Monday, June 9, 2014

Review - The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

The Rithmatist (Rithmatist, #1)
Genre: High Fantasy
Published: May 2014
Hardcover - 374 pgs

More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings — merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. 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 study 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.

Sometimes its exciting to read a series as it is published and be there from the beginning to enjoy all the anticipation for the next book. This is one of those times! I expect this series is going to take off so I advise jumping on the bandwagon now.

This was my first read by Brandon Sanderson and I picked it up at the library on my latest trip. I've been reading a bunch of fantasy novels this month and this is still one of the most unique magic systems I have ever read. Sanderson created a complex magic system that was interesting and engaging. The drawings are peppered throughout the books are very helpful in visualizing the descriptions of the crazy defenses and other elements of Rithmatist powers.

This book is labeled YA but I think anyone who likes fantasy will enjoy it. I found the world to be very interesting and can't wait to see a larger picture than Joel's school. There is a lot of introductory information and world building because this is the beginning of a series. I'm glad Sanderson has created such a solid foundation for the next books because I wasn't totally convinced when I started this book that I would be able to take the chalk "magic" seriously. This story becomes very serious very fast though because student start disappearing and many foes exist with in Joel's school and his world. I like the mystery and fantasy elements and am excited to see where this story goes.

The characters are absolutely fantastic. I loved Joel and his friend Melody. The two of them have such a fun and interesting friendship. I loved how there was no emphasis on romantic relationships. Instead Sanderson spent a lot of time developing the world and the characters. I can see the pair becoming a great team in future books and I can't wait to see them in action again soon.

Overall I loved this book and I'm thrilled to find such an interesting and unique story. If Sanderson's other books are anything like this one I'm sure I'll be devoring them soon.

Rating: 4.5 /5 

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