There are very few authors that spur me to purchase their books on the day they are released. One author, well at this point the only author that I will do this for, is Brandon Sanderson. Whenever I see one of his novels, novellas or short stories I immediately have a strong desire to place my hard earned money into his pocket. He is a phenomenal author; in every story of his that I have read he manages to place me into the worlds he creates. His characters are always well rounded with a realistic strengths and weaknesses, and The Rithmathist is no exception. I purchased the kindle book as soon as I saw that it was available, and then added the professional narration by Michael Kramer. And instantly I began listening to this newest creation of Sanderson.
Like all of his previous fantasy work, Sanderson has created an entirely new system of ‘magic’ for this new world. What would you do if pictures you drew in chalk came to life? There are a few in this world who gained this ability, they are known as Rithmatists. It is their responsibility to protect the rest of the isles from the deadly wild chalklings that pour out of The Tower located on the isle of Nebrask. These creatures, as you would imagine, are made entirely of chalk and they will eat the flesh from a man’s body. Once a Rithmatist graduates from one of the eight Rithmatic schools, they serve the isles on the front lines of Nebrask.
Within the first few ‘pages’ I was cheering for the main character, a non-Rithmatic student named Joel Saxon. He has managed to attend one of the most prestigious schools that teach Rithmatics in the United Isles of America. Joel, not to mention I, instantly take a dislike to the school’s newest employee, Professor Nalizar. He has recently returned from the front lines of Nebrask and has come to the school seeking to improve the education of Rithmatists; and, at the same time he ensures that non-rithmatist students like Joel are unable to interfere with that learning. Fortunately for Joel, he does manage to find a way to fulfill his greatest desire, studying Rithmatics, and he is able to do it with the school’s oldest and most beloved employees, Professor Fitch. In fact, if it were not for Joel’s dedication to what he believes is right, disaster would have fallen upon the people of the American Isles.
This story by itself is excellent; so the excellence of its narrator simply sealed the deal for me. With every word I was pulled deeper into the threats that permeated the story, which in turn drove me to find every spare second available to consume this story. I have come to expect nothing but excellence from Michael Kramer. I have never been dissatisfied letting his voice guide me through an author’s tapestry. Sanderson’s ending does leave the door open for further sequels which I fervently hope he explores and hopefully Michael Kramer is equally eager to offer his voice.