Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

Summary (from Goodreads):
More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing—kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery—one that will change Rithmatics—and their world—forever.
What an awesome story! It always takes me a little longer to read a Sanderson book than it would for me to read something else. I thought I could attribute this to some slow beginnings. But, I like these considerably slow beginnings. I think it’s more that the author heavily focuses on world-building. And I wow, the world-building…I literally always feel like I can see these crazy universes Sanderson creates. And this one was no exception.
Sanderson creates this whole concept of chosen people who train to animate their chalk drawings. Then there’s the defense mechanisms, the circles, and the political strategy involved. Also, each chapter begins with a different example of a drawing –which definitely aided in my understanding of the whole process.
Past the drawings comes the threat in Nebrask of wild chalklings (aka: drawings come to life, under no one’s control) becoming a threat. The Rithmatists are all studying so hard to be able to go help defend their country from such creatures. Then throw in the polical aspects of the school, of the police department, and of even the economy of this world, and well there weren’t a lot of details left out.
I also loved the main character. He wasn’t perfect. He needed to be taken down a notch or two. But, he saw that he needed to learn. And he learned form his mistakes. He also seriously helped one of my favorite other characters become a better person/rithmatist. Throw in a fantastic teacher (someone who reminded me of a more reserved older version of Professor Lupin), chalk battles, missing/possibly murdered students, police work, and mystery, and well you get the makings for something rather special. 
I was beyond immersed in this world. I read each minute detail of the chalk drawings. I was biting my nails wishing for the main character to be a rithmatist as much as he did. I was also surprised. There was a little twist in it that had me going, “Oh….”
 This was an extremely fun, interesting read. I recommend it to fantasy fans who don’t mind a lot of world-building. The characters are great. The mystery was just suspenseful enough. And the twist had me surprised. I’m starting to think I will need to read everything by this author. I give it a 10/10.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the few Sanderson books In have yet to read - but I do own a copy (of pretty much all his books) LOL I'm thrilled that you enjoyed this one so much Nori^^ You're right, Sanderson's world-building skills are off the charts! It's good to see that The Rithmatist is no exception! Oh and I'd say we both 100% NEED to read ALL the Sanderson books :D Lovely review!