Sandra's Reviews > The Rithmatist

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
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it was amazing



This book was fantastic. Everything about this book oozes with awesomeness! I mean, who would have thought chalk figures could be so menacing and scary?


Has it ever crossed your mind that chalk drawings could eat you, or worse, kill you?

It hasn't for me. The concept just sounded so farfetched. Too weird.

But this is Sanderson. I shouldn't have doubted his ability to make something as simple as chalk, to something far more interesting and complex. And he did not disappoint. I finished this book immediately wanting the second book in my hands.


The story followed a boy named Joel who attended Armedius, a prestigious school who not only caters the rich, but also a special set of students chosen to study Rithmatics.

What is Rithmatics anyways, you might ask? Well, these Rithmatist were people who could make chalk drawings come to life. They can also make chalk wards and attacks. How were they chosen? You'll find that out soon when you read the book.

Moving on.

Joel wasn't a Rithmatist. His drawings were just ordinary chalk. Everyone knew that, Joel most of all, but the moment somehow broke the spell of his story.

Despite Joel's love for the craft, he wasn't chosen, by this god-like person named the Master, to be a Rithmatist. Fate had a different plan for him.

Shortly before Joel started helping Professor Fitch with his work, something weird was happening on campus. There was someone or something taking the Rithmatist students of Armadeus. Because of these series of events, it was up to Joel, a friend, an inspector, and Professor Fitch to find out what was happening.

That's all I can say about the plot without spoiling the entirety of the book.



The thing I liked most about Joel was that he wasn't a special snowflake, like most of the protagonists in YA books nowadays. He was passionate about Rithmatics which is why he got involved in the things that he shouldn't have been involved with.

He was smart, but he wasn't special. He knew a lot about Rithmatics, but he wasn't one of them. He was a flawed character which is one of the things I found endearing about him. He wasn't a very nice person when this book started, he was actually a bit arrogant, to be honest. But I liked that. I liked that Sanderson gave him a little bit of that characteristic in him, so that when the story progress, you see him develop.

You not only get to know him as a person, but his background: who his parents were, why was he studying in that school, what caused him to love Rithmatics. You get all of them. It was all explained so well.


She was the type of character you warm up to as the story goes along. At first, she was annoying, and you just don't know why she was in the story. But as the story goes, you understood why she was the way she is, and what her part is in the entirety of things.

Another good thing about Melody was that she isn't a love interest, at least, not yet. The second book isn't published yet, so who knows?

Professor Fitch

I wasn't sure what to think of him at first. Professor Fitch is the guy that teaches the Rithmatic class Joel sneaks into to listen. At first you'll think he was just going to be another Dumbledore-like figure in the story, but he wasn't.

He was a brilliant scholar, but he wasn't the best Rithmatist duelist. He compensates his lack of fighting abilities with his knowledge about the techniques and history of Rithmatic system.

Secondary Characters

Aside from the plot and magic system, which I would get to in a second, the characters is where this book shines. I loved how none of them were flat and useless. Each of the characters introduced in this novel had their purpose and role in the story.

One of the more notable characters was Professor Nalizar. I would not say why, but his character was so much more complex than what I initially thought.

Inspector Harding is also an interesting character. He is the lead investigator assigned to find out who was taking these student. You'd think he's one of those disposable characters that was placed there just for the sake of it, but he isn't, there is so much more to him that I did not expect.


I was a bit confused with the setting at first, but after reading further into the book, I realized it was set in the present day, alternative version of the United States. The book has this illustrated map of the new world Sanderson created which I think is called the United Isles? Yes. It's called the United Isles. It's so cool having the names of some of the states of the US being there, only altered a tiny bit.

Brandon Sanderson is a master in creating new and believable worlds. This world, and the world he created in his Mistborn series, is not like anything I have ever read about. It's unique and one of a kind. There are a lot of books right now that almost have the same stuff in it, you'd find Sanderson's books very different from most, which you'll find really refreshing.

The magic system he developed for this series was completely different from the ones he made for his other books. Rithmatics had its own rules and history that was just so intriguing. Like I said earlier, I was just so mindblown with the entire concept of chalk being brought back to life, and they are hurting people.

All I can say is that, everything about this world is amazing! I love it.


The plot of this book was so easy to follow. I liked how it kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time. The thing about this book that's different from other books is that, everything is not always as easy at it seems. There is more to it that meets the eye.

This book is both plot and character driven. The more you read the book, the more you learn about the world and its characters.

I think the book was well-paced. Plus, there were no dull moments, even when there weren't any full-blown action happening, you still find the scenes enjoyable and entertaining. You would never get bored!


I was actually wishing for some sort romance in this book, because apparently, Brandon Sanderson has a talent for writing romance, believe it or not. He did a fantastic job in writing the romance aspect in The Final Empire, that I want to read more about how he would spin romance in all of his books, if it would have.

But this book, doesn't have romance. In a way, I was happy about that, because there was no unnecessary side plot that would deflect out attention from the main plot of the story.


- The world-building is amazing, as usual. I do not expect anything less from Sanderson.

- The characters were fleshed-out and well realized. There was a purpose to each and every one of them.

- All of the events that occured in this book were there for a reason. There wasn't any scene that was out of place.


- Brandon Sanderson's writing is nothing short of wonderful, brilliant, and amazing.

- The main villain, of this book at least, was not the one I was expecting. It was such a big WTF moment for me when I realized I got everything wrong.

- The books has illustrations to show you what the chalk defense and attacks look like. I felt it adds do much more to visualize the stuff they are doing with the chalk.


- It was pretty short for a Sanderson book. His books usually range between 500-800 pages, I think. I believe its because this book is geared more towards the younger audience.


Uhhhh... isn't it obvious that I loved everything about this book?

Okay there was one, but it's not even that annoying really.

This book suffered from one of those missing-parent-scenario, where the kid just gets to run around on his/her own because its either the parent is super busy, or they just don't care at all for their kid. But it wasn't terrible in this book; I kind of really liked his mother, to be honest.


If you guys haven't read anything from Brandon Sanderson, read one of his books. If you aren't ready for full-blown High Fantasy books, start with this one. The Rithmatist is an amazing read; I could mot recommend this book enough, to everyone!

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Reading Progress

February 21, 2016 – Started Reading
February 21, 2016 – Shelved
February 24, 2016 –
page 80
21.16% "Wow. Chalkings. Only you could make something as simple as chalk be so interesting, Sanderson. Only you."
February 24, 2016 –
page 180
47.62% "I love how intricate the magic system of this book is. Wow. Just wow."
March 10, 2016 –
page 300
79.37% "Almost done.... oh my!!! I wish it happens. I wish it fucking happens."
March 11, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Alejandro (new) - added it

Alejandro Awesome!!! :D

Green.T. Great review!

Sandra Green.T. wrote: "Great review!"

Thank you. :)

Pranta Ghosh Dastider Liking it so far. ^.^

Sandra Pranta wrote: "Liking it so far. ^.^"

Yay!!! Chalk. Never knew it could be so interesting. Damn.

Pranta Ghosh Dastider BlueLilyxLilyBlue wrote: "Pranta wrote: "Liking it so far. ^.^"

Yay!!! Chalk. Never knew it could be so interesting. Damn."

There is another story with graphics novel, and he works with sand magic there. This guy is a complete genius. He inspires me to think out of the box.

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