Series: Rithmatist #1
Pages: 372 Paperback
Publisher: Tor UK
Release Date: 26th February 2015 (first published in 2013)
Source: Received from publisher in exchange for honest review
Buy it From: Amazon - Amazon UK - Waterstones
The Rithmatist, Brandon Sanderson's New York Times bestselling epic teen adventure is now available in paperback.
More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings. 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 learn 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.
You have no idea how much I’ve wanted a book like this to appear in my life. I’ve been searching for something new, something exciting, something awesome, and this book gave me all that and more.
The Rithmatist follows Joel during one of his school years at Armedius, a school that teaches both average and Rithmatist students. The Rithmatists are a group of people who are trained from the age of eight to be sent to battle on the frontline of Nebrask. They have the ability to bring chalk drawings to life, and use them to fight and defend.
Quite the unique concept for a story, isn’t it?
Let me start by saying that the characters are brilliant. I adored Joel from the first chapter. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book from the POV of a male character, and it’s something I always want to read more of in YA, so I was excited to read all about Joel and his life. What I loved about him was that he wasn’t a Rithmatist. Usually, if there is an ‘elite’ group of people in a story, the protagonist is usually one of them. Whereas Joel’s story was more about being on the outside, looking in. He was a delightful character to read about.
The people he meets in the story are all as equally wonderful. I loved the relationship he had with Professor Fitch, and it was always enjoyable to read scenes between the two of them. I also thought that his friendship with Melody worked beautifully. The bond that forms between the two of them over the course of the story was perfectly developed. I was definitely attached to the characters by the time I closed the book, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they grow throughout the series.
The plot was genius. I had no idea chalk could make for such an epic story. Rithmatics and chalklings were so unique and fascinating, and I loved learning about this new and exciting world. There are even illustrations on some of the pages to help show you more about the chalklings and Rithmatic lines. The history and details were well thought out, and explained brilliantly. I sometimes find that fantasy novels have a lot of backstory and world-building that is too intricate to follow, but this had the perfect balance.
One of the things I loved the most about this book was that it didn’t need romance. I can’t remember the last time I read a good YA story that didn’t focus heavily on a love interest. A lot of the time, the romance can take away from the actual storylines in fantasy and sci-fi. It was extremely refreshing to read an entire story without the presence of a love triangle.
There were also plenty of twists in the lead up to the final chapter. Definitely some revealing moments that I didn’t see coming! I love it when a story can keep you guessing right until the very end, and then still leave you wanting more.
I hate comparing books to others, but I think this is a perfect story for anyone that loves Harry Potter. It has that same magical feeling to it whilst reading. I missed the characters and the school from the moment I put the book down, and I can barely wait for the next installment.