The Rithmatist

The Rithmatist

By Brandon Sanderson; Ben McSweeney (Illustrator)

Tor Books, Hardcover, 9780765320322, 384pp.

Publication Date: May 14, 2013


From #1 "New York Times" bestselling 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.

Bestselling 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 that readers who appreciate games of strategy and tactics just may want to bring Rithmatics to life in our world.
A "Kirkus Reviews" Best Book of 2013 A "New York Times Book Review "Notable Children's Book of 2013.

About the Author
Brandon Sanderson is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Steelheart, the first book in the Reckoners series, and the internationally bestselling books in the Stormlight Archive and the Mistborn series. He was also chosen to com-plete Robert Jordan s The Wheel of Time series. His books have been published in more than twenty-five languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. He lives and writes in Utah. To learn more about Brandon and his books, visit him at and follow @brandsanderson on Twitter.

Praise For The Rithmatist

A New York Times Editors' Choice Selection


"Illustrations from McSweeney, fiesty characters, and a complex plot likely to unwind over several volumes, this high-spirited, exciting story will appeal to readers of all ages." - Publishers Weekly starred review

"Fantasy readers should devour this well-crafted mix of action and setup, enriched by thoroughly detailed cultural and historical background and capped by a distinctly unsettling twist." - Kirkus starred review

"The Rithmatist" contains some very good surprises on the way to a pleasingly nifty conclusion." - New York Times Book Review

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

“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 bestselling 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 bestselling author of The Maze Runner

“Brimming with wit, mystery, and enough ideas to make ten other books jealous, The Rithmatist is boldly entertaining and wildly original. Armedius Academy is the first magic school that really teaches magic—the chalk-based Rithmatics, both a mystic science and a delightful visual art—and I have never had more fun learning anything. The creepy climax had me on the edge of my seat, and the slam-bang finish made me stand up and cheer.”—Dan Wells, author of I Am Not a Serial Killer and Partials