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Summary

From number-one New York Times best-selling author Brandon Sanderson: his debut novel for the young adult audience.

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.

Best-selling author Brandon Sanderson brings his unique brand of epic storytelling to the teen audience with an engrossing tale of danger and suspense. With his trademark skills in world-building, Sanderson has created a magic system that is so inventive and detailed that listeners who appreciate games of strategy and tactics just may want to bring Rithmatics to life in our world.

Brandon Sanderson was born in Nebraska in 1975. Since his first novel, the acclaimed Elantris, Sanderson has written the Mistborn series, the stand-alone novel Warbreaker and has become a New York Times best-selling author, hailed as the natural successor to Robert Jordan. Indeed, Sanderson was chosen by the Jordan estate to complete the Wheel of Time sequence following Jordan's death.

©2013 Brandon Sanderson (P)2013 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

"The Rithmatist, while it’s definitely as clear and exciting as a YA novel should be, is every bit as deep and richly invented as the best of Sanderson’s adult novels…. Sanderson at his best, for adults and young readers alike." (Orson Scott Card, New York Times best-selling author of Ender’s Game)
"Brandon Sanderson has created an ingenious new martial art where the chalk is mightier than the sword. In his alternative, dangerous version of the world, brave young soldiers must battle back dark forces armed with the nerves of a warrior and the skills of an artist. It’s a fun read with a unique take on fighting where if you can’t draw…you die." (D.J. MacHale, New York Times best-selling author of Pendragon and SYLO)
"There are very few authors about whom I can say, without a doubt, that I will read every single book they ever write. Brandon Sanderson is a member of that club. He’s brilliant and has an imagination I’ve only seen in the likes of Stephen King and J. K. Rowling." (James Dashner, New York Times best-selling author of The Maze Runner)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • El
  • 13-06-13

If it wasn't for you meddling kids....

Not as good as other Brandon books, but that may be that this is a y a book.
I had trouble imagining chalk drawings being a threat to anyone's life, and it sort of played out as a not so good, full metal alchemist, crossed with a Pokemon competition. And a war against chalk monsters. I guess they must live somewhere without rain.
Anyway as the story goes on it gets to a "if it wasnt for you meddling kids" moment but then ends before you realize it.
I suppose it's my fault listing to a y.a book but you have to try these things.
I look forward to Brandon returning to his adult books. And would still recommend and younger listeners to give it a try.
All his other books I gave a 5 but this is a 3 for me

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Robyn
  • attached to my headphones
  • 09-08-13

light entertainment - with Sanderson magic

Still not 100% convinced that chalk drawings are serious foe........but hey, who cares....it was still good fun, and worth spending an audible credit on. If you enjoy Sanderson's story-telling, and in need of some fun, light relief, then you won't be disappointed.

One thing Sanderson is never: predictable. Yes, it's not quite as strong as Stormlight, or the last WoT books, but still worthy of a listen. It has some humour, and, typically, a good solid twist near the end that leaves you wanting more. I'll be watching out for the sequel....

Thank you Mr Sanderson for keeping my commute tolerable.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jules
  • Ennis, Ireland
  • 08-11-13

Fantastic!

Would you listen to The Rithmatist again? Why?

Yes, because the story was so complex, filled with twists and turns, that I'd want to listen again to pick up areas that I missed first time round.

What other book might you compare The Rithmatist to, and why?

Ender's Game. The central heroes have a similar feel. They are both underdogs, but ones that are liked by other characters in the stories. You can't help but love them.

What does Michael Kramer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Michael Kramer's voice is becoming quite a familiar one for me, as I've listened through the majority of the Wheel of Time books with him, and listened to the Mistborn series. I like his skills at characterisation, and lose myself in the audible telling almost as much as if I were reading the book myself.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The battle moments in the book were very exciting, and the details made them very easy to imagine.

Any additional comments?

I'm now looking forward to listening to another Brandon Sanderson novel. He's pure genius!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good start to a new YA series

Brandon Sanderson does it again – yet another unique, in-depth magic system that left me wanting more. This time Brandon Sanderson tries his hands at young adult but is equally enjoyable for adults. Not my favourite from him, but I will definitely be listening to the sequels when they are available.

Story – 3.5/5

Wow – how many unique, easy to understand yet complex magic systems can one man come up with (apparently he has many more as well according to an interview). I get the impression that he develops the magic system, and then the story around it, but I could be wrong. If you like magic systems, then this book is definitely up your street.

This book reminded me a lot of Harry Potter actually. It is set in a school for magic users (or Rithmatists), weird things are happening around the school that a couple of students are helping to investigate, you still get your typical teenage issues that they like to moan about (teachers, what’s fair etc). In that respect you are not getting anything new. I would say though that the magic system is far superior. The limitations, rules and drawbacks are explained well enough in advance so that a powerful move cannot be overpowered later by an even more powerful one when the author decides he want to add something in a later book.


Performance – 4.5/5

Michael Kramer is probably my favourite narrator out there. Before I listened to anything of his, I was worried that his Southern USA accent would grate on me. It only takes about 10-15 minutes to get used to though and now I can enjoy some of the best fantasy novels on offer by a great voice actor and narrator.

There was one downfall of listening to this in audiobook form, there are clearly Rithmatic diagrams at the start of each chapter in the physical book that they attempt to explain on the audiobook. It didn’t detract from the overall story as you got a general gist, but I think seeing gives a more in depth understanding of the magic system. I got around this by looking up the diagrams on the internet when I wasn’t listening – I would recommend you do the same.


