More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings.
As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing. Assigned to help, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery—one that will change Rithmatics—and their world—forever.
Joel is fascinated by the art of Rithmatics — with its lines of power and ability to bring chalk drawings to life — but only a few have the gift and he is not one of them. When Rithmatic students from Joel's school start disappearing, he is keen to investigate.
Since he's not a Rithmatist, Joel seems to be safe — but others are dying. Can he find the killer before the killer realizes just what a threat Joel really is?