Book title: The Rithmatist
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Rating out of 5: 4.5
Blurb: More than anything, Joel wants to be a ithmatist. 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.
My review: Brandon Sanderson does it again! I’m not sure if I am bias or not, but this guy is freakin fantastic. If you haven’t herd of the guy, then drop what you are reading, and go check him out. If you are in to your fantasy books, then I promise he will not let you down.
Honestly I could probably write a whole blog post on the guy, maybe I will in the future, who knows, but for now, let me get back on track. So I have just finished reading The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson, and it was a pleasant read. Most of the story takes place in a school setting, where they learn everything from geometry to complex dueling strategies, alongside traditional subjects like history.
It took me a couple of chapters to get in grips with the magic system, and once doing so, it was very easy to follow. The magic system is different, unique and amazing. It consist of drawings and maths (geometry & trigonometry)… weird right? But he somehow makes it work. And to help picture this, there are multiple detailed illustrations throughout the book.
Rithmatics is the magic of bringing to life little 2d chalk figures called chalklings (ostensibly to fight their evil wild brethren). However Brandon also allows rithmatists to duel one another using chalk drawings (ground wards for defense, animated chalk drawings for offense). This is pretty cool, and a few duals take place in the story, including a big tournament towards the end.
The main protagonist (Joel) enthusiasm for explaining the strategy behind Rithmatic duels is just infectious, to the extent that he can be described as an annoying know-it-all who’s smug with his own intelligence, but it’s a redeeming flaw because I liked how he grows as and becomes a more rounded character, particularly once he begins interacting with Melody and Fitch. I also love the fact that there is hardly, if at all, any romance in the book.
I also love the fact that the book wasn’t that easy to predict. I thought I knew who the rogue rithmatist was but the ending had a few good twists and turns. Not only concerning the villain, but also Joel.
I only have a couple of negative points for the book and that is the lack of history regarding the whole world and more information regarding the wild chalklings. Also how the main protagonist is able to discover things that the main inspector and professor could not. I don’t know but at times it felt like Joelst status/influence was more than it should have been, considering he isn’t a rithmatists. However, the former issue should be rectified as Brandon plans on releasing a sequel to this.
Hope you enjoyed my review, and if you do get the opportunity, do try and read this book. And for those who have already read the book, let me know your thoughts down below in the comments.