It was the year 2000, I had been writing a fantasy novel for about a year and a big story was breaking on TV regarding the success of a new series called Harry Potter. It had made millions, had a movie deal signed and a fourth book to be released in a matter of months. Naturally I was interested.
100 pages in to The Philosopher’s Stone and I can’t tell you how disappointed I was. I wanted to put the book down. It was a simply written book for an 8 year old, and I wondered if the TV story had it wrong when they said it appeals to all ages. Despite my initial feelings, I was not about to ignore the fact that Rowling had already cracked the million dollar mark, so I continued reading. In this instance I am happy to admit when I am wrong. I loved the ending and the twists that JK Rowling expertly weaved into the storyline. Better yet, The Chamber of Secrets built on the characters, the story and the world of magic set up in book 1. And you know what? The series kept getting better and I became a massive fan!
In a nut shell these books detail the adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermione as they learn magic and battle dark wizards in Hogwarts – a school of witchcraft and wizardry. The complexities and nuances of each character are colourfully told in explicit detail. Even though the overall plot of the series is not difficult to guess that it all ends with the inevitable confrontation between the dark lord Voldemort and our young hero Harry, getting there and experiencing the adventure with the characters is fantastic.
People will have their favourites but for me Harry Potter plateaued with number 4 – The Goblet of Fire. This was a monstrous tome, much larger than its predecessors, yet the book moves along at a breathless pace. Book 4 has everything that we loved from the first three but ramps up the intensity by a factor of 10. The start opens with a quidditch game but instead of the usual Griffindor v Slytherin it’s the World Championships! Deadly tournaments, dragons, dark lords returning to power, brutal murder and love interests make this book the most memorable in my opinion.
The Harry Potter series is a tale of friendship, camaraderie, self discovery and above all, it’s really good fun. I thoroughly recommend it to everyone who loves reading. To everyone who loves fantasy, this is a MUST read. Give it a go!