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The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

The Rithmatist

by Brandon Sanderson

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Series: The Rithmatist (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
I love the world he created and the mechanisms Sanderson built for chalklings. The story dragged a bit, and the supporting characters were not well developed. But the world was uniquely fleshed out and that made up for lack of character development. ( )
  e2d2 | Jun 2, 2017 |
This is Branderson's (I like to call him that) weakest book to date. Luckily Branderson is an amazing writer, so that means this book is still pretty cool.

My main issue with it is that, when compared to his other YA books (The Alcatraz Series) there is just so little about this that stands out.

The magic system is classic Branderson, and yet I found it boring compared to almost all of his others. Okay, the Aon drawing from Elantris was pretty boring, but that book had a lot of other things going for it and the magic didn't even work for most of the book.

The main character is, well, kind of generic. The supporting characters are generic. The unbelievably interesting mystery of "The Tower" where all the wild chalklings come from is...not explained.

Honestly, I can't help but think I didn't get what I wanted out of this book. I enjoyed the ride and all, but I wanted more of the world revealed to me than it was. The mysteries that are solved at the end come out of left field and just leave more questions, which I guess leaves this open for a sequel, but...

A: Branderson isn't going to get around to writing one for god knows how long because he's working on like a bajillion things.

B: I don't want a sequel to this book. Like I said, the magic system is interesting enough, but kind of boring, and it doesn't play well in book form. The characters aren't stand out. The only thing that could've saved this book was awesome world-building, which is one of Branderson's strengths. I can't even fathom why he went for a generic YA murder mystery instead.

Honestly I think this would've been much better off as a stand-alone novel, like Elantris or Warbreaker. Cut out the plot he put in and instead put in one that explains where the chalklings come from and how the magic works, and make it a good, satisfying explanation. Bam! Great novel. Instead we get a generic YA novel with a bit more style than most, but all of the same problems.
( )
  ForeverMasterless | Apr 23, 2017 |
The Rithmatist
by Brandon Sanderson
Tor Teen 2013
$17.99; 378 pages
ISBN 9780765320322

Ever since a friend recommended Mistborn three years ago, I have been in love with Brandon Sanderson's work. Sanderson's shtick is coming up with really interesting systems of "magic", that are probably really just a kind of technology in a different reality. Unlike ritual magic, which is what you should actually worry about your kids getting into, Sanderson's systems mostly involve the manipulation of physical things in order to unlock a hidden source of power.

For Rithmatists, their power lies in chalk drawings. I didn't get the joke until I was about 2/3rds of the way through the book, but Rithmatics is a pun on the 3 Rs. Rithmatists are a kind of very, very applied mathematician[geometrician?], with the most powerful being the ones who can draw as close to geometrical perfection as possible. For our protagonist, that should have worked out well, since he can draw better than anyone, but he was not gifted with the ability to make chalk drawings come to life, so he spends his time dreaming of a different life, and scheming to learn more about the secretive Rithmatists at his school.

As is typical for Sanderson, you get the backstory in dribs and drabs throughout, with lots of tantalizing hints that will not really get fleshed out until later volumes are written. This world is an alternative Earth, with a United States composed of 50 islands instead of 50 states, and a fun spring-based technology. Rithmatists are an elite within the United Islands, required to spend 10 years fighting the wild chalklings in Nebrask in recompense for their education, and then pensioned for life. However, the threat the chalkings pose has become remote to most, so the privileges and secrecy of the Rithmatists rankle ordinary citizens. I look forward to how this plays out.

This is a boarding-school story, and written for young adults in the best juvenile tradition. Thus we have a young man with great potential who is a bit lost in life, a romantic interest, and an adventure story. Fun to read, and highly recommended. ( )
  bespen | Feb 26, 2017 |
The Rithmatist is a YA novel and the first in The Rithmatist series by Brandon Sanderson. The book reads well as a stand alone novel, which is good because the second book hasn't been started yet so it's likely going to be a while before it's published. If you've read any YA recently you should know approximately what to expect. It is how Sanderson uses the common YA elements that turns The Rithmatist into such a fun story.

Joel is a student at Armedius Academy. Along with its regular students Armedius also trains up Rithmatists, wizard types who duel with chalk by bringing their drawings to life. Joel is fascinated by Rithmatics and wishes he could become a Rithmatist though he will never be one. Instead, Joel has decided to dedicate his life to becoming a Rithmatics scholar and, with that in mind, arranges to have himself assigned as a Rithmatic professor's assistant for the summer semester. Melody is a Rithmatic student at Armedius and is failing miserably. Melody is assigned remedial Rithmatic classes for the summer semester in an attempt to keep from being expelled. Just as the summer semester gets under way, Rithmatic students start going missing. Suspicious chalk markings are found at the scene of the crime. A plot is afoot!

The characters are quite fun. Joel is a smart, brilliant teen aged boy who is still fairly naive and getting better at thinking his way through problems. Melody is both adorable and hysterical at the same time, an interesting combination. She's terrible at her studies, brilliant with chalkings and is given some of the best lines in the book. Professor Fitch starts out as an older and timid professor who ends up gaining the confidence he needs to help both his students grow. Initially Joe and Melody don't like each other very much. In the way of most YA tales, they learn to work together and have a budding friendship by the end. The villains are not what I expected which gave the fairly straight forward story a nice little twist.

The story is set in an alternate America that is formed of separate islands with names like Nebrask and Georgiabama. True to Sanderson, the magic system is unique and a lot of fun. Rithmatics have a heavy foundation in geometry and Sanderson starts off each chapter with a diagram explaining how certain features work. By the end of the story I felt like I had a decent grasp of the system. It's a system that has simple elegance and yet can be highly complex, that requires both skill in art and math by its practitioners.

This was a fun, quick read. The story pulls you in after a few chapters. While primarily aimed at younger audiences, the book can easily be enjoyed by any age group. If you like Sanderson's other works and also enjoy Harry Potter then The Rithmatist may be up your alley. ( )
  Narilka | Feb 21, 2017 |
YA steampunk fantasy with once again an interesting new magic system. Story is good, but too many unanswered questions for a standalone book (at least for a long while) for my taste. ( )
  Guide2 | Jan 8, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brandon Sandersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gibbs, ChristopherCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McSweeney, BenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Joel Sanderson, whose enthusiasm never stops
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Lilly's lamp blew out as she bolted down the hallway.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765320320, Hardcover)

From #1 New York Times bestselling 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.

Bestselling 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 that readers who appreciate games of strategy and tactics just may want to bring Rithmatics to life in our world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:19 -0400)

As Wild Chalklings threaten the American Isles and Rithmatists are humanity's only defense, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice.

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