Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
author : J. K. Rowling
pages : [hardcover] 435
memorabe quote : “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”
favorite characters : sirius & harry
J. K. Rowling continues to bewitch readers everywhere with the third book in her magical Potter series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Harry’s ongoing exploits, along with those of his contemporaries, teachers, and relatives, are as imaginative, entertaining, and mysterious as ever. For during Harry’s third year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he must face his greatest challenge yet: a confrontation with Sirius Black, an escaped convict and madman who is rumored to be in cahoots with Harry’s archenemy, the Dark Wizard Lord Voldemort. This alone would be daunting enough, but Harry’s task is made even more trying when he discovers that Sirius is suspected of being the one who killed Harry’s parents.
For Harry, the Hogwarts campus has always been a sanctuary, but when Black escapes from the horrifying clutches of Azkaban Prison, all clues suggest the madman is headed for Hogwarts and Harry himself. As a result, the school starts to feel more like a prison than a sanctuary as Harry finds himself constantly watched and under guard. What’s more, the terrifying Dementors – the horrifying creatures who guard Azkaban Prison – are lurking about the campus looking for Black. And their effect on Harry is a devastating one.
Still, life at school offers plenty of distractions. Harry really likes the new teacher for Defense Against the Dark Arts, Professor Lupin, who might be able to teach Harry how to defend himself against the Dementors. But Professor Snape’s behavior toward Lupin has Harry wondering what secrets the two men are hiding. Harry’s friend Hermione is also acting very strangely. And, of course, there is the tension caused by the ongoing Quidditch competition between the Gryffindors and the Slytherins and the never-ending bullying of the Slytherin leader, Draco Malfoy.
One of Rowling’s greatest strengths is her ability to stack mystery upon mystery in a way that keeps the pages turning without frustrating the reader. Her clues are always fair and bountiful, but it’s easy to lose track of them in the midst of all the high suspense, spell-casting action, and unexpected plot twists. That’s okay, because Rowling ties it all neatly together at the end in a way that will leave readers snapping their fingers and muttering, “Oh yeah. Forgot about that one. How clever!”
I think that this is one of my favorite books from the Harry Potter series, if not my absolute favorite. I just love all of the characters who are added into this one and this ending is one of my favorites. Mainly because it doesn’t follow the typical pattern and Voldemort doesn’t try to kill everyone; Sirius is seen as the main threat throughout the major portion of the book. I love all of the plot twists, as usual, and was right with Harry through to the very end.
I like how in this one, Harry learns how to bend the rules for himself, but he also learns that there’s a fine line between what is harmless and what could be more detrimental than helpful. With everything he is provided with he could easily wreak havoc in the castle and yet he sticks to his morals and is the good character we all hoped he’d be. Even if that in itself can lead to more complications, as is evident by the end of the book.
If you haven’t read the Harry Potter series, go on and start now! You won’t regret it, especially this book. This is the one I always read through fastest because I love it so much!