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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Welcome to your fourth year at Hogwarts.
This year is Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts. This year the school has brought back the Triwizard Tournament. There will be three schools competing in it: Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, Durmstrang Institute and obviously Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. However, this year it will be help in Hogwarts. but this year there was another twist: you had to be aged 17 or over to enter your name in the Goblet of Fire.
Everyone thought that is was going to be a fun year. But will it be for Harry Potter?
Read The Book To Find Out More!
This book is amazing especially Harry's second encounter with the reborn Lord Voldemort. It is imaginative and a book you can never forget after reading. It is certainly a book that everybody should pick up and read. Believe me, you will not regret it. Doesn't matter how old you are, it is still worth it.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the 4th book in the series about the character Harry Potter as he completes his education at Hogwarts School of Wizardry. Published in 2000, about one year after book 3 was published, this book is for me moving away from childrens fiction into young adult fiction at least due to the themes covered in the plot and the sheer size of the book. My version has the adult cover with a black and white imagae of a dragon rather than the cartoon picture shown above, and it comes in at a hefty 636 pages of text. I think that this one is most suitable for children who are competent readers, mature enough to deal with the content and able to concentrate for long enough. As a child, I would have tackled this towards the start of secondary school. My own sons will not be ready to tackle this one for many years yet.
Harry was a normal boy until he was 11, when he discovered that his parents were not killed in a car crash at all, but were murdered by a very powerful wizard who has been in hiding ever since. Once Harry re-entered the magical world, this wizard, Lord Voldemort has been gaining in strength and attempted to finish off Harry, but Harry has always managed to escape unharmed. In this novel, there are strong signs that Voldemort is getting stronger and trying to gain followers, so the wizarding community as a whole are rather nervous.
On my first read through of this book, I found the start of the book to be very tedious. I have read the book again a few times since, and it is only on my last re-read that I have started to see the relevance to the plot of the first 9 chapters in the book. Before that I felt that the author perhaps had gone off a bit self-indulgently at a tangent, causing the book to drag awfully for me.
A big thing in previous novels has been the sport of Quidditch, a game with balls played on broomsticks in the air. Harry is a natural at this game, so when he is invited to go to the Quidditch World Cup with his friends from school, and the Weasley family, he is over the moon to have chance to go. This provides an opportunity for some dangerous events to happen, and there are some big things that happen relevant to the plot of this novel and setting the scene for later books too.
There is a lot of description in this first 9 chapters, which to me has felt more than necessary, but the scene is nevertheless set well and you don't feel that anything is missed out.
I prefer this book when the students return to Hogwarts, and find out that this year there will be an international competition between 3 wizarding schools - Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang, with a champion from each school competing against each other in a Triwizard tournament. Over the course of the school year, the students must complete three challenges to win the competition, which is a much different tack to the approach the author has taken for the previous 3 years of school. I did find the description of these events very entertaining and educating about the magical world Rowling has created.
Some humour is attempted with the press releases that accompany this competition, and seeing descriptions of the new students from the two foreign schools and their teachers. I loved the blossoming relationship between Hagrid and the headmistress of Beauxbatons, Madame Maxime.
For the fourth year running, there is also a new Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher - this is beginning to get a bit of a series joke that there will be some issue with the teacher in this role meaning they will not continue beyond one year. This continues this year, though it is clear from the start that Mad Eye Moody has only taken on the role for this period of time anyway while the Triwizard competition takes place.
I found as this book progressed, I was amazed with where Rowling took the plot, and the darker tone is set for the rest of this series by the conclusion of this novel. I don't want to say anything that might be classed as a spoiler, but all I will say is that I didn't really see where it was going to go, so it was unexpected to me. At the same time as being dark, there are also some hopeful moments to ease the tension a bit.
Out of this series, I think this book will remain my least favourite, but I think that it is pivotal in the way that the plot progresses. Personally, I think it could have been quite heavily edited in the first section and been less than 500 pages and it would have been more meaningful to me.
You need to read it if you are working through the series, but for me, I need to tackle this in short bursts. I couldn't possibly keep reading in one go like the earlier books without losing interest a bit and concentrating on all the new events and characters.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Why read this one?
I have read the first instalments in this series of books and the magical tale with its fascinating characters has me hooked. I was eager to continue with the adventures of Harry Potter. The cover drew me in due to the fact that it includes a dragon and these mythical creatures fascinate me, always have done, and always will. The blurb is extremely intriguing and the praise from a number of sources is enthusiastic. I had little doubt that this would be fun.
Another birthday arrives and we see young Harry Potter join his friends as they attend the marvellous spectacle that is the Quidditch World Cup. The scene is set for exhilaration and everyone settles down to enjoy the game. The enjoyment will be short lived though as dark forces flow through these pages. A symbol is seen high above trees in the nearby forest which declares the return of the Dark Lord Voldermort. Harry will begin a year a Hogwarts like no other. He will take part in the newly reinstalled Triwizard competition which has had deadly results in previous years. He shouldn't have been in a position to enter but someone ensured he competed. This is the year that sees Harry Potter tested in ways that we have not witnessed before. Will he win through? Will he live to tell the tale?
Let the games begin.....
Much to my delight we have some fun with the Dursleys at the beginning of the prose. Once again Harry is treated to the delights of his estranged relatives: Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and the wonderfully colourful Dudley. To say that these people hate Harry Potter would be an understatement - yes that is how much they loathe their guest. Since the introduction of Sirius Black into Harry's life - as guardian - things have at least become more comfortable for Harry whilst he lives with the Dursleys over the summer. He has now been freed from the cupboard under the stairs and actually resides in a bedroom of his own - yes poor old Dudley had to give up his extra room...a shame. The humour that this situation provides is refreshing and even though we spend less time with this larger than life family in this tale there is enough to be lasting in my memory when I have finished reading the book. Rowling was inspired when she dreamt up this scenario as it is something that I consider a treat when beginning the book.
In contrast to the warm and comforting time spent with the Dursleys there is a dark passage that evolves in the early stages of the book. The prose has a more grown up feel to it in this section although it is still within the descriptors of the age group that it was intended for. The Dark Lord is making a move and has a plan that will end his weakness and bring him back to power. I was not expecting this kind of a start to the prose and was caught off guard - I was used to giggling at the chaos within the Dursley household, but here I was witnessing evil beginnings and my heart was in my mouth when a muggle (non magic human) investigates these evil intruders in the house that he maintains for his employers. Rowling takes to suspense writing easily and I soon settled in to this different kind of a read.
Harry is now 14 and it is within this book that he and Ron discover girls, though not the ones who we would think or want them to notice. Not in the beginning anyway. This coming of age theme is appropriate for this particular stage in the adventure and adds another interesting dimension to the prose. Ron and Hermione are with Harry at the Quidditch World Cup - an interesting and exciting concept. This scenario is a scene setter for lots of what is to follow in the prose. We are introduced to Winky, a house elf who has an important master that she cherishes. She is similar to Dobby, Harry's friend who is also an elf but no longer employed as a house elf. I find the elves appealing though can't quite work out their motives or loyalties at times - they keep me guessing. The usual fast paced game is infused with drama and daring feats and ends in a triumph that is celebrated loudly. The celebrations spill out of the arena and back to the campsite but everything will change on this night of joy. Death eaters (supporters of the Dark Lord) have come out to play - the sign of the Dark Lord is activated and seen by many - this causes panic and a time of chaos ensues which will result in serious accusations for someone. Rowling had me gripped, intrigued and frantically guessing at this point. I had so many questions and needed to digest what had just happened as she has created so much in such a short space of time....then she leaves me in anticipation as I discover that this year at Hogwarts is to be special, like no other that Harry, Ron or Hermione have seen - and they have seen a lot - I am turning the pages to find out what that is.
Three wizards. Just three. One from each school of wizardry and witchcraft. Will compete against each other in the Triwizard Cup. Can be any gender but must be 17 and over. That rules out the young trio then and Harry is relieved even though his ginger haired friend, Ron, is hungry for attention and glory. Hogwarts has two parties of visitors from schools a far, this is a welcome change and I am captivated by the guests. One in particular is Victor Klum and this is because Rowling has made him so very interesting - he is a whizz of a seeker in the game of Quidditch. Harry is a superb seeker too - I am wondering if she is setting them up against each other. But Klum plays for his country - he is 'that 'good! What chance will Harry have against him? Fleur Delaclour is another that catches my attention - she is beautiful as well as capable, this is my kind of female character. I have an idea that Rowling is going to shake things up big time in this book -this is the one that breaks the mould, the one that gets serious. I can feel it progressing in the pages. Dark things are coming. Someone is a traitor in the school but I can't work out whom? There is a sneaky reporter who is causing all kinds of trouble for Harry too - Rita Skeeter, slippery as a snake but a great addition to the bad guys of the prose.
Cedric Diggory of Hufflepuff is drawn to represent Hogwarts and is joined by the beautiful Fleur and the odd but magnificent Klum. I am a little deflated at this point because I wonder how Harry is going to figure in all the contest danger. I had expected him to somehow be drawn out, even though he is under age. But of course he is drawn out in addition to the three and all rules are about to change. I have my suspicions about Ludo Bagman - just don't trust the ex Quidditch player who loves himself. He is just too nice to Harry, I feel my skin crawl when he attempts to have quiet words with Harry - I urge Harry to run...as fast as he can from Bagman, for his life?? I don't know, there is something not right about that man. He is up to something and I despair when I see his name appear on the page within reach of Harry's.
