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The Rithmatist (Rithmatist #1)

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  17,558 ratings  ·  2,749 reviews
From #1New 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—merci
Audiobook, 27 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by Macmillan Audio (first published May 13th 2013)
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Listened to this one on audio, vainly hoping beyond hope that I might finally read a Brandon Sanderson book I don't like so I can feel better about myself as an author.

But no. I enjoyed this book as much as any of his. Good worldbuilding, just as you'd expect from Sanderson. And a clever, detailed magic system. Good mystery surrounding the world.

And I really like that things aren't easy for the protagonist. Everything doesn't just fall into his lap. He wants things at the beginning of the book
Brandon Sanderson just made chalk figures scary. Chalk figures. As in these guys:

Ok, admittedly they don’t look like much, certainly not like man eating monsters, but after reading this, they are totally creepy. Sanderson’s certainly built up a (well deserved) reputation for writing interesting, intelligent, wildly imaginative magic systems - to the point it’s pretty much common knowledge in the fantasy community these days, but as The Rithmatist proves, those talents still go a long way, especi
Pre-read reaction, October 2011:

I have only a vague idea what it's about. But it's by Sanderson, so *cue droning robot voice* . . . I will read it. I must read it.


If an author came to me and said: "I have a great idea for a magic system. These guys called Rithmatists draw in chalk on the ground, and their chalk drawings have power. They can draw chalklings, which can be given instructions. Some chalklings can actually injure people, especially the wild chalklings. Those guys are dangerous!"
After reading a bit of the initial commentary on this book, some people mentioned that maybe there was a little too much focus on the magic system. Being a huge Sanderson fan, my thoughts were along the line of: there's no way, his magic is THE reason I love his novels, there's literally NO way.

As it turns out, there does seem to be a way, although only just a bit.

The magic of The Rithmatist is as creative as ever. I've mentioned this before and I'll say it again, Sanderson's magic really takes
Aug 19, 2013 Arah-Lynda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chris Lee
Shelves: why-eh, i-said, top
"Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s."

Brandon Sanderson has hit a home run here in this awesome world of chalk, just sick with possibility. He drops you into this world of chalk drawings that come to life, possess power and threaten the main protagonists, who also duel and defend in chalk.

These protagonists, the people of whom I speak, are interesting; possess a depth that contradicts Sanderson’s sparse prose. I found it easy to connect with and car
Jun 14, 2013 Nermin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brandon Sanderson fans, possibly HP fans
Shelves: favorite-author, ya, 2013
Wow, just, wow. Mr Sanderson and another great book. This time it is a YA book which is as enjoyable and fun as his fantasy works.

In the Rithmatist Sanderson goes and creates another incredible well thought out, original and very detailed magic system based on chalks, mathematics and geometry. At this point I'm convinced that BS will write about anything, base his magic on anything and manage to come across as unique and interesting. The characters and the story often reminded me Harry Potter bo
I loved this book.

The story was solid and the world was AMAZING. So much fun to read, the characters were lovely. This book is technically young adult, but it is so unique and so focused on a beautiful and well thought out world, and not romance that I forgot sometimes while reading.
Experiment BL626
Great fantasy. It was one of the best Young Adult fantasies I have read this year. Unfortunately, a couple of things kept me from rating the book as high as I would have liked.

My Dislikes

+ the world building

First, the world building could have been conveyed more clearly. At first I thought it was complete fantasy, but once I realized it was in an alternative history setting, I thought it was in England, i.e. UK. It was not until the middle of the book that I finally goddamn realized it was actua
Dec 04, 2013 Jonathan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Neil Gaiman, Fans of Brandon Sanderson, Fans of fantasy

The Rithmatist is being marketed as the latest Young Adult novel from fantasy author Brandon Sanderson. Labels aside this book is a classy, mature novel that easily bridges the reading divide, being accessible for 10 year old readers up to senior pensioners. As a novel, this fictional work takes some of the elements that make Neil Gaiman so appealing to multiple audiences and merge them with Brandon Sanderson's consistently improving style. In many regards this is Brandon Sanderson's best work t
Shandra {The Happy New Mrs}
WARNING: If you are a major Sanderson fan, and can't stand reading negative feelings and thoughts about his books, you may wanna steer clear of this review. I'm writing it on the fly, going with whatever comes to me, and I make zero promises that it won't offend you. If you're so diehard that you're a troll, find some other review space to voice your fandom. I'm not hating on Sanderson; I loved Steelheart after all.

