Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: J.K. Rowing, May 23—June 5, 2016
My rating: ♦♦♦♦♦
It happened! God knows how, but Rowling somehow managed to top her Prisoner of Azkaban masterpiece with the latest instalment of Harry Potter.
There’s a definite feeling of progression in even thee opening moments of Goblet. For the first time, we don’t start at Privet Drive. For the first time, it’s not the incredibly angry moustache of Harry’s uncle that greets us. Oh, no. Instead, it’s a creepy ancient legend and a weak-but-not-dead Voldemort who kicks things off. From the outset, this is a grander, darker, more mature book.
The normal hilarity of Privet Drive, followed by an extended period at the Weasley’s The Burrows in the run-up to the Quidditch World Cup, which features (among others) Bulgarian Seeker Victor Krum, and Ministry of Magic grandees Ludo Bagman and Barty Crouch, all serve to give a greater insight into this fascinating world. Rowling has put so much thought into every aspect of wizarding life that it is immersive and completely realistic.
When we do finally reach Hogwarts, the pupils are joined by counterparts from two different magical schools as the trio of institutions compete in the prestigious Triwizard Tournament.
The tournament shapes the book, and serves as a porthole into the wider world once more, with the Ministry’s role being greater than in previous instalments. The previously easy dynamic between Harry, Hermione and Ron is fractured with jealousies all over. They are, in the midst of it all, adolescents and it is that gift of Rowling to construct a believable cast to experience her story.
Goblet is flawless: fascinating, dark and exciting. Opening, unusually, with a dark Voldemort scene and ending with a shocking twist, the game-changing midpoint of the series shows thing are about to get real.