I am pleased to see Hagrid within the prose - a favourite of mine this oversized, compassionate man. He looks out for Harry like he was his own son and speaking of looking out for Harry this prose will see the return of the wonderful Sirius Black - he is fast turning into a hero for me and I want him to come and protect his godson (Harry) but also don't as he is on the run for something he didn't do and only Dumbledore and Harry, Ron and Hermione are privy to that information. I worry about him when he is around even though I am captivated by him...the work of a good author. Rowling has also managed to get me to care about Harry, Ron and Hermione - and Hagrid and Dumbledore...and oddly Snape! Snape? The greasy, cunning, nasty potions guy who is always having a go at Potter? What has made me change my mind about this horrid man? There are subtle and not so subtle revelations in this prose and some in the last novel that have led me to have some attachment to this weird man...that tells me how good Rowling is, if she can get me to dislike a character and have no trust in them and then begin getting me to care for them....she has talent.
Malfoy has some sneaky tricks to play as the prose develops but is more in the background in this instalment - a dig here and there and the maintenance of his hate campaign against Harry keep the bad guy element of the book burning at just the right temperature and he is just as spiteful as ever...I'm not attached to him.
There is so much going on in this prose that I cannot put the book down; well I have to do but very reluctantly. The contests will test the nerve and capabilities of the competitors' big time and are not for the faint hearted. Dragons will feature at some point and of course that was a high point in the book for me and it turned out that it was for Harry too! I was disappointed to see Ron fall out with Harry because he was jealous of him competing - it was not very appealing and I found myself distancing myself from Ron for a while as his behaviour made me uncomfortable - I did think it believable and appropriate for the age though and it was not long before Harry was retaliating in much the same way. For some reason I didn't feel the same towards Harry which suggests that I am fonder of him that I am of Ron. Hermione will surprise Ron and Ron will surprise himself when the castle hosts a ball in tribute to the Triwizard contest - this was interesting and Ron settled himself back into my affection at some point during that time.
The final contest draws all the intrigue and plotting together - someone has been a very busy boy or girl haven't they! A finely crafted finale will see Harry come face to face with death and at the same time he will realise that the Dark Lord has risen - some will not believe this but it is only important that one person does ... will Harry convince that one person of this fact?
There is an event in this book that reduced me to tears and it was most unexpected. Rowling developed key characters and plotted perfectly to produce a fantastic, gripping outcome which resulted in a death - Harry's response was breath taking and my response was to cry! Not expected. It was a powerful, emotionally charged piece of writing.
Who stitched up Harry Potter? How will things turn out in the wizarding world? What will become of Hogwarts? Did Harry win the Triwizard cup? Has the Dark Lord risen and if he has just how powerful will he be? Does Harry need to be worried? The scar is hurting....run Harry Potter!
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It is five stars all the way for this coming of age prose that enters the dark side. Rowling continues the adventures of Potter with a powerful tale. The prose will see Harry maturing a little more, along with his close friends Ron and Hermione - some of it I found uncomfortable as Ron struggled with his jealously of Harry's fame but in the end he worked his way back into my heart. It also tells of new beginnings for Lord Voldermort - this provides excellent depth and dimension. This is the book that breaks from the enchanting nature of all things Potter and ventures into the realms of evil doings - I found it to be absorbing whilst maintaining a good pace and building up to fast page turning pace in all the right places. There will be sides to choose and this book is the beginning of change...a change in the grand scheme of things. Those at the top do not want to hear it but HE has risen and the choice will be to join him or fight. It's another masterful piece from Rowling...magnificent.
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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I can simply say to begin this review that the fourth instalment of the Harry Potter series is one of my favourites. I don't think I have a particular overall favourite, but the pros in this book definitely outweigh the parts I could do without! This is the first Harry Potter book that I went out and bought myself, but I don't remember getting it on the day so I wasn't quite the huge fan I am now - or I just hadn't been able to persuade a family member to take me to go and get it!
Now as this is the fourth time I do a brief synopsis of the Harry Potter series, I'm going to bullet point it instead, just to make things a little more interesting for those of you who have read my other three Harry Potter reviews! So:
* Harry Potter is an orphaned boy who discovered on his 11th birthday that he was a wizard
* He is famous as he survived the killing curse of the most evil and powerful wizard ever - Lord Voldemort - as well as appearing to defeat him at the same time. Did I mention he was a baby when he did this?
