Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier novels in the series. You can read my reviews of these books [here] and [here].

This is my 300th review. Yay! Thank-you to everyone who’s followed or otherwise supported this blog over the last three-and-a-bit years! To celebrate, I’m going to dip once again into J.K. Rowling’s magical world.

In case you’ve just returned from a lengthy stay on Mars, the Harry Potter series is known and loved across the world. It consists of seven main novels – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007). Since then, the series has also been expanded to include a couple of scripts – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (2016 – a sequel stage play) and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016 – a prequel film) – as well as a number of short companion books which further expand the world.

Harry is about to begin his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and couldn’t be more excited to get away from the abusive Dursleys for another year. However, things get off to a bad start when he accidentally blows up his Aunt Marge. Believing that his unauthorised use of magic will get him expelled, he flees into the night. However, he doesn’t get far before he encounters the Grim – the spectral black dog that is believed to bring death to all those who catch sight of it.

Harry manages to survive his encounter and soon meets the very relieved Minister of Magic. Everyone was especially worried about Harry as the infamous mass-murder, Sirius Black, has just escaped from Azkaban and they have reason to believe that Harry could be his next target. The safest place for him to remain is Hogwarts as the Dementors – Azkaban’s terrifying guards – have been posted at the school.

Yet the Dementors may not be enough to protect Harry. In his first Divinations class, Professor Trelawney predicts that Harry will soon die. As Black is sighted within the castle, it soon becomes clear that nowhere is safe. Yet just how is the killer sneaking past the guards? Could he be having help from the inside and, if so, who else has it in for Harry?

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

harry-potter-and-the-chamber-of-secrets

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. You can read my review of this novel [here].

It’s my 250th review. Hooray for me! To celebrate, I think it’s about time to continue my look at the Harry Potter series. As I said in the 200th anniversary post, please note that this is more of retrospective than a true review and so there are likely to be spoilers. You might want to stop reading here if you’ve never read the book.

Anyway, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was written by J.K. Rowling and first published in 1998. It is preceded by Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997) and followed by Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003), Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2005) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007). Since then, the series has been further expanded by a sequel play titled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (2016) and several companion books which provide further details about the magical world.

After his thrilling first year at Hogwarts, Harry finds it difficult to return to the Dursleys. Although his family are afraid of his new powers, they still find many ways to make his stay utterly miserable. As Harry’s best friends haven’t even bothered to write to him, he feels all the more isolated. Yet when Harry is visited in the night by a house elf named Dobby, he learns why. Dobby has been keeping Harry’s mail from him to make him believe that he is unwanted. The elf claims that this is because there are new dangers at the school, ones that will threaten Harry’s life if he’s to return.

Yet this isn’t enough to keep Harry from his studies. Ignoring Dobby’s warnings, he returns to school and is happy to resume to his classes. Everything seems as safe and normal as one would usually expect from a magical school until Harry starts to hear a sinister voice that no one else does. Shortly afterwards Mrs Norris is attacked and a threatening message appears on the wall, warning any muggle-borns that the Heir of Slytherin is out to get them.

As more people are attacked, it soon becomes up to Harry, Ron and Hermione to discover who is guilty. Yet things become more complicated when Harry unearths evidence that implicates one of his closest friends…

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

It’s my 200th review. Yay! To celebrate both this and my two year anniversary, I’ve decided to do something a little special. Today, I’m going to be looking at one of the novels that I originally said I’d never review. This post is going to focus on the first book of the series only, without reference to its sequels, and is likely to contain major spoilers. You have been warned.

If you haven’t heard of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (published in America as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone), where have you been living for the last two decades? Penned by J.K. Rowling and originally published in 1997, it really took the whole world by storm. The story was soon followed by its sequels: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003), Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2005) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007). In addition to this, Rowling published three short companion books for charity: Quidditch Through the Ages (2001), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2001) and The Tales of Beedle the Bard (2008).

Harry Potter has always grown up as an unwanted child. His Aunt and Uncle – Vernon and Petunia Dursley – took him in after his parents were killed but only did so grudgingly. Determined to not spend a penny more than they have to on their unwanted nephew, they force him to sleep in the cupboard under the stairs and watch as they dote over their disgusting son, Dudley.

However, things soon change when Harry receives a letter inviting him to study at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. It turns out that both Harry’s parents were magical and so he’s bound to be as well. It’s not long before he’s whisked off into a world that he never knew existed. He makes his first real friends – Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger – as he slowly begins to learn how to cast spells.

But it’s not all fun and games at Hogwarts. There is a secret hidden deep within the school and Harry’s sure that the potions master, Professor Snape, is trying to steal it for himself. As none of the other teachers will believe him, Harry, Ron and Hermione decide that they have no choice but to find out what Snape is up to and put a stop to it.

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