Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling


Harry Potter has just finished his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. That year was a dangerous time and saw several attacks on muggle-born students when an eidolon of Lord Voldemort opened the fabled Chamber of Secrets. Harry played a large role in saving the school and, as the summer holidays draw to a close, he's hoping for a quieter year.

Yet fate seems to have its own ideas and the notorious murderer Sirius Black has escaped from the wizard prison, Azkaban. Harry doesn't know why, but the Ministry of Magic has suddenly taken an unprecedented interest in his personal safety and he soon comes to suspect that the murderer may be connected with his past and the first war against Lord Voldemort. Harry and the staff of Hogwarts are on high alert, but Black has his own ideas and was a master trouble-maker when he studied there, knowing several ways into the school's grounds that even Dumbledore doesn't know exist . . .

The Good
The Prisoner of Azkaban was always my favourite Harry Potter book when I was growing up and that certainly hasn't changed now. Re-reading the story was very nostalgic and I quickly lost myself in Rowling's wonderful world of magic and imagination. Once again, Rowling's story is excellent, being well-paced and properly developed. Her characters are as dynamic and realistic as ever and the book doesn't lack for excitement.

One of the other things I really liked about this book is how it goes into Harry Potter's past and Rowling has begun to build a backstory for Harry's origins, of his parents and the first war against Lord Voldemort that is critical to the overall series, but is also fun and interesting to read about.

The Bad
Once again, there is nothing I didn't like about this book and even the hardest critic would struggle for negative points. Despite being a children's book, it still stands up to an adult's mind and is a real gem for all ages of reader alike.

My Thoughts
The Prisoner of Azkaban is a superb instalment of the Harry Potter series and did not disappoint me. The book is exciting and full of all the magic and characterisation that first made me fall in love the series all those years ago . . .

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