* His best friends are Hermione and Ron, and they all attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry
* Lord Voldemort is really, REALLY bad
I think one good thing about the Harry Potter books (although it can get a little tedious when you've read them a lot) is that JK Rowling is very good at the recap. In the first chapter or two usually, Harry's past and fame are recapped & explained, and usually any key points from the previous books get mentioned also. This is especially essential from this book inwards, as from about the end of the Prisoner of Azkaban (book 3), the story is very much intertwined, and it really helps to know what's going on. Although the recaps are usually quite good, so that you can usually pick up a book from any point in the series and very quickly know what you will need to know to understand the events of the book.
The Goblet of Fire begins with the Quidditch World Cup (it's a sport played on flying broomsticks - really wish it was a real sport!), which I absolutely love as you are introduced to witches and wizards of different ages and from different parts of the world, rather than just pupils in a British school. To be honest, a lot of this book allows the reader to experience the wizarding world from across the world - an expanding insight into the world of Harry Potter, really allowing the reader to get even deeper into the world JK Rowling has created. But I'm digressing slightly. The Goblet of Fire is part of a challenging competition, known as the Triwizard Tournament, consisting of three tasks that are set to test young wizards to their limits. This tournament is between Hogwarts and two other wizarding schools from different parts of the world, and has been re-started this year after being banned due to deaths. But despite all the teachers efforts, the Triwizard Tournament still has a deadly theme, as a mysterious person seems set to sabotage it and some participants - and there are a few dark surprises along the way for Harry and other students at Hogwarts this year.
After the events in Prisoner of Azkaban, this is definitely the book where the series gets really interesting. Before now, the books have been good, entertaining and an excellent read. But from here on in the stories are more intertwined and link on from each other, rather than the definitive endings seen in the first two books. The story is getting a lot more detailed, not just with the other wizarding cultures being added in, but with more character history and development occurring too (although you would hopefully expect this from a book in a series). Amongst the familiar faces, there are new characters, not just students but teachers and even bad guys. But not too many to make the story confusing (unlike with some TV shows). I feel that they add to the book, even if some just last for one book for many different reasons. But then again, I doubt they'd be in the book if they didn't add to it, as JK Rowling really seems to think these sorts of things through. That doesn't mean that some of the characters do not drive you up the wall, because they will - but they still fit in with the story and where the book and the main plot, and even Harry's character & its development, is heading towards.
I'm starting to feel a little sorry for Harry and his friends by this book - all they want to do is work towards their equivalent of GCSE, and enjoy life at a literally magical school. There are enough problems, like horrid or insane teachers to deal with, but they seem to have the worst luck in the world, and end up tangled up in seemingly deadly adventures every year...Who am I kidding, they love the adventures, and so do I. I love how as the series develops the adventures get more complex, more things lie in the balance with every book and every outcome.
The end of this book is so much of a cliff-hanger; it was awful having to wait months for the fifth book to be released and to find out what happened next. If you start reading the Harry Potters now, I'd say almost leave a little time between each book, because the suspense is part of the story. Having to wait for the next instalment made it all so much more thrilling, and dare I say it, magical. It's definitely advisable to wait - but that depends on how much you're enjoying it and how much self-control you can exert. If there had been no wait time between the books, I would have read them straight away, but in hindsight, I really think the wait between books made them more worthwhile.
I'm digressing slightly from the book itself, but it's hopefully clear to see how much I enjoy the series, especially the further into the series I get. One thing I would say that this book may need a bit of parental guidance - there are some elements that younger readers may find upsetting, so you may need to give it a read before deciding if it's suitable (and this isn't a ploy to get more people to read the books!). Even though there a darker elements to the book, there is still the humour and the friendships and everything else that make these books awesome. And, it's a big book, at least twice the size of Prisoner of Azkaban - can't get much better than that in my opinion, especially as a lot goes on in it, rather than the pages being filled with 'waffle'. As always, I recommend it - just with a bit of guidance for younger readers.
I've been a fan of Harry Potter for most of my childhood - I basically grew up with Harry Potter. I know most of the books nearly off by heart, that's how many times I've read them.
I feel that the books are far better than the films - the books give more detail and you actually know what's going on. The movies are pretty vague and you don't have a narrator telling you what's happening.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is yet another amazing book by JK Rowling. Harry returns to Hogwarts for his fourth year. This is the year of the Triwizard Tournament, where three magical schools, Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, come together at Hogwarts for a year of the Triwizard Tournament. One student from each school is picked by the Goblet of Fire to compete. Someone put Harry's name in the cup and he is picked, along with the three students, Cedric Diggory, Fleur Delacour and Viktor Krum. They have to do three tasks, spread out over the course of one academic year, and the last task determines who will win. Harry and Cedric get to the cup at the same time, grab the cup and get transported to a graveyard. They realize that the cup is a Portkey. Wormtail (Peter Pettigrew) appears in the graveyard, holding a small little body of Lord Voldemort in robes in his arms, and kills Diggory. He captures Harry, and then does a special potion to make Voldemort come back.
