The Rithmatist

  • by Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by Michael Kramer
  • 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Fantasy, 2014
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 - the first of a series. 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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Beware of the chalk!

Brandon Sanderson has once again crafted an excellent tale of suspense, mystery, and intrigue. This was only supplemented by the skilled voice acting of Michael Kramer. The only crime of this book is the short (10 hour) length!

-The Good-
1. Exceptionally detailed world that you can vividly imagine.
2. Dynamic characters brought to life by the voice acting.
3. Deeply engaging elements of religion, history, and human perception.
4. A compelling threat to Joel and a great villain.
5. An unforeseen twist that goes against your post-Harry Potter expectations.

-The Bad-
1. Just over 10 hours in length leaving the end feeling slightly rushed.
2. Untied strings of plot were left unexplained. I can only hope this means that a sequel is imminent.
3. The use of chalk as a main component of the story.

To summarize; this book is fantastic and worth the cost of admission. But prepare yourself for the ending and having to possibly wait for the conclusion of story.
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- Brandon


If asked to choose between Ender's Game and this book as my favorite, I would have a problem. This is so brilliantly written, so engaging, so entertaining, that it is hard to choose. Ender's Game is about space and I am more Sci-fi then Fantasy, but Ender does have some dead spots where this has none.

This is considered a Teen book, cause there is no sex and very little violence and the main character is sixteen. This 55 year old man loved it. It takes place at a University. It is pro learning for learning sake, not for grades. The teachers love teaching and I saw my wife who is a math teacher in some of these characters. (especially the geometry teacher who was compared to teaching his class like a coach giving a motivational speech. A teacher who continued to teach, even after the end of the year exams, because learning is so much fun!) Another cool concept which happens early in the story, is a teacher dueling another teacher, no violence involved, hard to describe, you must read to learn how. The result is better teachers, cause at anytime a teacher who is set in his or her way can be challenged by an upstart and the more knowledgeable will win. (Not that the more knowledgeable always makes the best teacher, some PHD's make terrible teachers.) The concept just blew my mind.

The book has some twists in it, that surprised me. Sanderson could have also taken the easy, popular way out in one incident, but he was above that, which in my mind, even though I wanted the character to get what he wanted, made the story more real and a much better story, which Sanderson made up for later. (A kind of George R.R. Martin Moment.)CHOCOLATE IS THE GREATEST INVENTION OF ALL TIME. Melody, is a character who you don't care for at first, but who you will end up loving. She is a total opposite to Joel, but she helps him to grow and he helps her in return. You will be routing for Joel to kiss her by the end of the book.

I love the alternate world Sanderson creates. If there is a weak point it would be the chalklings themselves. I found it hard to get scared over two-dimensional creatures and I was never sure of the size of these things. I believe they were only a couple of inches long. The audible comes with a PDF, but the map of the United Isles is not in it. That is in the hard cover. You will want a copy of the hard cover, it is a beautiful book, illustrated by Ben McSweeney. Like Card's map in his Hat Track series, it alone is interesting. You also must get this recording, for the voice of Michael Kramer. Kramer made famous for The Wheel of Time series is perfect for this book and he better do the sequels. Some reviewers have mentioned that the whole story is not complete. I disagree, all but one loose end is tied up and life goes on, does any story really end. I am 55 and my story is still going on. Joel and Melody are only sixteen, they have a lot of story to go.

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- Jim "The Impatient"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-14-2013
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio