Book Review: The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

The Rithmatist (Rithmatist, #1)The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I swear this book bit me in the toe and just ate me up so effortlessly. Never mind that a lot of questions were unanswered, the plot, the writing, and the character development was just amazing. I didn’t know I’d like the book so much, but as I went on I felt like I was discovering another magical world, another Hogwarts.

It might seem like Harry Potter because it’s centered in a magical school and there are really cool and really evil professors. BUT. I never read about a nonmagical protagonist for a magical, fantasy book before AND I didn’t even think about Harry Potter because I was concentrated on Joel Saxon.

Although Joel might turn some people off by being a little like the know-it-all Hermoine, he was just so real. More real than any muggle in Hogwarts. His hardships, his enthusiasm, his loneliness, his anger, his thoughts, his instincts – he was created with so much depth that my heart went out to him. He made the story a good one like all great protagonists do.

Joel had never been a part of any of them, even the out-of-favor ones. They probably felt they were doing him a favor. They treated him with civility, laughed with him. But they didn’t include him.

Of course it comes down to the excellent writing that went to this book and, my God, I’m just shaking my head at disbelief for not having heard or read any of Brandon Sanderson’s books because, goodness gracious, he is such a good writer. The way he wrote this was wonderful so as to make it effortless to read. The way he developed the characters, the plot, the funny but not arrogant dialogues. Hell, the man wrote about monsters and defenses drawn from chalk and made it sound scary and cool. Chalk. Golly boogers.

They were each unique, tiny picturelike monsters with fangs, claws. They made no noise at all as they flooded into the hallway, hundreds of them, shaking and vibrating silently as they came for her.

I’m still reeling from the climax and the wonderful, wonderful work he did with this book. I also find it refreshing that the author steered away from the teenage romance routine that I just can’t stand in some YA books even when he had made an adorable, pretty girl for Joel’s friend. Thank Heaven and…chalks.

“We’re all freaks sometimes, Melody,” he replied. “You’re just … well, better at it than most.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Very flattering.”

I can’t wait to learn more about the world Brandon Sanderson built in this book in the sequel, which I hope will be as good or better than this one. I guess I’ll have to control my excitement until 2015. Right now, I’ll be happy with the thought that in the future I’ll read another book that will excite and inspire me the way books are supposed to.

View all my reviews


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