Author:J. K. Rowling (Bio) | Publication: August 1, 2000 by: Scholastic Press | Series: Harry Potter Series #4 | Length: 752 pages | Genre: Young Adult/Teen, Fiction, Magic, | ISBN:9780439139595 |Source: Amazon | Book: Amazon (here)
Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup. He wants to find out about the mysterious event that’s supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal – even by wizarding standards. And in his case, different can be deadly.
For most school age children the summer holidays mean freedom and ample amounts of relaxation. For Harry Potter it is a means another miserable summer with the Dursleys, who for all intensive purposes treat Harry as if he is a plague on their family for even existing. After getting their permission to go to the Qudditch World Cup and witnessing first hand the first sighting of the Dark Lord’s mark for the first time in 14 years Harry knows that his school year will be anything but normal. Upon returning to school the Tri-Wizard Tournament is announced and Harry is mysteriously chosen to compete with representatives from other sounds in spite of the rules put in place to forbid this. Somehow Harry barely scapes through the first two tasks and makes it to the third with very little effort put in on his part. Even the third task appears to be a breeze until he tries to share the fame of winning with Cedric Diggory. He and Cedric are taken to the grave of Voldemort’s father where Cedric is murdered and Harry watches Voldemort come back from his shell of an existence since his defeat at Harry’ hands. Harry is forced to duel with Lord Voldemort and is able to escape with Cedric’s body thanks to his and Voldemort’s wands being derived from Fawkes’s tail feather. After arriving back at school Mad Eye Moody escorts Harry back to his office to find out exactly what happened in the graveyard. It is here that Moody admits to fixing the entire tournament so that Harry would win to meet the Dark Lord. Dumbledore bursts in and with a bit of veritaserum the Moody in front of them is revealed to be Barty Crouch Jr. who was indeed a faithful servant of Voldemort. After Harry is forced to rest and heads back home to the Dursleys knowing that nothing will be the same.
I appreciated this book in the series for multiple different reasons, but I’ll start with the fact that is shows how much Harry really relies on his friends. Harry is really just a plain jane wizard if you away the Voldemort attack. His is without a doubt an extremely exceptional Qudditch player and can outrun hell on a broom, but that’s it. Moody basically held his hand completely through the first task that he was completely unprepared for. Only Hermione helping him practice got him through that. Again the second task goes to Moody and the third task I suppose Moody and Hermione must share the cake. This fact of Harry’s lack of care for his education and preparedness is more evident in this book than any of it’s predecessors. The second thing this book did that I really enjoyed was that it called attention to the fact of how crappy being Harry’s best friend had to be for Ron. I imagine it’s like living in the shadow of a celebrity or in Ron’s case a famous brother. I did not once fault Ron for being upset with Harry and was surprised that it took this long for J.K. to address that elephant in the room. The last thing I want to call attention to is the resurrection of the Dark Lord. J.K., well done milady. It was classy and such a well thought out ritual. I was floured that after all this time I had forgotten how much thought and effort had to go into the entire graveyard scene and setup to make it work the way it did. My only complaint was the length. I think this was dragged out a tiny bit.
As with the previous three reviews this was my first time listening to the Stephen Fry version of this book. In my opinion I feel as if he reads the story exactly as J.K. hears it in her head. Although this may seem trivial to some understanding how the book sounds from the author’s point of view is pretty cool.
Harry again finds himself in over his head and worst than he’s ever seen before. If you thought the first three books in the series were good, just want until you dig into this one.
A link to the author’s bio is listed above as well a link to purchase the book. The fourth was riveting and of course exciting. Moving on to the next in the battle between good and evil and what that means for Harry.
I rated this book a 5/5.