Book Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

“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?”

Yes, I had to choose another Dumbledore quote that tugs on my heartstrings! Prisoner of Azkaban has been my favorite book so far! So many exciting events, some serious danger, and some emotional reunions. We start off with learning about another unique part of the Wizarding World. Harry leaves the Dursleys after ‘inflating’ his aunt, and he takes the Night Bus, a magical triple-decker, to the Leaky Cauldron. Harry is greeted by the Minister of Magic as he arrives. He is more worried about Sirius Black than Harry’s misuse of magic outside the school, but he won’t admit that to Harry. He learns a bit later on that Sirius is tied to Voldemort, and he has escaped in search of Harry. With this warning, Harry, Ron, and Hermoine board the Hogwarts Express, and are on their way to their third year of school.

I am so happy to start seeing the darker side of the Wizarding World with this book. Right off the bat, the story takes a frightening turn as the Azkaban Guards, the Dementors, board the train in search of Sirius. These cloaked, tall, ancient creatures suck away all joy and happiness and bring up your most painful and sad memories. Harry hears the screams of his mother and passes out, only to be saved by the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Lupin. As they start their classes, Professor Lupin proves to be an awesome teacher. He quickly becomes one of my new favorites in the series. I love how he is developed throughout the book, and how important he becomes in the end. Our beloved Hagrid also gets the spot as the new teacher for Care of Magical Creatures. Hagrid’s class is fun and exciting at first, yet takes a dangerous turn after Malfoy says something stupid. Hagrid must face the consequences but I liked how this series of events turned out, and how it was tied into the main plot.

We see the story advancing so much, and the characters we know and love really start to grow. They start new classes, such as Divination. This class will give you a good laugh, and Professor Trelawney is hilariously awesome! Harry gains a lot in this book. He learns ‘Expecto Patronum’ and finds his Patronus, this is the only spell that can repel the Dementors. The best Quidditch match happens in this book, and Harry gets the Marauders Map! “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” Seriously, that map was a brilliant idea, and I love everything about it! This is the first book that is really packed with action and new things to learn about Harry’s world. We get a ton of backstory on his Dad, find out who Sirius really is, and how Lupin is tied into it all!

I love how everything ties together at the end, and even how some negative events turn out to be essential in how everything plays out. Plus, how could I forget? Time Travel!! The Time-Turner is one of my favorite little inventions I’ve learned about yet. I think this book is where Rowling really amps up the story, and things start to get juicy. The story becomes more intricate and the threat of Voldemort grows ever stronger. I think it will be difficult to replace this one as my favorite but there is still so much for me to read. Stay tuned to see what I think of Goblet of Fire!

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