Definitely an odd magic form in this book, based on geometry and mathematics but damn was it an interesting listen. Took me a while to get over the fact that battles were done via drawings on the floor but it soon became enjoyable.
Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide)
I’ve slowly but surely been making my way through Brandon Sanderson’s entire published works and next up on my list was THE RITHMATIST! For some reason for the longest time, I thought this book was Middle Grade but it’s actually Young Adult, though I see some great potential crossover for those two age ranges, along with the ever-present crossover to Adult since Sanderson’s books are always so clever and well-put together. THE RITHMATIST reads a little younger than Sanderson’s Reckoners trilogy (which is also YA) and actually really reminded me of Harry Potter! It was just something about the characters, the structure of the book, and possibly the presence at school that reminded me of Harry Potter and all of the mischief he manages to get into, not to mention the distrust of a teacher and some other secret happenings that really reminded me of Hogwarts in the best way. It is definitely the youngest-feeling book I’ve read from Sanderson (since I haven’t read the Alcatraz series yet) and that is quite notable but I wasn’t put off by it at all since that’s really what I was expecting!
I loved the characters in this book. Joel is the main character in THE RITHMATIST and I love his thirst for knowledge, especially when it comes to the Rithmatists. Not being a Rithmatist himself, he has to try to find information in secret since non-Rithmatists are not allowed to learn all of the theory, strategy, and history, but that is Joel’s true passion. As usual, Sanderson creates an excellent core group of characters who are all a little bit misfits. Joel, the wannabe Rithmatist; Melody, the Rithmatist who couldn’t care less; and Professor Fitch, the pleasant yet out-dated professor make up the main part of this group and it’s so special to watch all of these personalities and strengths balance each other. They work so well together because their relationships are so mutually beneficial… and of course there’s some great banter in their with some clashing personalities that kept me delighted and maintained a lighter tone!
It’s always so interesting to see what kind of magic system Brandon Sanderson chooses for his books. In this case, it’s the power to bring chalk to life as an offensive and defensive course of action. Rithmatists have the power to draw chalk lines or figures and give them basic direction and of course, the way chalk lines are drawn and connected have a very systematic way of behaving. I’m always so impressed with how much thought and effort goes into creating a magic system and I really enjoyed how unique this one was! I’m not sure I loved the concept — I suppose bringing inanimate objects to life is hit or miss for me — so I wasn’t totally crazy about it, but the structure and rules really brought the ideas together and made it a somewhat realistic (albeit, fantastical) concept to follow and understand.
The geography and history were also incredibly interesting, as always! Sanderson chose to mix fantasy and history, creating a time period that felt a little steampunk but had an alternate history incorporating the origin of Rithmatists and how they shaped the world. The course of events changes history completely and even changes geography, breaking up what we know as North America into the United Isles, consisting of a broken apart continent of many islands with various Rithmatist schools throughout the country. There are also some real historical figures who make appearances and in the alt-history concept, affect the world in similar or entirely different ways. It’s quite fascinating and I really enjoyed what Sanderson did with the book! I always find it fun to see “what if”s and see an alternate geography based on a different history.
THE RITHMATIST was just plain fun and I loved its lighter tone. I really enjoy the deep Sanderson novels but this one felt like it was quite a bit lighter and did have a sort of Harry Potter feel — which is to say that it reads potentially younger but is still enjoyable for an audience of all ages. The ending left me just waiting for more and there is confirmation of another book but we might still be waiting a few years for it according to the most recent Sanderson news! Such is the life of a Sanderson fan. (And this is what I get for bingeing all of his works.)
Source: Purchased from Audible
Narrator: Michael Kramer
Performance: Excellent overall! One of my favorite narrators
I listened to the book on audio which was fantastic since Michael Kramer, who narrates the entire Mistborn series, also narrates THE RITHMATIST. It’s the first YA book I’ve heard him narrate (actually, the first book besides the Mistborn books) and I think he handled the younger voices really well! Sometimes the younger male and younger female voices weren’t as distinct as his adult voices but he’s just such an enjoyable narrator! I was lacking a few things with the audio, simply because there are diagrams within the book showing different chalk defenses and moves that obviously I couldn’t see since I was listening. They’re all described but obviously you miss a little bit in that sort of experience!
I drive a 18 wheeler, audible is a great way for me to stay awake, but its got to be riveting, so a good author and narrator is key.
I was enraptured by this book! Oh man, I really really hope he writes a follow up or has all ready!
I loved this story! I found this book while searching for a new " read" from Brandon Sanderson. I love the concept. I have overtones of magic and fantasy but with a twist. I really like the way it's tied into the real world in a way. I certainly hope there is a sequel on the way!
Sanderson always excels at developing and describing intriguing and complex magical systems in his stories. Whether is Stormlight or Hemalurgy, Sanderson expertly times the exposition of magical mechanics with their relevance to the narrative. In Rithmatist, I feel his job was doubly hard in that the system presented is exceedingly complex. However, I would recommend searching out the illustrations that come in the physical version. They go a long way in helping you vizualize the different symbols and make the combat scenes more vivid and colorful. The Rithmatist has an ending that satistfies and promises a compelling sequel.
I loved this book, I wish it was 3 times longer. It took me forever to get into it because it is such a weird idea, but once I got the hang of it I loved it. Sanderson has a way of constructing and explaining the worlds he creates without you realizing that is what he is doing, or rather, while continuing to move the story along.
I like everything I've read from Brandon Sanderson, this book is no different. My eleven year old is now reading it and loves it. The one criticism I saw people posting about the Rithmatist was the pacing. Some may find it slow, if they are looking for an action packed novel this is not it. The story is more of a mystery with the action coming in towards the end of the book. I really liked the fictional world Sanderson has created and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. I love the main antagonist of the story and I'm hoping he gets fleshed out more in the next book.