Brief Book Review | The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Brief Review: The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingDo I need to put a summary? Who hasn’t read it?

This certainly isn’t the first occasion I’ve had to read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but this time I enjoyed it through the eyes of my daughters (7 and 4). It’s almost, but not quite, too old for them, and I’m sure that I’ll be able to read it again to the younger of the two in a few years. The older loved it, and she gets what’s going on, though the vocabulary was occasionally above her age. Every night found her on the edge of her bed while I read, rapt with attention.

And rapt she should be. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a step up from Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets. J.K. Rowling has hit her stride, and she’s ready to go beyond a stand alone tale to begin to foreshadow the themes and introduce the secondary characters that will fill the remainder of the series. We begin to learn about Severus Snape’s rivalry with Harry’s father, and Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew take prominent roles. Dumbledore demonstrates his increasing trust in Harry and Hermoine, and Harry learns more about his father, as well as about himself. He’s no longer a child, but has become comfortable in his place in the magical world, to thrive even.

The result is a series of stunning scenes, disguising a substantial bit of back story, exciting and full of intrigue. Rowling does a great job of placing her hooks, and with each revelation, she lays another hook to keep the reader flipping pages.

My girls may be too young for the next installment–Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire–and that makes me a little sad. We’ve had a lot of fun reading the first three novels over the last year or so. They’ve loved the stories, the characters, and the artwork (yes, the art. They make me hold up the first page of each chapter while they make predictions about who is in it and why, and they’ve been parsing out the cover art as the story progresses. It’s beautiful and a fantastic addition to the book).

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Book Cover Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter #3
Young Adult - Fantasy
Scholastic Paperbacks
October 1, 2001

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 Azkban 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.

About Daniel

Daniel Burton lives in Salt Lake County, Utah, where he practices law by day and everything else by night. He reads about history, politics, and current events, as well as more serious genres such as science fiction and fantasy. You can also follow him on his blog where he muses on politics, the law, books and ideas.