TS Chan's Reviews > The Rithmatist

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
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it was amazing
bookshelves: brandon-sanderson, dr-reading-challenge, physical-owned

4.5 stars.

One of the reasons why fans of Brandon Sanderson (including yours truly) love him so much - when he gets into a writing funk he sidetracks himself by writing something completely different from his main project and it can result in a gem like this book.

MG and YA are not my go-to genre and hence, I'm very selective when it comes to these books. However, I have immense faith in Sanderson as he consistently churns out good, if not amazing, books. I also failed to understand why he had been so regularly critiqued for his characters. Ever since I've read The Way of Kings - one of the most character-driven books in epic fantasy - I've come to appreciate how my engagement with such fictional beings drive my enjoyment of the book. I believe that he had invariably delivered in this aspect simply because everytime I pick up a Sanderson book, I am not able to read anything else.

Firstly, this is non-Cosmere book. The world is set in a gearpunk 'alternative' Earth where North America is made up of islands. Secondly, no review of this author is complete without mention about the magic system and I am beginning to risk sounding like a broken record - how does Sanderson even create such fascinating ones? In the Rithmatist, the foundation of the magic was built on geometry, trigonometry and chalk. Yes, chalk! "How??" you might ask. Well there are illustrations at the start of each chapter to explain the mechanics of different chalk drawings and how precise geometrical/trigonometrical properties influence its relative strength/power. The power of this author's imagination realised in artform.

The storytelling is solid comprising both a pretty dark mystery component and a school/learning setting. In spite of the young age of the main characters, the narrative was not annoyingly juvenile but was instead engaging and mature enough to appeal to older audiences. I really appreciated how Joel, the main protagonist, did not get an easy way out. You'll need to read the book to understand what I mean by this; no standard YA tropes here. To cap it all off, the ending sequence and the revelations were quite magnificent. There was a "Ooooh, I see what you did there" moment, which I can't allude to further as it might be construed as a potential spoiler.

Ever the planner, Sanderson has just completed the research phase of the 2nd book as he intends to expand the worldbuilding from North America to Meso- and South America.
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Reading Progress

December 14, 2014 – Shelved
December 14, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
May 11, 2015 – Started Reading
May 12, 2015 –
46.0% "Ah the joys of a quick read sometimes..\n But seriously, how did Sanderson even thought of using geometry as the basis of a magic system.."
May 13, 2015 – Finished Reading
May 15, 2015 – Shelved as: brandon-sanderson
June 2, 2015 – Shelved as: dr-reading-challenge
March 22, 2018 – Shelved as: physical-owned

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

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message 1: by Robin (new) - added it

Robin (Bridge Four) I've had this on my to do list for awhile but I'm waiting until I just need a little touch of something Sanderson to push me along. So maybe after WoR but before the Mistborn reread.


message 2: by Ewide (new)

Ewide So true about Sanderson! He's becoming one of my favorite authors. His books aren't just a good intro or ending, it's the whole package!


message 3: by Igor (new)

Igor Ljubuncic I read this title as a combo of someone with arthritis and asthma.
Igor


message 4: by TS (new) - rated it 5 stars

TS Chan Igor wrote: "I read this title as a combo of someone with arthritis and asthma.
Igor"


LOL, now that's original!


Tèo Sip several twists at the end, and the revelation makes us want book 2 much more to find out what will happen!


message 6: by Robin (new) - added it

Robin (Bridge Four) This is about the only BS book I haven't read yet and I'm saving it....but it is getting harder to do that with great reviews like this one.


Tèo Sip @Robin: lol, when you decide to read it, do tell and I'll do a reread too~


message 8: by Robin (new) - added it

Robin (Bridge Four) I'm trying to hold off until the next one is going to be released. But lets see how well I hold out.


message 9: by TS (new) - rated it 5 stars

TS Chan I'll definitely reread this when the next book is going to be released.


message 10: by Tèo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tèo Sip I'm afraid it would be a loooong time before book 2 is released... he has so many projects to work on :(((


message 11: by ChopinFC (new) - added it

ChopinFC Cant believe this missed my "Sanderson Radar" ! Added tbr immediately ;)
Great review!


message 12: by TS (last edited Mar 06, 2019 08:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

TS Chan ChopinFC wrote: "Cant believe this missed my "Sanderson Radar" ! Added tbr immediately ;)
Great review!"


How could you???!!! Hahaha, well never too late, and thanks again.
You should also check out his tongue-in-cheek, fourth-wall breaking MG books - Alcatraz and the Evil Librarians. xD


message 13: by ChopinFC (new) - added it

ChopinFC TS wrote: "ChopinFC wrote: "Cant believe this missed my "Sanderson Radar" ! Added tbr immediately ;)
Great review!"

How could you???!!! Hahaha, well never too late, and thanks again.
You should also check o..."


Will add those as well 😜


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