In a world where trains, clocks and coins run on the power of gears and Rithmatists have the power to give life to two-dimensional chalk drawings, two students at Armedius Academy are set on a special assignment to help their professor track down the mysterious kidnapper of Rithmatic students. At the periphery of their case is the constant threat of wild chalkings — chalk drawings that run amok, overwhelming and killing anyone in their paths — that have devastated the territory of Nebrask and are now threatening all of the American Isles.
Such is the plot of "The Rithmatist," Brandon Sanderson's debut novel for the young adult genre. Sanderson, who lives in Utah and is a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author, is primarily known for his adult fantasy novels and as the author chosen to finish Robert Jordan's recently completed "Wheel of Time" series. He also teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University.
Sanderson's world is well drawn, with deep characters and a fully developed "magic" system. Complete with historical facts about the fictional world, the novel leaves the reader hungering for an as yet unpromised sequel. Additionally, it provokes the readers' thoughts about questions of courage and loyalty in the face of adversity, and leaves the readers on the edge of their seats at the somewhat creepy climax.
The language is clean and while there is evidence of violence, none of it is described.
"The Rithmatist" represents the successful transition of an adult novelist to the young adult fiction genre. Sanderson's creative plot and steam-punk-like world make for a novel enjoyable for adults as well as teenagers.
More information on Sanderson and his books can be found at www.brandonsanderson.com.
If you go
What: Brandon Sanderson book signing
When: Monday, June 3, 7 p.m.
Where: Provo Library, 550 N. University Ave, Provo
Note: Event is free; tickets are required and limited to four per person. Contact the library at 801-852-6661 for ticket information.
When: Saturday, June 22, noon-2 p.m.
Where: Costco, 273 E. 1000 North, Spanish Fork
Note: Must be a Costco member.