Published on: July 8th 1999
Published by: Bloomsbury
Series: Harry Potter #3
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This book is part of the Harry Potter series. You can find my reviews for the rest of the series below:
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (Harry Potter #1)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5)
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7)
Harry Potter, along with his best friends, Ron and Hermione, is about to start his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry can’t wait to get back to school after the summer holidays. (Who wouldn’t if they lived with the horrible Dursleys?)
But when Harry gets to Hogwarts, the atmosphere is tense. There’s an escaped mass murderer on the loose, and the sinister prison guards of Azkaban have been called in to guard the school…
Before writing these reviews I made a list of a few things I loved from each one so I know what to write about, for this book I ended up with a whole page, so forgive me if this one is a little bit more intense then the others! I’ve done my best not to overload you with information!
I love this book because for me this is where it starts to get dark. I mean sure the last two books have had their horrors, but this book for me is the first one that you can feel this eery kind of darkness just creeping over you as you read it.
“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”
I love how this book starts with a bang, or at least someone being inflated! Although Harry has been through a lot in the first two books, which is probably more then most adult wizards will have to deal with in their lives, the start of this book reminds us just how young Harry is and that even though he has battled basilisks and evil wizards, even he can’t always keep control over his magic. This beginning of this book also introduces us to The Knight Bus, which you have to admit is a pretty cool thing, although probably not the most comfortable way to travel!
“You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?”
As if Hogwarts and Diagon Alley weren’t enough J.K.Rowling had to go and create a wizarding prison too with it’s own totally scary guards, the Dementors who spend the whole of this book guarding Hogwarts and protecting Harry from escaped prisoner Sirius Black. We can’t help but have sympathy for Harry who just wants to get on with his year as normal but is unable to due to the effects that the Dementors have on him. Having to hear his parents final moments must be such torture for him, but I think in a strange way he also gets a sense of comfort from it as he gets to hear his parents voices for the first time. His struggles with the Dementors lead him to learning some pretty impressive magic, the Patronus Charm, which has to be by far my favourite magic from the entire HP series.
“What you fear most of all is —fear. Very wise…”
I really like that this book takes a slight step back from Voldemort and concentrates more on the past. There are some big reveals in this book, and I really liked finding out more about Harry’s parents and their relationship with Sirius, Lupin and Peter Pettigrew. There is this great scene in the Shrieking Shack near the end of the book in which a lot is revealed and if there is anything that I want more of from the HP series it is for J.K.Rowling to go back and write a book about these characters when they were younger.
“The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”
Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs, the creators of the Marauders Map and one of my favourite magical objects of the HP series. I love the big reveal in this book when we find out who the creators of the map are, and I also really love how insulting the map is to Snape. The map is also especially important in this book as it is Harry’s key to Hogsmeade, the wizarding village just outside of Hogwarts that Harry does not have parental permission to visit. I loved Hogsmeade, especially Honeydukes. That sweet shop sounds like it was made just for me. And also The Three Broomsticks which sounds exactly like my local pub (minus the magical things flying round!).
“Don’t let the muggles get you down”
Harry, Ron and Hermione’s third year brings with it the addition of new classes. Divinination and Prof Trelawney have to be my favourite, just because of the pure ridiculousness of it all. Some of my favourite parts of the book involved Harry and Ron sat in their Divination classes trying to figure out what the blob of tea leaves in the bottom of a cup or the misty shapes in an orb were meant to mean, and then Trelawney’s totally over the top reaction as she revealed to Harry a new way in which he was going to die. Another favourite had to be Care of Magical Creatures taught by Hagrid. I know it sounds cheesy, but I was so proud of him and therefore so mad when Malfoy messed things up for him. The lesson involving Buckbeak, the Hippogriff was one of my favourites as I love learning about all these fascinating creatures that J.K. has created for us, which also feature in Prof Lupins Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons too.
“I dreamed I was buying new shoes last night,” said Ron. “What d’ya think that’s gonna mean?”
“Probably that you’re going to be eaten by a giant marshmallow or something,” said Harry.
Animals are very prominant in this book. From Crookshanks, Hermione’s “bandy-legged ginger cat with a bottlebrush tail and smooshed face” (such an amazing description) who is so important and ends up helping a lot of the characters in this book. Such a smart cat/part kneazle! To Scabber’s, who has been around since the very beginning and is revealed to be more then just a simple mouse. Animagus are also quite prominant in this book too, and whose background I really liked learning about. Oh, and there is a werewolf, because you can’t a a fantasy book without werewolves!
As I said above, I really like that this book steps away from the present day Voldemort stuff to have a look back at the past. Harry learns a lot about his parents and the circumstances surrounding their death. But he also manages to overcome his fear of the Dementors and adds a few more people to his family.
Re-Readability: I have lost count of the amount of times I have read this book
I would recommend this book to fans of: Fantasy, Magic, stories about Good vs Evil, stories about family and well, just everyone!