Another summer has past and Harry has suffered through weeks or torment from his relatives, the Dursleys. News reaches him that a vicious murderer, Sirius Black, has escaped from prison. Soon he realizes that Black is more than just you're average criminal and his escape means danger for Harry. ***SPOILERS*** This is the first book that abandoned the formulaic big battle with Voldemort at the end of the story. Instead it delves into the deeper mythology of the story. We learn a bit about Harry's Dad's past and how it relates to Snape's grudge against Harry. Crookshanks, a cat the Hermione buys, is a huge character in this book. Rowling's description of him is perfect... "Its face looked grumpy and oddly squashed, as though it had run headlong into a brick wall." We find out that Crookshanks has been helping Sirius all along, which makes me wish Rowling had given a little more explanation about who the cat really is. How can he know so much if he's just a regular feline? Also, it's interesting the Rowling decided to let all of the students have pets if they want them. What if other students have pet allergies? There were some things, as always, that were lost when this one was turned into a film. In the book Harry volunteers to approach Buckbeak in Hagrid's first class. In the movie he's chosen against his will. That's a huge difference, because the book demonstrates Harry's kindness and value of Hagrid's friendship. There are a few big series points that are foreshadowed in this book. Professor Trelawney's prediction in Book 5 is referenced and Dumbledore comments on Pettigrew's debt to Harry, which is huge in the final book. We also meet both Cedric Diggory and Cho Chang for the first time. They are both Quidditch seekers for other teams. Cedric is friendly to Harry and treats him kindly even though he's the competition. I love that Rowling introduced these characters, so important in the upcoming books, before their story was crucial. She does a great job incorporating new characters into the fabric of the story early on. In this novel Neville is compared to Peter Pettigrew (before you know Peter is bad), which is interesting. It once again highlights Neville's honor. He chooses to stand up for what's right throughout the series, even though people often perceive him as a weaker character. The major thing I came away with from this re-read is Snape's story. Once you finish the series and learn his entire back story, this book becomes heartbreaking. You can see how painful it would be for him to have to work side-by-side with Lupin and see Sirius escape from Azkaban. Obviously he's not great at moving on and letting things go, but he also can't seem to catch a break. Even though his bitterness and sour disposition makes him hard to love, he still chooses the right side, even when it's incredibly difficult. A few things I'd forgotten about the third book: 1) The two weeks Harry spends by himself in Diagon Alley. He's only 13 and this is the first time in his life that he's really on his own. 2) Sir Cadogan, the humorous knight in a painting that takes over for the Fat Lady at the Griffidor common room entrance. 3) Hagrid tells Harry and Ron that their friendship with Hermione is more important than the things they're fighting with her about. This is a testament to Hagrid's character and his love for all of them. The movies tend to trivialize him and make him more of a quick joke, but he's such a great character.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Illustrated Edition (Hardcover)
Arrives by Thu, Jan 23
Ships to San Leandro, 1919 Davis St
- Publication Date: 2017-10-03
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About This Item
For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.
Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts . . . he's at Hogwarts."
Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Illustrated Edition (Hardcover)
Harry Potter (Hardcover)
Arthur A. Levine Books
|Number of Pages|
J K Rowling
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
10.70 x 9.10 x 1.60 Inches
I have to say upfront ...
I have to say upfront that this is easily my favourite of the Harry Potter books, so this review is likely to be extremely biased but I shall try to remain objective! Harry is in his third year at Hogwarts, and the big news is the escape of Sirius Black from Azkaban prison, a dangerous and deadly wizard. Harry learns that, for some reason, Sirius is after him. Due to the increased security at Hogwarts, Dumbledore has reluctantly allowed the Dementors - ghostly cloaked beings that suck the happiness from a person's soul and eventually drive them mad - to guard the castle. The book uncovers the mystery of who Black is and why he is so keen to find Harry at Hogwarts, while also dealing with the regular shenanigans of a Hogwarts school year. This book is where Rowling tightens up her act, in my opinion. The plot is excellently written with not too many of the loopholes that characterised the earlier two books. The use of the Time Turner was not too much of a McGuffin, especially since Hermione had been using it already during the school year. It was sleek and not too long, a fault of her later books. I enjoy reading Harry Potter books, but the later books definitely suffer from being longer than a few hundred pages. Here Rowling is forced to be efficient with her story, and it is all the more effective for it. By now the wizarding world is firmly established, but Rowling still manages to spice up the book with many lovely little details. We hear more about the lessons taken by the children, and some new classes are introduced, such as Care of Magical Creatures and Divination. Some of the little details are my very favourite moments in the book, such as when Hermione achieves over three hundred percent in her Muggle Studies class. I also love the throwaway line from during Ron and Harry's Charms exam: "Hermione had been right; Professor Flitwick did indeed test them on Cheering Charms. Harry slightly overdid his out of nerves and Ron, who was partnering him, ended up in fits of hysterical laughter and had to be led away to a quiet room for an hour before he was ready to perfom the Charm himself." This always makes me giggle. The village of Hogsmeade is another charming addition to Hogwarts, what with the sweet shop and the pub serving Butterbeer (which sounds delicious!). I do wonder at the fact that Hogsmeade has never been mentioned in two previous books though! Sometimes Rowling decides to add in features that have never cropped up previously and it can be a little jarring. And she does love the big reveal! Here we have Sirius and Lupin going over the events of twelve years ago AND covering some of their school days, including why Snape hates them so, in a long dialogue-heavy section. I feel that this could have been spread out across the book in a better way, so that it didn't come across as much as an explanation to bring us (the reader) up to speed. There were some wonderful new characters, such as Professor Lupin - I have always wished that he could have continued as the Defence of the Dark Arts teacher. However, I did not like Professor Trelawny much at all - the scenes in her classroom were dull and dragged for me. Finally, I would comment on the fact that Rowling cannot seem to write an exciting Quidditch match - they all seem to be Lee Jordan commenting on players throwing the ball to each other, and then Harry catches the Snitch in some weird and wonderful way. Mind, I don't think it would be easy to write an interesting football or rugby match into a novel either - they are just too dynamic for the written word. These are very minor niggles. In my view this is a richly entertaining and imaginative story, in which the main characters really develop. I appreciated the strong plotline. I cannot wait to read the next one!
