Science fiction and fantasy
The Tales of Beedle the Bard
by J. K. Rowling
The commentary is peppered with spoilers and clues which mean that this is best read after The Deathly Hallows. Given that the final episode of Harry's adventures is a book for more mature teens, The Tales of Beedle the Bard seems a little oddly targeted. Yet the tales on their own are suitable for reading aloud to children who are too young to enjoy the books independently. This book seems to be trying to appeal to two separate age groups, but by trying to please both younger and older readers it may end up with less to offer to both groups.
Fortunately, like all of the best fairy stories these ones don't pull any punches or hold back on the gruesome details. "The Warlock's Hairy Heart" is especially bloody, but all of the tales have an element of colour or even horror that takes them away from the sickly-sweet realm that many kids' stories end up in.
This collection is entertaining in its way, but it's not J. K. Rowling at her funniest or most moving. Luckily Rowling is still pretty good even when she isn't at her peak, but the author is clearly more at home with longer novels. The Tales of Beedle the Bard don't have the gloss or detail that made the rest of the Harry Potter series so enjoyable. Nevertheless these are five tales that are told with originality and quirky charm, with something to delight readers of various ages.
If you like this, try:Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 by David Yates
Will Harry survive his confrontation against Voldemort in the final part of his magical adventures?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 by David Yates
Harry Potter takes time out to go camping whilst Voldemort tortures his plastic surgeon.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by David Yates
Harry faces his fifth year at Hogwarts and the terror of exams, Death Eaters, and a sadistic teacher obsessed with kittens.
Review © Ros Jackson
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