Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Audiobook Review: The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

Title: The Rithmatist
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Author Info: Website|Blog|Twitter
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Audible.co.uk
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Michael Kramer
Publication Date: 28th May 2013

Tell Me About It
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.
My Thoughts
I have spotted The Rithmatist on other blogs and was very interested to see what it was about, when the chance came to review the audiobook I said yes immediatley, and as soon as the book was downloaded I began listening straight away, and every day, except the day I left my iPod at work, till I finished the book.

I was immediately drawn into the world Brandon has created, and whilst listening it reminded me slightly of the world of Harry Potter, just without the wizards, and wands.  Rithmatists have the ability to draw chalk lines and protect themselves and others from attack, until danger strikes and soon the Rithmatists are disappearing, leaving behind mysterious chalk lines and patterns that no one can make sense of.
I absolutely love the idea about how chalk gives the Rithmatists the ability to duel, draw Rithmatist lines for defence, and chalklings to attack others lines, where your ability to win is not determined by how physically strong and tough you are, but on how well you can draw your lines, defend them, and attack others lines.

Joel, the protagonist, isn't a Rithmatist but has the amazing ability to understand the lines and draw them perfectly, down to the last millimetre, and knows a lot about Rithmatic abilities.  He is drawn into this mystery as he is initially allowed to study under a professor, and ends up helping the professor study old census's trying to find clues into who could be responsible for the disappearances.  Unbeknown to the professor, and the police force called in to investigate, Joel turns out to be a remarkable help in working out the clues.
Melody, who is a Rithmatist, is another student under the same professor, who is there to study the lines and practise them over and over again to make herself better, isn't immediately a likeable character to me, but a we get to know her she soon grew on me and I looked forward to listening to the banter between Joel and Melody, and also see what this unlikely duo would get up to next.  I love how she is completely opposite Joel personality wise and in a situation that is dangerous to Joel, she is quick to be offended for not being invited to the 'party'.

As The Rithmatist progresses we learn more about Melody and Joel.  We learn about Melody s family and her background, and also why Joel isn't a Rithmatist, and my heart broke for him when I found out the truth.  When Melody suggests a possible solution to Joel's problem I wanted to hug her for actually caring about Joel and his dreams.

The Rithmatist was a surprising 'read' for me, from the synopsis alone it sounded interesting, but as I began to listen I found myself falling into this world hard and fast, reluctantly turning it off when I had to socialise with work colleagues in the staff room when all I wanted to do was keep listening.  The author not only draws you under his spell with the world he has created, but the narrator brings this world to life with the way he tells the story.  The different tones used for characters made it easy to distinguish who was speaking and hours would pass by quickly while I listened.

I enjoyed trying to guess who was responsible for the disappearances and why, and while I guessed the wrong character, I was correct in thinking there was something not quite right with him.  One thing I miss out on with the audiobooks is getting to see the diagrams of the lines that come before in each new chapter beginning.  The Rithmatist was a great read from start to finish, and I intend to pick up a physical copy soon so I get to have it on my shelf, and also so I get to see the drawings.

I also can't believe we have to wait till 2015 to find out what happens next........really......that long.....it's torture.


  1. Fab review Michelle! I was sent a freebie of this a few weeks back and I can't wait to get to it. The book looks amazing with all drawings inside.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Captured me from the first sentence! Plan on giving as holiday gifts this year. Completely intrigued by the story and anxiously await book two! Learn about Guided Rifle Montana Elk Hunting Trips Click Here


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