed characters and a fascinating plot. The combination of the firm geometry of the Rithmatists' work with the creativity of the chalklings they draw is a wonderful mix of right brain and left brain. And the real power is shown to be the balanced combination of the two. Well done, Brandon Sanderson! I eagerly look forward to more.
Kayaditi More than 1 year ago
Have I read anything this cool since Harry Potter for the age 10 and up crowd? Wait, let me think... um... I got nothing. Sanderson is brilliant. So brilliant that I'd like to propose that he get someone to design a computer game where we draw with our own stylus-chalk and have our own duels. It could be similar to Scribblenauts. On steroids. Do a fan a solid and get on that, would ya Brandon? I have chalklings to conjure! Chalk. Yes, you heard me. Scary chalk. That is the brilliance Sanderson has conjured. If it weren't for Smartboards and dry-erase markers, kids would be cringing in their classrooms every time a 'fed-up' teacher headed for the chalkboard after reading this novel.  Was it a dare or something, Brandon? A creative drink at the Taco Mac and a friend says, &quot;A great author could make anything fascinating. Like... chalk.&quot; (One side of Brandon's mouth kicks up. Dare accepted.) And won. Chalk of all things. Well played, Mr. Sanderson. Well played.
thewebwoman More than 1 year ago
Brandon really knows how to bring his characters to life in such a way that you become completely absorbed into the world he has woven with his words.   I found myself totally believing the world he created and his mastery of creating new forms of magic and the society that is affected by it is impressive. I have read other books by him and I never cease to be impressed with the uniqueness of the worlds he creates.  Awesome read.  Only drawback is that now I have to wait for the next one to come out.
ptalarczyk More than 1 year ago
Another great book from Brandon Sanderson! This has a great story and is a very quick read. It's definitely more young adult than other works from Brandon.  The story is great as well as the characters. I was sad when I finished it because the next book in the series isn't out yet. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sanderson really has a way with words. This book, even with no sequel or even major victory/conclusion, is a fun, satisfying read. To be honest, it even got kinda scary (at least, I was creeped out). Evil chalk? Brilliantly exciting. I whole-heartedly recommend this book to anybody and everybody. I thouroughly enjoyed it and cannot wait for a second!
mandylyn More than 1 year ago
Sanderson presents an alternate earth with an alternate history involving the mysterious chalklings. An intriguing mysterious, great characters and a dying need for the sequel to come very soon!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had me from the start. It is creative, interesting and spell binding.
Tina_Chan More than 1 year ago
¿Author: Brandon Sanderson Genre: steampunk/mystery/fantasy Review:  I picked up this book soley based on the cover (I know, I know--&quot;don't judge a book by its cover&quot;.) It seemed like a steampunk themed novel based on the cover. In reality, while there were some steampunk genre traits found in The Rithmatist, it was far less than I expected. Nevertheless, I still really enjoyed--no, loved--the book. This novel reads much like a fantasy book. It was not later until I  found out Brandon Sanderson is a well known fantasy author. At first, I was a bit confused about how the world worked in The Rithmatist. Some of the countries mentioned were familiar and others I have never heard of. Some of the concepts found in the book were also hard to grasp at first, but later on I got to understand. Filled with beautiful illustrations to help explain the workings of chalking in The Rithmatist, I felt as if I knew how the world Sanderson created  inside and out. Like I haven't made it obvious already, the world building in The Rithmatist ¿is phenomenal. The details are specific but not overwhelming. The concepts of chalklings (I'll get to that in a sec) are unique and well planned. I felt as if the author carefully crafted the world so that he knows it inside out. For example, a mechanical crab is described to trim the school's lawn. It is described much like a mechanical robot with feelers that prevent it from cutting things that is not grass. It's this type of details that really submerge me into this  world. Alright, next up is the chalking and chalklings. In this fantastical world, Rithmatists--people with the ability to bring chalk drawing to life- -protect citizens from wild chalklings. Chalklings are basically two dimensional creatures that are &quot;alive&quot;. Wild chalklings are dangerous  and can harm people. Rithmatists can draw their own chalklings to keep the wild ones under control. Student Rithmatists can create their own chalklings, but their chalklings can't cause actual harm; only graduated Rithmatists learn the secret to make their chalklings potentially dangerous. In this world, only 1 in 1000 people are chosen by the Master to become a Rithmatist at a ceremony called the inception.  Joel attends a prestigious private school that offers some of the best Rithmatist schooling in the world. In addition to teaching Rithmatists, the school also serves the sons and daughters of wealthy, important and influential people. Joel isn't a Rithmatist (though he wants to be one more than anything) and his parents aren't rich or powerful. The only reason why he could attend the school was because his father--a  chalkmaker--worked for the school but died. His mother remained on the campus as a cleaning lady. As a result, Joel received free tuition.  Life isn't easy for Joel. Although he is extremely skilled at drawing and understanding Rithmatist concepts, he doesn't have the ability to  actually bring his chalk drawings to life. Also, all of the students more or less ignore Joel. When Rithmatist students start to disappear  mysteriously (evidence suggests that these students are dead), Joel jumps onto the chance to help Professor Fitch solve this mystery. ¿Alright, enough said about the plot. All I can say is that the mystery aspect of the novel had me guessing with every clue popping up.  Nevertheless, I could have foreseen the murderer.  ****Spoiler alert*** Okay, remember how I said Joel didn't get chosen to become a  Rithmatist? About 3/4 into the book, he is given a second chance to complete   the inception because his first one wasn't done correctly . I was so positive that Joel would become a Rithmatist a second time because he had so much talent and he wanted to be one sooooo badly. I was CRUSHED that Joel still wasn't chosen. I literally reread that chapter to make sure I had read it right....Poor Joel... Final thoughts: excellent book if you like steampunk and fantasy books. Even better if you love exploring books with creative worlds. Likes:     *good mystery     *incredible world building     *lovable characters Dislikes:     *some of the Rithmatist concepts were hard to grasp at first
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brandon sanderson doesn't disappoint!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As is everything Brandon Sanderson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was surprised how much I liked this - the author is very hit or miss with me... The world is both new and yet very familiar and the characters understandable. With a few plot twists mixed in, Im excited for the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book that comes out with a bang and gets better from there. Well developed characters and a great plot. A must read!!!
GadZooks More than 1 year ago
An amazing work of pure art. This book ought to earn a place on everyone's bookshelf. The plot was superb; the characters imperfect and beautifully crafted; the villain(s) wonderfully ominous. Brandon Sanderson has created something truly brilliant: a book that I am sure will be cherished for generations. I, for one, will be passing this book on to my own children one day. This book has earned a spot on my Favorites shelf, as well as on my "Re-Read" list. And it is very hard for a book to make on the latter. This book has a unique take on the world, and on magic. It is not the cliched magic of other fantasy worlds, where magic is drawn from some internal well of power but is instead a gift given by the Creator. Being a Christain, I appreciate this, and I wish with all my heart that such an art really did exist in our world. I am looking forward to the second installment of this series, hopefully in the near future. Read on, and may God bless you with Rithmatism. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book.. can't wait for the next one to come out. The story telling of Sanderson is always right on!
GNadig More than 1 year ago
Wow. Oh, wow. This book was sooo good. I loved every part of it--except for the "to-be-continued" ending. Can we get a release date for The Aztlanian please? I devoured this book. It has been a long while since I've read a book that fast, and it felt good. I loved the entire plot, the amazing world-building, the fantastic characters....I could go on and on. This book is definitely worthy of its five star rating. The plot was thrilling. As an artist, the idea of chalk drawings coming to life was very intriguing, and it was exciting to see how Sanderson spun out the mystery. He did an excellent job of weaving in unexpected twists and turns to keep the mystery going until the very end. My only complaint would be that the mystery was wrapped up very quickly in the end, leaving me wondering if that really was the solution, or if there was something more in store. And it ended with "To be continued," and some unresolved loose ends. Not cool--how am I supposed to survive until the sequel comes out? The world-building was phenomenal. It was completely unlike any other setting I've ever read. It was based on the premise of "what if America was actually an archipelago of islands?" It also had some other twists in history, but I'll let you discover them for yourself. Part alternate history, part fantasy, it had a familiar feel to it while still being original. It even had touches of steampunk--er, springpunk? And the magic of the Rithmatists? It was awesome. I loved how it was based on logical principles and geometric properties. I can't wait to read more about it in the next book. One note: the Monarchical Church in the book seems Christian in nature at first, and is classified with other Christian denominations. However, from the little tidbits that were in the book, it seems more of a religion glorifying science, along with some ritualistic aspects that could become dark very quickly. I would be wary letting younger children read this book on their own--if they do, at least discuss with them the religious views the characters hold to, and how that differs from Christianity to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. The characters were great. Quite well-developed and life-like. My personal favorite was Melody--I loved her spunky, melodramatic personality, and all the hilarious comments she added. When I first started the book, it was a little hard to figure out whose POV it was from, but it became clearer within the first few pages. By the way, I kept wanting to call Joel "Joe" instead. Not sure why--I just thought it fit him better. Wrap-up: This was a really fun, exciting read. It's a blend of magical realism, alternate reality, and steampunk. I highly recommend it. Just a warning though: the explanation behind the origin of Rithmatist powers was hinted at, and it points to a rather dark theory. Some of the religious aspects, a fight scene toward the end, and the actual villain were very creepy and disturbing. Not for the weak of stomach. Rating: 5 stars Recommended: 14 and up. Content guide (may contain minor spoilers): Language: 1/10 ("dusts,"and "dusting," were common ejaculations.) Sexual Content: 1/10 (mentions of dress showing quite a bit of leg, a girl being pretty, etc) Violence: 7/10 (most of the attacks are off page, though the end fight scene is very creepy. the wild chalklings eat off the skin and eyes of victims. one "historical" account of a chalkling attack is pretty disturbing.) Blog: gabriellenblog.wordpress.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where is book two!?!?! This was better than Steelheart!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book for just about any age!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Probably my favorite sanderson novel behind the stormlight archive. Definitely would recommend it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy and interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read nearly all of Sanderson's work. I have come to the conclusion that having him do the wheel of time series is the greatest disservice to his writing to date. This book is yet another example of his skill in making even a whimsical and somewhat childish premise suck a reader of any age into a fantastically well constructed story. My only lament is the lack of a second installment as I write this. Sanderson knows no living equal in literary skill.
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