Audie Award Finalist, Fantasy, 2014
From number-one New York Times best-selling author Brandon Sanderson: his debut novel for the young adult audience.
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.
Best-selling author Brandon Sanderson brings his unique brand of epic storytelling to the teen audience with an engrossing tale of danger and suspense - the first of a series. With his trademark skills in world-building, Sanderson has created a magic system that is so inventive and detailed that listeners who appreciate games of strategy and tactics just may want to bring Rithmatics to life in our world.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2013 Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reader
The more I read by Brandon Sanderson, the more I respect him as an author. In fact, at this moment in time, I think he is probably the best fantasy author in the business. His work is consistently of high quality, his characters are realistic, his world building is outstanding, and his magic systems are unique, imaginative, and very well considered. On top of that, Sanderson is fast writer, meaning that he publishes multiple novels a year.
With all that said, I really enjoyed The Rithmatist. It is technically a young adult novel, but I hardly noticed. The only real differences between it and Sanderson's adult fiction is that it's shorter in length, the protagonist is 15 years old, and there's no romance. None of that bothered me in the slightest.
It's hard for me to pick my favorite thing about the novel, because I really liked it as a whole. However, the magic system was absolutely fantastic. In The Rithmatist, magical energies can be used for attack or defense by drawing shapes with chalk. I thought that was a really cool idea, but I also really liked how Sanderson took it another step and developed a dueling system complete with rules and strategies.
Beyond that, I thought that Joel was a really good protagonist. Sure, he fits the typical "unlikely hero" motif almost exactly, but it's a classic trope that never gets old if done well. Joel is full of youthful exuberance and is easy to relate to. I liked how it was his intelligence that was his true asset and not magic.
The world that Sanderson created was really interesting as well. The story is set in a alternate United States somewhere around the beginning of the 20th century. I don't recall if an exact year was given. It seemed like the story was going to fall into the Steampunk genre, but instead the world relies on magnets and magic for technological innovation. I really liked that, because, to be honest, Steampunk just isn't my favorite.
Overall, the story was not overly complicated, but had enough mystery and suspense to move the plot along at a brisk pace and keep things interesting. I liked this so much, I would recommend it to anyone even vaguely interested in speculative fiction.
The media mogul
Brandon Sanderson has once again crafted an excellent tale of suspense, mystery, and intrigue. This was only supplemented by the skilled voice acting of Michael Kramer. The only crime of this book is the short (10 hour) length!
1. Exceptionally detailed world that you can vividly imagine.
2. Dynamic characters brought to life by the voice acting.
3. Deeply engaging elements of religion, history, and human perception.
4. A compelling threat to Joel and a great villain.
5. An unforeseen twist that goes against your post-Harry Potter expectations.
1. Just over 10 hours in length leaving the end feeling slightly rushed.
2. Untied strings of plot were left unexplained. I can only hope this means that a sequel is imminent.
3. The use of chalk as a main component of the story.
To summarize; this book is fantastic and worth the cost of admission. But prepare yourself for the ending and having to possibly wait for the conclusion of story.
Not sure what the plans for this series are, but this is a pretty good start. Should point out right away that this is another "young adult" book, but one I enjoyed. In the beginning of the story (it's only 10 hours, btw) I was skeptical - story seemed full of holes, and it also...odd that it centered so much around chalk and the two-dimensional battles...but as I'd expect from Brandon Sanderson, it kept me interested throughout, and some of "holes", turned out to be deliberate (part of the story). I know this is the kind of book my kids will LOVE - adding it to the list of books I'll be buying for them when they're old enough! And, while I think Sanderson should stay focused on his "Way of Kings" series, if a second one in this series comes out, I'll get it. Michael Kramer is awesome, as usual.
I don't know why, but I didn't expect great things from this book. The magic system seemed, quite frankly, a little silly. And it was a YA novel. Granted, I really like YA sf, but Brandon Sanderson doing it? It just seemed odd. But he does a phenomenal job with it. Great, quick paced, page-turning story. Michael Kramer narrates beautifully. You can tell it is written for young adults, but that doesn't mean he dumbed down his writing or over-simplified anything. It is still excellent fantasy. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes sf, or just good writing in general.