Overall – 4/5


Definitely suitable for adults – I am a 27 yr old man.

Apologies for the star ratings not matching the written review, I am forced to round halves on Audible.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Chalk This Up As A Success

I'd already read the ebook and thoroughly enjoyed it. When I saw this on offer I had to buy it.

The pace of the storey is spot on and the characters are mainly likeable, with the exception of one of the professors (but he's meant to be a target of your dislike).

Brandon Sanderson's range of magic systems is superb and this book contains a unique one. Well thought out and believable.

Overall a well recommended listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

Loving Brandon Sanderson for sometime now, I was happy to see a new book out by him and haven't been let down. Although this book is very light reading compared to some of his other books, it is fabulous in its complex detail.
Definately a YA Novel in context. But one of those classics that i don't think you need to be a certain age to enjoy it, thankfully...
I have greatly enjoyed the last 2days of listening and now am a bit at a loss for what to do and keep feeling the need to draw circles in chalk... Shame we have carpet to...
I will definately be listening to it again...
The only downside is that i think the book must be illustarted at the begining of each chapter and although it is described and detailed very well I want to see the lines...
I hope you get the same enjoyment as I have from this book.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another excellent outing with Sanderson & Kramer

Once again Brandon Sanderson shows off his fantastic imagination for creative and original magic systems, their complexity of use/execution and exciting play out. While Michael Kramer once again provides top notch 10/10 narration and dedicated effort in his voice acting.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating

A good arithmetic twist this book will probably rank along with Harry Potter and the Left Hand of God. Could not put it down.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • GhostMuppet
  • Stratford-Upon-Avon, United Kingdom
  • 04-06-14

Sanderson finds another hit formula

Brandon Sanderson is becoming one of my favourite writers at present. This is the first book in a series for young adults, but that shouldn't put you off. This was a light read before I stated Sanderson's Words of Radiance - which i am expecting to be a fairly heavy read.

The magic system used within this book is genius - Chalk drawings. It was nice to have details of the magic system described a little after every chapter. This allowed the reader to get up to speed with the magic system without a massive info dump at the beginning.

The story follows Joel, a student at a Rithmatist school. Even though he is not a Rithmatist himself, he is assigned to a professor to look into a number of recent incidents. Of course, no YA novel is complete unless it has a quirky opposite sex person, and this was filled in by Melody.
Together they work through a number of missions for their professor, sometimes getting into trouble while others finding the convenient clues that adults failed to notice. This is exactly what i would expect from this type of book.

I listened to the audiobook version and Michael Kramer did another sterling job. The only complaint is Michael's voices are very similar to his other audio records.

I will most certainly be on the lookout for the next book in this series.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

This is definately a YA (young adult) read...

Sanderson does Harry Potter. It was pitched a little to young for me. It's an okay read, not Sanderson's best and it seems he was a little lazy in knocking this one out - was a bit stuck for names and couldn't be bothered thinking up anything interesting.

Not one of Sanderson's best, nor most imaginative. Poor by his standards, but mediocre average by everybody else's.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 05-04-17

Pretty damn cool

I love Sandersons books, pretty much every one. I wasn't sure if getting into a Young Adult one like this was a good idea, but it didn't disappoint!

Like all of Sandersons works, this had a completely new and well thought out world and magic system, interesting characters and epic twists that get you stuck!

It's not the best Sanderson book after works like the way of kings and mistborn, but it's definitely worth a listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Alexander Ynema
  • 05-02-15

Not sure about this one.

This book is a little odd story wise. Chalk drawing fighting I'm not sure what to make of it. Well written and a good story but a bit of a stretch concept wise.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel
  • 04-08-14

A good story for Teens

What did you love best about The Rithmatist?

I enjoyed the new style of magic he created. Its detailed and realistic with a great twist waiting in the series.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I wouldn't - its perfectly aimed at the YA audience with enough creativity to be interesting and action to be engaging.

What about Michael Kramer’s performance did you like?

His ability to create tension is quite brilliant

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I think so as its quite short. I was left feeling like it could be a good series for easy listening.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed it as a gap-filler whilst I wait for a more serious fantasy to hit the shelves.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Melanie
  • 26-01-14

2D Chalk Monsters - not remotely scary!

I disliked this book for three main reasons.
1. The chalk monsters are 2D and not easy to envisage as malicious or dangerous.
2. Every chapter started with notes that accompany a diagram that we could not see as this was an audio version. It was a mixture of confusing and annoying.
3. The characters were very shallow and the ending was terrible.
The narrator did a passable job with the text he had and this made the book slightly easier to endure. I would not reccomend this as an interesting read.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sumit G.
  • 04-08-13

Good book!

Brandon Sanderson comes to young adult fiction finally.

Firstly, the magic. To an extent the magic in this one is similar to some of the Japnese manga cartoons where people battle using "playing cards".

Characters are interesting and very reminiscent of the mistborn series with particular characteristics defining people. Michael Kramer's narration also gives you the same feeling - but do note the sameness is in style not in the background or storyline. So, overall it's good.

Story is interesting, and covers an alternate dystopian world. But, it's interesting nonetheless. Some of the world weaving felt a bit strained and hence I've rated it as 4 stars rather than 5. I think the background could have been built up more particularly, the underlying politics and government structure/beliefs.

Overeall, it's a good book and I recommend it with the hope that the background storyline becomes more fleshed out in a sequel.