Faith in Books: The Rithmatist


The Rithmatist

By Brandon Sanderson; Illustrations by Ben McSweeney

Imagine a world where some people have the ability to fight battles with chalk, using geometric shapes and cartoon creatures sketched onto the ground. Now imagine that some of these creatures have become wild and are killing by eating the flesh right off of humans. Sound like a horror novel? This book is written for preteens!

I really liked how Sanderson creates a world that is both creatively original and believable. The main character, Joel, is so fixated on Rithmatists and everything Rithmatic, it is easy to see his glaring weakness even while appreciating his enthusiasm.  He does not seem to grasp why his mother works so hard or even how the truly rich around him with whom he goes to school really live. Of course, this is one of a series so we will have to wait until the next installment to see how he does.

What happens when God doesn’t call you to the future/path/your heart’s desire? What do you do when God has a different path for you than what you long for? Joel wants more than anything to be a Rithmatist but the Master (God) had not chosen him. Yet, everything about Ritmatists has Joel’s full attention. He only invests himself in those things that interest him. He deliberately fails on everything else. As a Christian, I need to be aware that God may not call me where I wish to go. God may have a very different path from the one that looks like the best fit. How I handle this creates an interesting journey.

I highly recommend this book despite some pretty scary scenes!

Happy reading,


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