Review: The Rithmatist by Branden Sanderson

Image from Goodreads

Series: TheRithmatist #1
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor UK
Publication Date: May 2014
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Read and Excerpt HERE
Synopsis from Goodreads
More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings. 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 learn 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.

REVIEW BY LAUREN – YEAR 9

The Rithmatist is a thrilling, magical adventure that will enchant you from cover to cover!
The story is written in first person, following the life of Joel while the adventure happens. It makes you feel like you are part of the story and really engages you.

Joel has always wanted to be a Rithmatist -Rithmatists are children who get chosen at a young age to study lines and chalklings. They get taught different things to ordinary students. He is eager to learn what they know, however, the teachers have other ideas about his education. They don’t want him to dwell to much on what he can’t have.

Armedius Academy is a school for the non-rithmatists, as well as the Rithmatists. Joel always says he has missed his chance, that it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t his fault that he didn’t go to the choosing ceremony, he was with his father who was dying. When he went a couple of months later, he says that the pope didn’t even let him enter the chamber Joel is gifted in the art of lines, angles and knowledge. He has now accepted that it will never happen and he will never be one of them. For he is not a Rithmatist, he does not get to know the insights of their beliefs and backgrounds.

When a Rithmatist graduates they must go to Nebraska to keep the little, nasty chalklings (Chalk creatures which, if let out of Nebraska, could destroy the world) locked up in their tower. However, when Rithmatist students start disappearing and Joel is one of the only students left on campus over the summer holidays, he is given a job to fulfill. Can he fulfill it? Along side Professor Fitch, he will have to discover what has happened and catch the person who has done the deed.

My favourite part of the book was when Joel, Professor Fitch and Melody were face to face with the criminal and they were fighting for their lives as well as the other Rithmatists who were in the dorms, a few meters away and for the people who had died because of this silhouette in the dark. It is very intense, I couldn’t put the book down!

My favourite character is Melody because she is quirky and always wants to tag along. She is a character who exaggerates everything to make situations melodramatic. She helps keep the story a little comical and very exciting to read. However, I think all of the characters played a great role in the story to make it flow and keep it interesting.

When reading The Rithmatist, I kept asking the same question, who is the silhouette in the dark? Whom I thought it was kept changing as the story progressed. At the end, the killer was not who I thought it would be. Also I couldn’t predict the end because the story was full of twists and turns, I couldn’t imagine what was going to happen on the next page.
There was nothing I disliked in The Rithmatist  because it was intense all the way through and I especially liked the rithmatic drawings at the end of every chapter.

One thing I would have liked was more insight into how Joel’s father died as well as a more detailed explanation about the events that had happened in Nebraska.

The Rithmatist shows that even though not everything goes how you want it to, as long as you keep trying, you will be able to do it or be as close as you can to what you want to achieve and be.

I would compare this book to the Skulduggery Pleasant books because they are both about a magical and mysterious powers and also have both got creatures that aren’t on this planet.
I would read another book by Brandon Sanderson because I like his writing style -it flows really well and the way he made his book intense but also with some emotion within.
I would definitely recommend this book to other people because it was very thrilling to read and will grasp you into the book. I would recommend it to my age and above because it can be hard to understand at time
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