The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

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Brandon Sanderson...excels at building complicated fantasy worlds and intricate magic systems. Unfortunately his young-adult novel, The Rithmatist, is so bogged down in stale genre clichés that his knack for developing settings can’t save it.
-AV Club

Synopsis

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.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013 A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013


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About Brandon Sanderson

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Brandon Sanderson is the bestselling fantasy author of Elantris and the Mistborn Trilogy. He was chosen by Robert Jordan's widow to complete the epic Wheel of Time series and has authored The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight in that line. He lives in American Fork, Utah.
 
Published May 14, 2013 by Tor Teen. 384 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult, Children's Books, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Rithmatist
All: 4 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 2

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Patrick Ness on May 10 2013

The required elements of Y.A. are all present and accounted for. Joel and Melody are likable heroes, and everything moves along efficiently...which is what I think young adult readers are looking for...

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Kirkus

Excellent
on Apr 10 2013

Fantasy readers should devour this well-crafted mix of action and setup, enriched by a thoroughly detailed cultural and historical background...

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AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Samantha Nelson on May 20 2013

Brandon Sanderson...excels at building complicated fantasy worlds and intricate magic systems. Unfortunately his young-adult novel, The Rithmatist, is so bogged down in stale genre clichés that his knack for developing settings can’t save it.

Read Full Review of The Rithmatist | See more reviews from AV Club

Thinking About Books

Below average
Reviewed by David Marshall on Aug 06 2013

Frankly, there’s no-one better than designing magic systems than Brandon Sanderson and this work with Ben McSweeney is an outstanding collaboration. It’s just a tragedy the result is then buried in this YA vehicle. This would make a sensationally good book if written for adults. Sadly, The Rithmatist is excruciating to read to get at the plot.

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Reader Rating for The Rithmatist
89%

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