5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(
Brandon Sanderson is truly one of the greatest authors.. So far every single book he released was amazing and The Rithmatist is a good example.
When I read the summary of this book before, i'll be honest I didn't understand what was the book about, but I bought the book anyway just because of the author, and I don't regret it at all.
I am going to be basic here, The Rithmatists are people who can defend and attack by drawing things and bringing them to life. (This is to clear what is going on exactly)
One of the things that I liked about this book was the world itself, this book's world is our world with some changes, but still this world, and actually liked that (didn't have to understand and remember different countries and so on)
Another good thing is that the plot. It doesn't go as you would have expected, there are few things that go the other way, which is always appreciated.
Brandon Sanderson gave us another great book, gave a fantastic ending which could lead to so many possibilities in the future... I'm sure there will be future books after this one.
If you are wondering wether to buy this book or not, then i would say go and BUY IT NOW!!!! If you liked Brandon Sanderson's books before, you will like this one too. and if you never heard of Brandon Sanderson, then just buy it anyway, you will love his work.
Did you know you can put in a set of Ear-Buds, slap your Hearing Protectors over them, and Mow the lawn, Weed-Eat, etc, without your book being drowned out by engine noise? OR, you can just let the horses in the yard, and THEY'LL mow and weedeat (literally) FOR YOU!
First off, "Pure Sanderson"! Probably one of the best writers of the Fantasy Genre, if not *THE* best, and continuously getting better! As usual he lead my moods and expectations down a path of his own making, and by now I know better than to even TRY to figure out in advance where that path is leading.
This is a Young Adult Book, however it doesn't detract from the story for adults that I could tell (Or maybe I should contemplate more on my own maturity ;)
At times I found myself DEEPLY engrossed in the tales of Battles out in "Nebrask", guts and muscles clenched, actually worrying for the characters while a soldier describes the scene of the men battling for their lives after they are cut off from the main force; listening to the Teller's description of the battle fortifications and the terror and desperate fighting of the Soldiers, the enemy hordes attacking them again and again, the bravery of the men in the face of the inevitable defeat and horrible death... and then it's mentioned AGAIN that the "Attackers" are "2-Diminsional Chalk Figures Drawn On The Ground"... Every time this happened my worry vanished and I burst into laughter, and thought "He's done it to me again!" I mean, a Garden Hose could have wiped out the "attackers"! I still chuckle thinking about it! I kept skipping backward trying to see WHERE and HOW in the story Sanderson got me so engrossed and personally involved in a particular section!
I always have to ask.. "WHERE does he come up with his material???" Sanderson's ideas are just NOT "Something I've seen before in other books"; His work doesn't fit into ANY mold of writing style, and it doesn't fit into ANY single genre! Every time I pop onto Audible now (Almost Daily), I look for a new work by Sanderson... in my mind, he's a Master of his trade in every sense of the word! He's "One Of A Kind"
I've just quit saying "I DON'T generally like Fantasy Novels", because Sanderson has made a total liar out of me since I found his books.
My taste vary. I love a good, blood stained horror, but also a well written kids story. Lots of Sci-Fi, but also Hist. Fiction. No boring!!!
HUMANS ARE MORE THAN THE NEED TO SURVIVE
If asked to choose between Ender's Game and this book as my favorite, I would have a problem. This is so brilliantly written, so engaging, so entertaining, that it is hard to choose. Ender's Game is about space and I am more Sci-fi then Fantasy, but Ender does have some dead spots where this has none.
PARENTS, THE BANE OF EVERY SCHOOL
This is considered a Teen book, cause there is no sex and very little violence and the main character is sixteen. This 55 year old man loved it. It takes place at a University. It is pro learning for learning sake, not for grades. The teachers love teaching and I saw my wife who is a math teacher in some of these characters. (especially the geometry teacher who was compared to teaching his class like a coach giving a motivational speech. A teacher who continued to teach, even after the end of the year exams, because learning is so much fun!) Another cool concept which happens early in the story, is a teacher dueling another teacher, no violence involved, hard to describe, you must read to learn how. The result is better teachers, cause at anytime a teacher who is set in his or her way can be challenged by an upstart and the more knowledgeable will win. (Not that the more knowledgeable always makes the best teacher, some PHD's make terrible teachers.) The concept just blew my mind.