Harry and Voldemort duel, and Harry manages to escape from the graveyard, back to Hogwarts, with Cedric's body.
This book was really good, but I don't think it's one of JK Rowling's best books. I don't know why but I just didn't find it as interesting as the other books.
The fourth book in the Harry Potter series lives up to the high standard already set by J.K. Rowling. It is much longer than the previous books and it is also in this book than events take a much darker turn.
In his fourth year at Hogwarts Harry and his friends have to face the very dangerous Triwizard Tournament as well as another year of magical education. This book introduces 'Mad-Eye Moody', Cedric Diggory and Victor Krum, and sets Hermione on the road to a fight for elf rights. Harry and Ron also take their first steps into the world of girls as they are set the task of finding dates for the Yule Ball!
This book combines adventure and comedy really effectively and keeps you reading and wanting to know what is going to happen right to the end. I really enjoyed this book and in particular, now the characters are becoming teenagers, I enjoyed reading about their attempts at dating and in particular the sparks of romance that are clearly now emerging between Ron and Hermione.
Any Harry Potter fans will love this fourth instalment of the series, from the chilling opening chapter to the dramatic climax, this will get you hooked.
After surprising myself by just how much I enjoyed the first Two books in the series, I decided to plough straight in to the third instalment from the Harry Potter series, "the goblet of fire".
The book starts with Harry back residing with is dreaded relatives the Dursley's, nothing has changed as far as they are concerned, he is still the lesser child compared to there beloved child, and have no problem letting him now that fact.
Harry is waiting for a message from his best friend Ron's parents and fellow wizards and witches, to go and see the world cup quidditch match, when he has a most frightening dream concerning "he who shall not be named" (Lord Voldermort, wizard and all round bad guy!).
He convinces himself that even though his dream was incredibly vivid an he was awoken by the pain running through the scar that was given to him by the afore mentioned bad wizard, that there is nothing to worry about and concentrates on his first trip to a quidditch world cup (a wizards equivalent to a football game, but on brooms!).
Everything is hunky dory until the unthinkable happens, someone sets the dark mark into the sky, and a bunch of death eaters are found to be tormenting a human family, a coincidence....I think not!
Will Harry survive.....not if his enemies have anything to do with it and this is before school even starts!
This again was a real eye opening book for me, being a self confessed fan of the films I assumed that they followed quite true to the original text, with this just not being the case at all, though the main storyline being accurate, there is so much more information and detail to be had from the text itself.
Al the main characters return but this book reveals a few more details about the past lives of some of the more suspect characters, revealing them to be not as they would allow themselves to be portrayed.
There is a whole new onslaught of characters as, though many of them specific to this book due to a huge inter wizard competition run between the three main wizarding schools, this is a whole new level to the book but not something I will go into in much detail, one because I don't want to plot spoil and two because it is just far too complicated to explain!
The book is obviously aimed at children, though is slightly darker in content than the two previous books, with there being much more detail concentrating on specific curses that are supposedly banned by the ministry of magic, these causing death and intense pain, these are covered in great detail with even death being included, but I still feel quite confident enough to allow my 9 year old to read it.
Price wise this is available for around the £2.00 mark from www.amazon.co.uk
This book is full of the fantastical, magic and muggles, go on treat yourself!
Thanks for reading x
The fourth volume in the story of Harry Potter brings us to the Triwizard Tournament.
The schools of Beauxbatons in France and Durmstrang in Bulgaria come to Hogwarts for the Triwizard Tournament which used to be held every five years, although it has been a long, long time since the last one due to the death toll. Participants must be over seventeen years old, one will be chosen from each school by the Goblet of Fire. SO when a fourth competitor is chosen by the Goblet and it is thirteen year old Harry Potter there is shock and disapproval amongst the schools, and a great task ahead for the young, inexperienced wizard who now has to steal from a dragon, swim to the depths of the Great Lake and survive a maze.
But the question remains; how did his name make it into the cup guarded by an age line charm? And does it have anything to do with the reunion of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's followers?
The Goblet of Fire continues to up the thrill and excitement of the series as you begin to see that, rather than just being a lucky baby, he is actually a talented wizard as he is able to fulfil tasks deemed too difficult and dangerous for a magician of his age.
I liked the way the book started; instead of just droning on about Harry's terrible summer with the Dursleys, we being by hearing a bit of Tom Riddle's (You-Know-Who's) past; the fate of his family, and that he currently has a plan that involves Harry Potter. Starting the book in this way shows that the series is moving away from the happier books in the beginning and are getting darker.
