I loved the first three Harry Potter novels and with each new book, I felt like it got a little better every time. I was unsure of whether this upward incline could continue into the fourth book, because I liked Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban a lot – but it did not fail to deliver and it got even better once again!
Harry Potter’s fourth year at Hogwarts is quite different to the previous ones, because this year Hogwarts is to play host to the Tri-Wizard Tournament, which consists of three dangerous tasks carried out by young wizards and witches from around the world. Harry Potter is not old enough to enter, but, somehow, somebody entered him and he finds himself having to take part in them all. All the while, something seems to be seriously wrong at the Ministry of Magic.
Once again, this book is full of extremely endearing characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione and Dumbledore are all as good as ever (though Ron is a bit silly this time) and there are a couple of new characters, such as Mad-Eye Moody a grumpy, unconventional new teacher and Winky – a house elf. Speaking of house elves, Hermione does a lot to try and secure equal rights from the house elves, which helps to cement her, for me, as the best of the main three characters. Meanwhile, Dobby also makes appearance (I always liked him a lot) and so does the comical Moaning Myrtle.
What makes this book better than the others is that it gives the world of Harry Potter some interesting developments. We learn a lot about the past and the days when Voldemort was still a current threat and we discover things about the wizarding world outside of the UK. These developments help to really immerse you in the world as you read onward – there’s also a strong sense of mystery, making it hard to stop reading as you hope to get just one more piece of the puzzle. It’s also worth mentioning that this story is a lot darker than the previous three, especially towards the end, helping you to take the whole world more seriously.
Overall, a really good read. A times it was funny, at times it was sad and at times it was downright scary. I can’t wait to read the next one. Rating: 9.5/10
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