In The Rithmatist , Brandon Sanderson creates an alternate world where the ability to draw means life, protection, or possibly death. Living in the American Isles, Joel wishes for nothing more than to be a Rithmatist, but his hope seems out of reach. Even studying Rithmatics at Armedius Academy is reserved for a select and privileged few, but that doesn't prevent Joel from stealing learning where he can.
When wild chalklings invade Armedius Academy and Rithmatic students begin to disappear, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves caught up in the investigation. Sanderson starts his story slowly, spending more time on world building than storytelling. For non-fantasy enthusiasts, the beginning of the book may seem long, but the characters are worth following. Their story and development lead to a suspenseful conclusion with plenty of room for more adventure in the world of Rithmatics.