The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
I had so much fun reading this book. It’s a fantasy novel written for teens, set in an alternate America called the United Isles, as all the states and provinces are surrounded by water. Joel and Melody, both 16, are students at Armedius Academy in New Britannia (Virginia). Joel is fascinated by Rithmatic lore, but when his father, a chalkmaker died from a springwork train accident, Joel lost his best chance to be chosen as a Rithmatist. Rithmatists are trained at several academies in drawing geometric diagrams and figures in chalk, and fight two-dimensional duels in chalk when their drawings come to life. Melody comes from a family of talented Rithmatists, but must spend summer school tracing geometric diagrams for Professor Fitch. Joel gets assigned as the Professor’s research assistant, and both teens get involved in an investigation when Rithmatic students are kidnapped off campus. Is there a rogue Rithmatist, or have wild chalklings escaped the plains of Nebrask where Rithmatic graduates spend several years dueling them and protecting the rest of the United Isles?
Read and find out. A sequel is planned, now that the author has finished completing Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time saga. This is a refreshing, unpredictable change of pace from doorstop size fantasy books, and I’m looking forward to reading the next adventure of the Rithmatists. Discover more on the author’s website.