Not only is it exciting to read how Harry copes with the danger of the task and the need for deduction powers, but you also see how unpopular he becomes when, against the rules, he is entered into the competition, with people making badges saying Potter stinks. It shows that despite being wizards and witches the students are just normal children, still prone to jealously and still characters that can be related too, even though they can do magic. The ball was also a nice touch as it had the same effect.
The one where Harry takes part in the Tri-wizard Tournament. The one where hormones start flying. The one where Voldemort grows ever stronger. The one where J K Rowling decided everyone needed more door-stops...
I want it said right from the beginning of this review that I adore the Harry Potter series in its entirety, but I do feel that some books are stronger than others. And this is one of the weakest in the series in my opinion.
For some reason, Rowling decided that she could no longer write her story in a few hundred pages - instead, we're presented with a positive brick of a book that stretches on for many hundreds more than I felt it should be. If all of the book had been written with the tight plotting and efficient writing of the Prisoner of Azkaban, I would have been immensely happy. However, there are long periods of "filler" and subplots that seem to go nowhere.
I couldn't believe that the whole section concerning the Quidditch World cup took a couple of hundred pages to go through. There were a lot of "and then...." teenage-diary moments. "And then Harry and Ron went upstairs. And then they went to sleep. And then they were woken up. And then they walked up the hill to the Portkey. And then they found their place in the campsite". A lot of this details could have been glossed over and shown to us through better writing.
It took another hundred or so before the Tri-wizard Tournament was introduced! I know that Rowling was building in certain events that were only revealed in their importance later on, but none of it was done in the same accomplished manner she achieved in the previous novel.
We were also subjected to two of her most common flaws. The first of these is introducing new items into the wizarding world to suit where the plot is going - here we had two new wizarding schools in the form of Durmstrang and Beauxbatons, Portkeys and Veritaserum. I just felt that, if I had been in Harry's position, either I would have asked whether Hogwarts was the only wizarding school or Hermione would have volunteered the information at an earlier stage. But Rowling needed to have other competitors for the Tournament, and so into the book they came. Portkeys were introduced at the beginning of the book so that Harry could be whisked away using one of them at the end. It is disappointing to see an author with such a high profile use such a lazy method.
Her second massive flaw is giant dialogue-heavy sections where she, again, tells rather than shows. Here we have three! Firstly, Rowling uses Sirius to info-dump heavily about Voldemort and his Death Eaters (another phrase that we have never heard before this book). Then she "introduces" the Pensieve (although I am more forgiving of this since they do not seem very common in the world of wizards) to info-dump about the trials of the Death Eaters and shows the fate of Barty Crouch's son. And finally we have a long dialogue section with Barty Crouch Jr where he is under the influence of Veritaserum (mentioned as a throwaway line by Snape so that it can be used later in the book!) and explains his actions over the course of the novel. This, again, is incredibly lazy and leads to sections of information overload.
As I have said, I feel that the novel could have been shorter and snappier. We could easily have lost the whole Liberation of the House Elfs subplot involving Hermione - it didn't really progress at all. The lessons describing the Blast-Ended Skrewts were tiresome and boring - something I never expected from sequences with Hagrid. Although I could see the use of Rita Skeeter and the newspapers imparting stories, I felt too much page space was given to her.
This review is starting to sound rather scathing, but I genuinely liked the book other than those issues I have raised above. There is the usual charm and warmth you gain from reading a Harry Potter book. Seeing the pupils from the different schools and the wizards at the Quidditch World Cup added a new depth to the world.
The end play with Voldemort was thrilling and extremely dark. I loved the tasks in the Tri-Wizard tournament.
I felt that Dumbledore really grew as a character in this book - I especially appreciated the lines where Dumbledore explodes into Moody's office and Harry can finally see why he is the only wizard that Voldemort fears. He is stern and immensely powerful - this is very strong writing. I felt that Snape also gained valuable "screentime" and the start of his ambiguous relationship with both sides of the wizarding battle is explored.
There were moments of comic delight in the book - principally because of the increasing hormones evident in Hogwarts. Ron and Hermione are the main source of this, and it is a delight to see that their bickering is starting to reveal true feelings.
To sum up - the Harry Potter series is a tour de force and a marvel to read, but sometimes you have to slog a little, and this book is one of the slogs. Moments of brilliance as usual, but some rather laboured writing and wouldn't have suffered from being a couple of hundred pages shorter.
This review has been posted to Floor to Ceiling Books
For anyone who is not aware of the Harry Potter series: this is the fourth book of seven. All seven centre on the title character and his experiences at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The first thing to say is that although it can be read on its own, I wouldn't recommend it. There is an underlying and ongoing plot that goes right through all seven books, and although it would make sense on its own, it would be possible to take much more from the book having read the first three first.
