Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J. K. Rowling


It's hard to imagine how much worse things could get for Harry Potter by the time we reach this, the last instalment in the series. At the beginning of The Deathly Hallows he is about to lose the protection afforded him by staying with his uncle and aunt. Voldemort's reign of terror sees the Death Eaters in control of the Ministry of Magic, Azkaban Prison, and the Daily Prophet. Many of the people who could have helped Harry are dead or beyond his reach, and even the Order of the Phoenix is not as secure as it once was.

Going back to Hogwarts is out of the question, so Harry goes on the run instead. Voldemort still seems as undefeatable as ever, with his soul split into pieces and safely hidden.

In addition Harry, Ron and Hermione are each left an apparently useless object in a will. It's yet another trail of clues, as if events weren't mysterious enough. Harry is left without guidance, frustrated that Dumbledore didn't see fit to let Harry in on his secrets. With Rita Skeeter publishing a damning book about Dumbledore's early life, Harry's confidence in the old wizard is shaken and he is beginning to think that he hardly knew his former headmaster at all.

The body count in The Deathly Hallows is high, with quite a lot of minor characters meeting their ends. This book has come a long way from the relatively safe atmosphere of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, where the good guys finished first and who won the Quidditch and the House Cup really mattered. The Deathly Hallows is the final episode in a series that has grown up with its readers, and it's a grittier book aimed at a more mature audience. The Death Eaters are fascists by another name, and the way they spread fear and insist on pure bloodlines will be familiar to anyone who has studied the build up to the Second World War.

J. K. Rowling is a consummate storyteller, and this is the sort of book you can read from dusk until dawn. You can't say it lacks pace. Rowling hasn't shied away from bringing us a big, spectacular ending. There's heroism, sacrifice and acts of bravery from those you expect it from, and those you don't. It's an ending that turns on all the waterworks, answers all the questions, and is a deeply satisfying conclusion to a landmark fantasy series.

Book Details

Year: 2007

Categories: Books

  YA     Fantasy
    Male Protagonist  

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5 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson
More about J K Rowling

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