The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson : illustrations by Ben McSweeney

rithmatist  Lisa  Review by:  Lisa

Title:  The Rithmatist

Author:  Brandon Sanderson : illustrations by Ben McSweeney

Collection:  Teen Books

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, merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. 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 study 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.

At first, I was a bit skeptical about the premise of the story.  Chalklings, really?  But it was Brandon Sanderson’s name on the jacket that convinced me to give it a try.  In the end, the Rithmatist turns out to be a story well told.  Fans of fantasy are typically able to take a leap of faith to buy into the possibilities of magic in the world.  Joel and Melody are a charming pair, and the plot keeps you guessing.  I would recommend the Rithmatist to fans of Artemis Fowl and Harry Potter.

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