As a book in itself, it is what is expected of a Harry Potter, which is to say that there is a fair amount of action and adventure, as well as some comedy, mostly courtesy of Harry's best (wizard) friend, Ron.
The story sees Hogwarts School as the venue for the Triwizard tournament, intended to be a light-hearted way for young foreign witches and wizards to meet each other. However, more sinister happenings are afoot, and while the book explores some reasonably grown-up themes, it manages to keep children entertained, too.
It is a fairly long book (mine is 363 pages) which takes some time to get going, but having said that, my copy has been read and re-read many times, and the length seems necessary for how much happens in the story.
Overall, suitable for anyone aged about 8+, and a very enjoyable read, if not of the best literary value. I would still recommend it to anyone who hasn't yet read it, but only really in combination with the rest of the series.
A decent-sized Harry Potter book? Yes please. When Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was first released, its size was met with some criticism, mainly because it is essentially viewed as a children's story. I think this criticism is totally unfounded - this in an epic novel, and one which needs all 640 pages. So much happens in this book, so much needs to happen, why should anyone tell Rowling she should leave any of it out?
This is a really exciting, gripping, thrilling novel. It tells the story of sinister goings-on at Hogwarts, and has a semi-cliffhanger-ish ending - we really do NEED to know what happens next. To me, the wait for the fifth book seemed like forever. J.K. Rowling really knows how to captivate her readers.
Unlike the preceding three books, a large section at the start is devoted to the end of the summer holidays, before the term starts at Hogwarts. Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys go to the Quidditch World Cup, where bizarre things happen, and then they go back to school, where even more bizarre things happen.
I don't want to give too much away - all I will say is, if you haven't read it, do so right now. Please.
Life is tricky enough when you are 14 right? Try being Harry Potter. With Voldemort slowly returning, girls and freinds falling out Harry has a lot to deal with this year
This is a very long book. There are over 600 pages. The first 400 are little more than an account of everyday life in a magical landscape. The story wanders gently on. That's fine if you like your Harry Potter books to be a way of life, but if you like a tightly-told story you may feel a little impatient with it. On the other hand, when you finally get to the dramatic climax of the story, it is brilliantly told. Voldemort is revoltingly evil. Harry is pathetically vulnerable. And when their two wands link together in a surge of magical energy during the final duel, I was spellbound myself the whole way through.
This fourth book we see a much more personal Harry long gone are the days when Harry was scared of his aunt and uncle now he must contest with far greater struggles along with simply trying to grow up. We see a personable character who if youv'e kept up with the series so far you have grown to love and really feel for in this fourth book.
**Blurb** (from the back of the book)
"It is the summer holidays, and one night Harry Potter wakes up with his scar burning. He has had a strange dream, one that he can't help worrying about...until a timely invitation from Ron Weasley arrives: to nothing less than the Quidditch World Cup!
Soon Harry is reunited with Ron and Hermione and gasping at the thrills of an international Quidditch match. But then something horrible happens which casts a shadow over everybody, and Harry in particular... "
**Plot** (minor spoilers)
The book opens - curiously - outside of Harry's PoV, as we follow an old caretaker through a creepy house, overhearing things that he is not supposed to. This is an interesting way to open the book; as for the previous two we are immediately with Harry during the summer holidays. Not to fret, however, as we soon learn that this is a 'dream', or 'vision' of Harry's, and he is soon waking up at the Dursley's.
It's quite a while before we're back at Hogwarts, however, for there is the Quidditch World Cup to contend with. After being rescued by The Weasley's, Harry finds himself back at The Burrow for a short time, before being whisked off to a huge campsite that provides the location for the spectacular sports event. These chapters of the book are a treat for Quidditch fans, and there are some great moments of humour here as well - notably with Archie the nightgown wearing wizard, and the Veela.
Soon, however, things turn sour and mysterious hooded figures arrive at the campsite intent on destruction.
After the World Cup, it's back to school for Harry and co., and it seems that this year is going to be very different from the rest...Dumbledore informs the school that delegations from two other Wizarding schools - Durmstrang and Beauxbatons - will be arriving to participate in the Triwizard Tournament, and of course, this causes a storm of excitement throughout the school.
The remainder of the book covers the school year as the students from the other schools arrive, as our hero is chosen as the unlikely fourth champion, and as unexpected tasks - like asking a girl out on a date - crop up for the chosen one.
The three tasks make up the action-filled, adrenalin fuelled scenes, and like all of Rowling's work, the humour is top-notch. The Yule Ball at Christmas provides a very different scene to ones that we are used to in the Harry Potter books, and is definitely a delight.
