Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

Perhaps I’m biased due to hearing a lot of English Literature lecturers’ views on this, but it seems to me that the Harry Potter series of books has a reputation for being some bad series which only people who don’t read enough will enjoy. Frankly, this view seems to be quite snobbish to me, there are plenty of things to enjoy in this book and I feel that it has been very well written.

One thing which Rowling seems to be particularly good at is creating really beautiful looking fantasy locations. Often, in book form, it’s very hard for an author to describe really beautiful scenery without it just becoming really boring, but she manages to do this very well and it flows into the adventure quite nicely. It makes for very pleasurable reading.

Furthermore, the storyline is really rather nice; you’ll find all different kinds of fantasy creatures here, goblins, trolls, ghosts and so many others, all of them integrated into the world’s society somehow. The childlike way in which it suggests that there’s more to the world than the average person knows gives the book a real sense of adventure. Let me expand: as a child, the world seems such a huge and exciting place, but as you get older and you learn more about how things work, the world, though still nice, begins to look less and less exciting. But in this book that feeling is recreated when Harry discovers that there is a whole ‘magic’ part of the world which only the magic community knows about. His adventures after joining the magical Hogwarts School are all very enjoyable to read. If you’re interested in reading this series, but are unsure, then read this, the novel is very self-contained and it’s sure to be a nice experience for you.

An excellent fantasy story: 8/10

Buy it here.

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