The book has some twists in it, that surprised me. Sanderson could have also taken the easy, popular way out in one incident, but he was above that, which in my mind, even though I wanted the character to get what he wanted, made the story more real and a much better story, which Sanderson made up for later. (A kind of George R.R. Martin Moment.)CHOCOLATE IS THE GREATEST INVENTION OF ALL TIME. Melody, is a character who you don't care for at first, but who you will end up loving. She is a total opposite to Joel, but she helps him to grow and he helps her in return. You will be routing for Joel to kiss her by the end of the book.
CHALKLINGS WERE TWO-DIMENSIONAL
I love the alternate world Sanderson creates. If there is a weak point it would be the chalklings themselves. I found it hard to get scared over two-dimensional creatures and I was never sure of the size of these things. I believe they were only a couple of inches long. The audible comes with a PDF, but the map of the United Isles is not in it. That is in the hard cover. You will want a copy of the hard cover, it is a beautiful book, illustrated by Ben McSweeney. Like Card's map in his Hat Track series, it alone is interesting. You also must get this recording, for the voice of Michael Kramer. Kramer made famous for The Wheel of Time series is perfect for this book and he better do the sequels. Some reviewers have mentioned that the whole story is not complete. I disagree, all but one loose end is tied up and life goes on, does any story really end. I am 55 and my story is still going on. Joel and Melody are only sixteen, they have a lot of story to go.
NOT HAVING ICE CREAM, SHE PROCLAIMED, IS THE CULMINATION OF ALL DISASTERS!
If you have read Brandon Sanderson books in the past you won't be disappointed. This book is a little different in that it has more of a YA feel to it. However don't let this keep you from checking it out. It has some interesting concepts and the people in this book have some unique powers over chalk. This could be a standalone book but it is left wide open for the possibility of sequels to follow if the author chooses. So overall this is a light fun book that can be enjoyed by young adults and those of us young at heart.
A unique fresh storyline. Although this audience is for young adults this book will definitely appeal to readers of all ages.
It was a different, new version of our world. The young characters had depth and appeal. But what more can you expect from Brand Sanderson. Mr. Sanderson's ability to spin a tale is without bounds.
Michael Kramer is a great story teller. His infection, ability to hold your interest with the book being read is great.
I did have a few outbursts of laughter at the antics of the characters. There were moments of intense drama and more of intrigue that made this book a fast 6+ hours to complete. I did not want to stop listening.
There will definitely be a sequel or sequels. This book has the foundation of many more sequels to come.
I hold a BA in History from York University of Toronto; a 3yr Diploma in Computer Networking from Sheridan College in Oakville Ontario. I have been "reading" audio books sinces the late 80s and a member of Audible back to 2004. What a really like is a good long story preferable over 30 hours. :)
I've enjoyed Brandon Sanderson other works and as an adult I would not place this in his gems but it's enjoyable. None of the major characters are flat; the motive of the "enemy" forces aren't clearly explain by the end they are hinted at being more complex than this book could hold.
The rules of the Magic are if a little hard to imaged without a geometry textbook;they clearly explained in the PDF that comes with the Audiobook. (There appears to be one page in the PDF per chapter.) - I would suggest at least flipping though the pdf before the starting.
If you have not heard Michael Kramer read a book then you are truly in for a treat. I personally believe he is one of the best. He's voices never seem to strain his voice or my ears.
There is very little gore and the actual death count is very reasonable at the end of the book (you must however reach the end before you'll see.)
While the 2 main student characters are set at 16; really though I felt they were a little younger. There is no overt love or girlfriend boyfriend theme that I remember from my own high school days. The book and story would appeal to a younger crowd.
There is a "god" in this book but it seems to be more closely linked to the magic in the world than with morality.
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