DNF at 35%. This makes exactly 13 books I've ever DNFed in my life. That oughta
Mike (the Paladin)
What can I say? Another excellent book that is obviously the beginning of a series, probably a long series. The problem is it's from an author who has other series going.

I like this book, I don't want to wait.

I was pulled into this book from the beginning. It's an interesting world built on a very different take on the world we know. The "magic" in the world is a system that could have been silly, even ludicrous if not done so well. As it is I had no trouble suspending disbelief and reading a st
Eric Allen
The Rithmatist
By Brandon Sanderson

A Review by Eric Allen

One thing I can say for Brandon Sanderson is that he sure does write a lot of books, and many of them are above the 200k word mark, with a few nearing the 400k mark. Fortunately, nearly all of them are pretty good, and some of them are outright great. The one and only book of his that I did not care for was Legion. After Robert Jordan and George R. R. Martin, it sure is a breath of fresh air to find an epic fantasy novelist that releases at
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±

For those who don't read a lot of fantasy and, thus, aren't in the know, Brandon Sanderson is something of a "big deal", with his well received epic series, his handling of Wheel of Time after Jordan's passing, and, I'm told, he's one of the new shining lights in fantasy.

Thing is, I'm told this by the same people who are gaga over Tolkien, Rothfuss, Hobb, Lynch, and various other authors who I thought often have decent stories but whose epic style I just struggle with. (Epic, in this sentence
Executive Summary: An enjoyable story that can easily skipped by all but biggest Sanderson fans outside of the target demographic. It's a great book to share with your kids if they are old enough.

Full Review
I enjoyed this book, though not as much as his others. It's a young adult book, and unlike some books I've read in that category felt like it the whole way through.

The book has great illustrations. I'd highly recommend getting the print or ebook copy over the audio. I guess the audio comes w
Nikki (There were books involved...)

I really enjoyed this book. It's geared toward a younger audience than Brandon Sanderson's other epic fantasy novels, but that didn't hinder my enjoyment at all. First, the world in The Rithmatist runs on "springworks". I mean, really: Gorgeous gear-driven gadgets and creepy chalk creatures, what more do you want? Brandon's characters are all vibrant; the setting, an alternate version of the US, has been built with careful detail; and the chalk-based magic system is complex and (literally) alive
Nimrod Daniel
Brandon does it again!. Now he weaved a fantastic YA novel that can appeal to all ages, and not just aimed only to the YA audience.

When reviewing a BS novel, it's always interesting to start with THE magic system (isn't it ? :) ). Brandon invented a sophisticated magic system based on chalk, and as you go further in the book you learn more about the system and it's advanced tactics. I'd say - it's totally brilliant !!!, it's almost like chess. As always (in Brandon's books), even at the end ther
Who hit Sanderson on the head? When did he completely lose his ability to craft interesting characters and create an interesting world? I understand this is young adult fiction, but there is no reason teens should have to suffer through one-dimensional characters living in a needlessly complicated AND boring world.
I haven't read much of Sanderson's work yet, but I have a generally good impression of it. I was hesitant about The Rithmatist (I think I preferred the original title, Scribbler) because it's YA and some people have made comments about the magic system being too complex, some even feeling it's boring. But! I actually loved it.

In a way, it's nothing new. It's essentially set at a wizarding school, there's a Snape-like character, there's a red-haired sidekick (more Ron than Hermione, despite being
Alex Ristea
I loved this book so much I finished it in a day. Unfortunately I also loved it while having chilli, so now my copy is stained. Good thing it's only an ARC.

The premise is simple: imagine a kid attending a magic school, except he's only there because his mom is the cleaning lady. He can't actually practice.

(view spoiler)

The Rithmatist is a fun read similar in many ways
This book was absolutely fantastic. Yes, it's tagged as YA but far from it it's only for young adults audience. Also, there will be sequel and therefore one more book that I should preorder as soon as become available.
Where to start... Regarding setting, there are references to steampunk but the world building itself or useless-way-too-deep characterization is not that much present, rather it goes with the flow.
We are immediately thrown into the story and certain investigation which is the main
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
Brandon Sanderson's creativity seems to know no bounds. It's no secret that he likes use magical systems for his novels that follow rules. But is it still magic when the magic is so predictable that it's almost scientific?

With The Rithmatist, Sanderson uses his not insubstantial talents to spin a tale about an alternate world just one step removed from ours, where nations small and insignificant in our world are conquerors, North America is a giant archipelago instead of a continent, and gears
Duffy Pratt
Sanderson plays with Harry Potter, and does it quite well. There's a boy at a school for magic. There's a mystery at the school as kids start to disappear. The boy gets involved in solving the mystery, and in saving the world. But that's pretty much where the similarities end.

