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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)

Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways. For one thing, he hated the summer holidays more than any other time of the year. For another, he really wanted to do his homework, but was forced to do it in secret, in the dead of night. And he also happened to be a wizard.

Harry Potter, along with his best friends, Ron and Hermione, is about to start his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry can’t wait to get back to school after the summer holidays. (Who wouldn’t if they lived with the horrible Dursleys?) But when Harry gets to Hogwarts, the atmosphere is tense. There’s an escaped mass murderer on the loose, and the sinister prison guards of Azkaban have been called in to guard the school…”

I’ve been rereading the whole series, and probably will finish it when I get the chance. I really like the third book; it introduces a lot of amazing new characters like Sirius and Lupin. Also, of course, the awful dementors. I love Lupin as a character, and as it turns out The Prisoner of Azkaban is probably one of my favorites in the series, certainly of the earlier books. As I mentioned in my reviews of the first two novels, each subsequent books builds and builds on the foundation, and this is no exception; Harry learns about the existence of Sirius Black, and a lot of exciting new things happen. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban differs slightly in that Voldemort plays no direct role in the events; in all of the other books he’s trying to come back or trying to take power. In this one, Sirius Black is the main villain, or so everyone thinks. I actually like that aspect, it’s a bit different. 

We also meet Cho Chang, and a lot of great Quidditch games are played. Hogsmeade, Lupin’s excellent classes, the Marauder’s Map, the Firebolt, Patronuses…perhaps the reason I love this one so much is all the new things that are part of the lore. It’s a bit lighter than the later books, although there are still grim things going on, what with the dementors guarding the school. But it’s a bit of a break, at least for the reader who has already read the book many times before. 

As with all of the earlier books, it’s such a fast read; I sped through it, even though I already knew what was going to happen. I find that rereading the Harry Potter books is quite comforting; they’re like old friends you can just curl up with on a rainy night. Sometimes you just need a break, you know? And I certainly enjoyed it.

The last sequence in The Prisoner of Azkaban is quite fast-paced and frankly breathless; it’s superbly written so as to be suspenseful even if you already know exactly what happens. Prongs, Padfoot, Moony, and Wormtail, as they are known, are all quite interesting characters, and in this third book their friendship is delved into, though not as much as it will be later. 

I love rereading this series periodically (although I haven’t in a while), and am definitely glad that I decided to a few weekends ago. It was fun and an excellent way to pass the time.  

316 pages. 

Rating: *****

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