Notorious mass murdere...
Notorious mass murderer Sirius Black has escaped from the most heavily guarded wizarding prison, Azkaban. Known to be a strong supporter of You-Know-Who, he's on his way to Hogwarts to get rid of the Boy-Who-Lived once and for all. But never mind Black, Harry's got his own problems just dealing with the dementors who are the appointed school "guardians" until Black has been caught. And why does Malfoy keep showing up, taunting Harry about Black and revenge? This is, hands down, my favorite book of the entire series. I think this is really when the series starts to take a turn for the more mature audience. I think we start to see a much darker side to many characters, Harry included - from his childish, petty desire to leaving Neville waiting for him in the library while he snuck out of the castle to the deep, burning desire to kill he begins to feel when he learns the lesser known story of Sirius Black's betrayal. Now that I'm reading this as an adult, I begin to see some of the moral themes Rowling has skillfully put into these books. Prominent in PoA is the theme of hate. She uses Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape to get her point across. Malfoy has a hatred of Harry, driven primarily by his upbringing and jealousy, and he hurts Harry in the worst way possible, through his friends. After an "attack" by Hagrid's hippogriff, Malfoy has his father declare the animal put down. Having my own pet, this would be a devastating announcement. Malfoy knows that the hippogriff didn't do anything dangerous, but he knows taking the life of this animal who means so much to Hagrid will hurt Harry. Spoilers: Severus Snape, an old school mate of Sirius Black, hates Black. He wants him to receive the worse punishment possible, regardless of the fact there is strong evidence Sirius is innocent. He refuses to even consider the possibility of there being another side to the story. End Spoilers: I think both Malfoy and Snape's hatred make them the most despicable characters in the entire book. Rowling makes both of them look utterly foolish in the moments they are consumed by their hatred, and she shows how much you can hurt someone and how lives can be ruined through hatred. The ending, of course, is a tragedy. Everyone wants Harry to get away from the Dursleys and he comes so close in this book that you can see the hope in his eyes. About ten years later, I still get slightly teary-eyed at the end of this book. I strongly encourage anyone who has not read these books and has any sort of fondness towards youth fiction to read this series. The story telling is delightful and the adventure will leave you breathless. EDIT: Another user pointed this out to me and I thought it was such a great point that I had to amend my review to put it in. Snape's hate of Sirius does come from somewhere. While at school, Sirius, James Potter, and two of their friends were horrible to Snape (and this is shown in much greater detail in later books). One particular prank almost resulted in Snape losing his life. Though Sirius, James, and Snape were just kids, these incidents left their marks. It left Snape so scarred inside that he abuses his position as teacher in order to make Harry, James's son, as miserable as possible, placing the sins of the father upon the shoulders of the son. In addition to that, Malfoy is a product of his environment, same as everyone else. He's been brought up in a world where money can get him everything and because of that, he can get away with anything, including murder. This would be primarily the fault of his own father. But then again, wouldn't Lucius's behavior be the result of how he was raised? The chain could continue in this fashion and in the end, everyone would be innocent because everyone was just raised wrong. Malfoy is only thirteen in this book. It's hard to say whether he's old enough to be held accountable for his actions or whether he's still too young to know how much he's hurting other people. I think this book forces us to look at the way we treat other people (as mentioned above, even Harry becomes petty in his treatment of Neville), but it also asks us to take a look at ourselves. We start as the product of our environment, but at some point we have to start taking responsibilities for our own actions. Snape had a horrible childhood, but he has to also step outside of that and grow up. He's not a child, but the grudge he's held all these years make him act like one. It's another reason I love this book: it makes us question the dividing line between innocent childhood and the responsibility of becoming an adult. Where does one end and the other begin?
This is my favorite bo...
This is my favorite book in the series. So many great things happen here, but I will not list them because *spoilers*. If you are reading the series in order (and why would you do otherwise?) then you should already love Rowling's writing style and the characters. We get new characters here who are all as wonderfully drawn as the core cast. The illustrations in this edition are fantastic. Jim Kay is amazing.
This is the third of s...
This is the third of seven books about a boy called Harry Potter, living with his Aunt, Uncle and cousin Dudley who make life rather awful. On his 11th birthday he learned a wonderful secret, he's a wizard, and started school at Hogwarts. We follow Harry as he makes friends and enemies and learns a little bit more about magic. After a little trouble at home, Harry runs away and gets a ride on the night bus, which takes him to the Leaky Cauldron, where much to his confusion and relief, he meets Cornelius Fudge the Minister of Magic who greets Harry warmly and doesn't expel him from school. Harry slowly learns more things about what is going on in the world and how an escaped prisoner from Azkaban, a Sirius Black, is tied into his fate. Harry continues to grow up and learn the world is not just black and white, there are some grays around the edges, and appearances aren't always what they seem. Another great story for kids and adults alike, Rowling once again keeps one guessing what will happen next.
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