Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows - J. K. Rowling


Dumbledore has fallen and the Order of the Phoenix has all but broken. None other than the treacherous Death Eater, Severus Snape, is now the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry and Harry Potter knows that his life will be forfeit if he should return to study there. Even if that was not the case, he knows that he has something much more important to do than continue with his magical education: Dumbledore entrusted him with what is perhaps the most important task of the age and, along with his friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, Harry must find and destroy each of Voldemort's Horcruxes. Harry is the Boy Who Lived and fate has prophesied that he must face Voldemort, for neither can live while the other survives.

Harry's task borders on the impossible and he's forced to become a fugitive on the run from Voldemort's Death Eaters and the Ministry of Magic, which the Dark Lord now controls. His life becomes challenging and full of danger, but Harry knows that he must face the adversity before him with a stout heart if he is to defeat Voldemort and finally put an end to his subjugation and terror campaign.

The Good
The Deathly Hallows is an interesting, exciting book that is certainly unique among the Harry Potter series. This is largely because Harry doesn't actually return to Hogwarts this year and most of the book involves his roaming of the British countryside. That being said, the book isn't boring in the slightest and it's as exciting as any of its predecessors, maybe even more so!

J. K. Rowling has proven her unparalleled ability to bring her characters to life once again and they are as real and engaging as ever. As well as adding to the scope and enjoyment of the story, this makes the inevitable deaths in the war against Voldemort all that more tragic and it's extremely difficult to read about the passing of characters that I kind of regard as actual friends!

I also particularly liked Rowling's epilogue, where she describes Harry and his wife, Ginny Weasley, dropping their children off at Platform Nine and Three Quarters so they can board the Hogwarts Express. This provides a nice little tease for what happens after the story and it's nice to know that even after all of the pain and death in the series as a whole, there is a happy ending at the end of it. I also like the way this scene continues the story forward via the new generation of students at Hogwarts and leaves room for the imagination to delve into what is happening at the school and what it would be like to study there yourself (which I think is one thing we've all secretly done and probably has a role in the series enormous success). It's also nice how Rowling doesn't actually say what Harry did after he defeated Lord Voldemort, leaving this open to the reader's interpretation. I like to think that Harry's seventh year at Hogwarts was so disrupted that he--along with his friends and the other students that were forced to flee the school for their lives--were allowed back to complete their education (where Professor Mcgonagall is the new headmistress), finally having a year of peace where evil doesn't rear its dark head. Once Harry graduated Hogwarts with his N.E.W.T.s, I've always liked the idea that he's so sick of fighting and war he sets aside his ambitions to be an auror in favour of the coveted life of a professional Quidditch player. Once his sporting career invariably wound down, I like to imagine Harry becoming the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, working in Hogwarts alongside his friend Neville Longbottom. Obviously, this is just how I like to imagine 'what comes after' and everyone will have their own ideas!

The Bad
Once again, Rowling's storytelling is excellent and The Deathly Hallows is the perfect ending to an outstanding series of fantasy and adventure that highlights the importance of friendship and love! I have just one fault with the book and that is it being the final instalment of the series! Don't get me wrong and Rowling concludes it perfectly, but I'm always disappointed that my great Harry Potter adventure is over and I have to find something else to read . . .

My Thoughts
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows is the perfect ending to Rowling's world renown series and I can't stress how good a job she has done with it. It's a real page turner, just like the other Harry Potter books and is a must read for anyone - Harry Potter is a definite must for anyone's education and should be added to your reading list immediately if you are only familiar with the series through the films.

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