But most importantly of all, the climax of the book is absolutely fantastic, and to a first time reader it will undoubtedly be shocking. The ending will make you feel despair, sadness, horror and a slight optimism all at once. All of the clues and hints dropped throughout the book make sense, and there's an "a-ha!" moment that you'll have either spotted or that will completely surprise you. You'll be left with the unwavering feeling of needing to read more, so imagine how the 'three year summer' felt whilst waiting for the fifth book to be released!
The final chapter of the book is called "The Beginning of the End", and there is definitely a sense of that in the final pages. We don't know where Harry will go from here, there is an overtone of darkness, and it truly does feel like the beginning of the end.
As well as the old favourites, there are several new characters introduced in this book, and some oft mentioned ones return.
We meet the apparently stoic Barty Crouch, who is a Ministry worker as well as one of the judges in the Triwizard Tournament. He's not a particularly likeable character, and there is more to him than there might at first seem...
Then there's the new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody. He comes across as ever so slightly insane, with his ever-present shouts of "Constant Vigilance!" and his tendency to show his students the Unforgivable Curses. However, like Barty Crouch, there is perhaps more to him than we at first think.
Dobby the House Elf returns in this book, this time as one of the Hogwarts elves who works in the kitchen. He's given a companion too - Winky, whose past is tied up with the main plot arc. Not especially important, but part of a sub-plot involving Hermione and an organisation named S.P.E.W.
Viktor Krum, Fleur Delacour and Cedric Diggory (the Durmstrang, Beauxbatons and Hogwarts champions respectively), also play a large part, and will continue to do so throughout the series.
Rowling's characters are always wonderfully realised, never two-dimensional and all have a personality of their own. All of the new characters introduced in this book show this, and you will come to love (and despise!) them.
Author: JK Rowling
Price: £6.99 (RRP)
The middle of the series, the centre of the arc, this is the book where things start turning darker, as we're properly introduced to Harry's main nemesis. Rowling's talent for injecting moments of comic relief balances the dark themes out, and we're introduced to some fantastic characters.
The premise of this book is Harry unwillingly gets entered into the wizarding world most prestigious event ' the triwizard tournament' by an unknown person or persons.
The main story-line being how Harry figures out how to prepare for the challenges to come, aided by his usual mix of friends in the school. We also get several new characters in this book and a very interesting opening chapter involving the Qudditch world cup finals.
In this book it JK continues her downward spiral of darkness and more serious tones and we see Lord voldemorts actual return to body form with the aid of 'Wormtongue' (as seen escaping at the end of prisoner of azkaban)
This is the fourth book in the Harry Potter series and has quite a different feel to all the others, mostly because the theme of the triwizard tournament takes center stage in the story and the three parts of the event really are the main focus points throughout.
Nice to see Moaning Mertle return as well as a bigger insight into the 'outisde of hogwarts' world. One particular interesting sub plot is the arrival of two other wizarding schools visiting hogwarts namely Durmstrang and Beauxbatons providing some interesting characters which appear in later books too.
Personally not my favorite of the series but they are all great in their own right, and this follows on nicely and provides a major plot point at the end of the book setting up 'The order Of The Phoenix' nicely.
The film adaptation isn't great fro those of you that haven't seen it.
This book is the fourth in the series, and joint first place with the seventh for my favourite Harry Potter book.
This book is much darker and more heart wrenching than any of the previous ones and at the same time much more interesting, witty, descriptive and romantic.
There are so many new characters in this installment, and so many more spells, and magical aspects to take in.
The story basically goes in the direction that, a Twi-wizard tournament is happening at Hogwarts, and any student over the age of 17 is allowed to apply to play as the school 'Champion', three schools are competing, Hogwarts, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons, with each school being allowed one champion to compete.
Students are warned quite chillingly that once their name is in the Goblet, it cannot be removed from the Goblet, and if the Goblet chooses them to compete then they are bound by a magical law to compete in the tri-wizard tournament, and the tournament is something not to be taken lightly, as it is very dangerous and has been banned from taking place for many years.
Harry is pleased just to sit back and watch the older students compete, as being only fourteen he does not have the option to put his name into the Goblet.
So imagine his surprise when the Goblet spits out his name along with 3 others.
Obviously the head teachers of the other schools are outraged as they think it is a trick of Dumbledore's to ensure that his school take the trophy, but Dumbledore himself suspects much darker happenings are afoot, and whoever signed Harry up for the tournament did it through dark magical trickery to endanger his life.
I find this book a really good read, and there are many interesting happenings, all of the tournament's challenges are really good to read, and the Yule Ball, as well as Hermione's latest elf rights expedition, makes it really funny and interesting, there are also a few more romantic elements to this book, such as Hermione and Ron's slight romance starting, and Harry's first interest becoming sparked.