The magic here is unlike that in Harry Potter. Instead of waving a wand and saying something vaguely latin sounding, the Rithmatic students spend much of their time mastering arcane geometry and drawing techniques. Rithmati
Alican Bozkurt
Sep 08, 2014 Alican Bozkurt rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All PJO Fans and All TMI Fans
BAYILDIM! Brandon Sanderson'ın ilk darbesini Steelheart'da yemiştim bu da ikinci oldu. Adamın zekasına ve kalemine hastayım!
Doprachu, toto bolo vážne dobré!

O Sandersonovi počúvam (rozumej čítam) už nejaký čas z rôznych strán. Preto keď som zistila, že v slovenčine vychádza Ritmatik, spozornela som a nakoniec nevydržala (aj vďaka kamarátke, ktorá mi MUSELA zavolať a pochváliť sa, že už ju má... je ti jasné, že o hovorím o tebe, Leni :-D ) a kúpila si ju. Veď aj tak sa človek musí odmeniť za zvládnuté skúškové... :-)

A ak by som mala zhrnúť svoje hodnotenie knihy po jej prečítaní, tak mi stačí povedať - páni... Sanderso
Benjamin Thomas
The amazingly prolific Brandon Sanderson has struck gold once again and this time with a Young Adult story that easily transcends the "YA" trope and is simply a great read for any age. I'm convinced that somehow Sanderson has been cloned for how else could he write so many books in so little time. I for one am not complaining though; he's on my very short list of "instant read" authors.

Once again, Sanderson, not content to use typical or traditional magic systems such as you might find in Lord o
This book is not just on my favourites of 2013 its going on my favourite books ever.
Book the book is like this.. AKA. SO MUCH FUN TO READ

I almost didn’t pick up this book I was in wales and I saw it and was iffy about it.... and knowing that actually is scaring me the fact that I might not of read this book... Because I fricking loved this book ... I might never of picked this book up ....NEVER....

So If you don’t
Listen....I love Brandon Sanderson and this book is no exception. HOWEVER, of all his books I have read thus far, this one wasn't quite as good, well I should say I did not like it as much. I mean, it is Brandon so obviously it is still REALLY good. I will say, how the frig does he come up with these magic systems? This one is just so bizarre, I'm still trying to figure it out. It is like he is some bottomless pit of magical ideas and worlds. I am very excited for him to bring out the next in th ...more
Review to be rewritten. The one I wrote yesterday was trash. This book is awesome. And you should totally read it if you haven't yet.
Barbora Solanova
It's almost painful for me to knock a star off of a Sanderson book, but it has to be done here, because good as The Rithmatist is it just isn't on par with his other work and giving it the same rating as them would feel like a betrayal of books I love more.

That said - it's a damn good novel. All the usual things you expect from Sanderson - engaging characters, cool magic you wish you could use, neat worldbuilding, etc etc. (I bought the book at a signing and spent the wait time before he arrived
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Blogger Lift: [Ends Jan 27th] The Rithmatist (US only) 1 3 Jan 20, 2015 08:59AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: The Rithmatists 2 10 Jan 12, 2015 06:56PM  
It got a little confusing but I really liked the book 5 58 Oct 30, 2014 07:15AM  
Jole, and Melody 4 31 Sep 17, 2014 08:10AM  
Character Age 4 50 Aug 07, 2014 01:01PM  
Thinks Books &amp...: June 2014 - The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson 1 7 Jun 01, 2014 04:16PM  
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  • The Planet Thieves (The Planet Thieves, #1)
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  • Blood Song (Raven's Shadow, #1)
January 2015 marks the release of Firefight , the sequel to Steelheart . When only evil people gain super powers and become tyrants, it's up to normal people to hunt them down. There is a free 5-chapter preview ebook of Steelheart that you should check out, with a corresponding sampler audiobook on Audible. The Firefight book tour in the US lasts throughout January.

Recent short releases are Legio
More about Brandon Sanderson...

Other Books in the Series

Rithmatist (2 books)
  • The Aztlanian (Rithmatist, #2)
The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1) The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1) The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2) The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3) Elantris (Elantris, #1)

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“... everyone knows that ice cream is worth the trouble of being cold. Like all things virtuous, you have to suffer to gain the reward.” 39 likes
“Joel, lad, school is about learning to learn. If you don't practice studying things you don't like, then you'll have a very hard time in life.” 27 likes
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