Kiri's Reviews > The Rithmatist

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
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really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult

Reading this book is like eating a box of bonbons - fun, tasty, and addictive. I read it in two days. (Good thing it wasn't a box of bonbons.) The story is an engaging tale of a dream thwarted and a talent wasted (who doesn't immediately want Joel to become a Rithmatist?) that then takes a dark turn with several disappearances of Joel's fellow students. Joel is nothing if not persistent (perhaps even obsessive), and he worries and nibbles at the mystery until finally finding *himself* in danger.

The chalk-sketch magic system upon which the plot hinges (and the world depends) is interesting, and illustrator Ben McSweeney's sketches (especially his chalklings!) give the book an extra richness. (I have to wonder how those who listened to the audiobook fared!) Sanderson managed to strike a nice balance between just-a-novel and obscure-magic-reference-text.

Let me say again: the sketches are a delightful part of this book!

Characterization is rather light; most of the non-main characters are nothing more than names. Even the main characters seem to mostly have rather simplistic attitudes and motivations. But there is a deeper darkness moving underneath, and more complexity is hinted at. The chalkling armies are seriously creepy. Some details are never explained (perhaps held out for revelation in later books), but I didn't really mind, since it was effective in making me want to read the next book, when it is published. :) As just one teaser, page 171 slips in the word "indentured" to refer to Rithmatists without explaining it in any way. Indentured to what? Maybe we don't want Joel to become one after all!
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Reading Progress

September 1, 2018 – Started Reading
September 3, 2018 – Shelved
September 3, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
September 3, 2018 – Finished Reading

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