"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.
" - Goodreads
Reading the blurb of the Rithmatist, it may seem like you're going to go on a grand adventure with splendid magic; but it isn't so...For you see, the novel was very home-bound. In fact you only leave Armedius (where the bulk of the action takes place) once - and for a brief time at that. This is all fine up until halfway through, where slight stress signs start to show. By the end of the book? I don't know if Brandon Sanderson can write another novel in the same locale.
I don't want people to get me wrong, the campus was a very nice place. The author clearly took some time plotting it out, though it was a bit bland for my tastes. Armedius is Somewhat like Rowan if they started accepting non-magical beings into their school. (Complete with brick towers, main buildings, and a library)
What I will applaud Mr. Sanderson on, is the inventive concept of the Rithmatist. Which I should add, is what originally drew me to this title. Just imagine: living in a world where certain people could draw, and insert life into a 2D image, making these pictures alive. Isn't it amazing? My summary of course, is a great simplification of the author's magic system. Rithmatics (as shown by pictures between each chapter) is much more complex than I, or Joel understands.
On the topic of Joel, I found something funny about him. He wasn't the most authentic character, which I believe, as the main protagonist - he should be. There wasn't anything bad about it, I mean Melody has even less depth, but I felt there was room for improvement. On the opposite end, you have Professor Fitch, who played the role of an unorganised scholar. He was done well.
I am unsure if I'll read the sequel to the Rithmatist, as things were semi-concluded by the end of the novel, and I feel the magic has been used up. (Albeit, very well.) My only hope for the sequel is that someone uses "unorthodox methods".