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Member Name: dawnymarie
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Book 4 - J.K. Rowling
Date: 02/11/12, updated on 02/11/12 (114 review reads)
Advantages: Powerful prose that enters the dark side
Why read this one?
I have read the first instalments in this series of books and the magical tale with its fascinating characters has me hooked. I was eager to continue with the adventures of Harry Potter. The cover drew me in due to the fact that it includes a dragon and these mythical creatures fascinate me, always have done, and always will. The blurb is extremely intriguing and the praise from a number of sources is enthusiastic. I had little doubt that this would be fun.
Another birthday arrives and we see young Harry Potter join his friends as they attend the marvellous spectacle that is the Quidditch World Cup. The scene is set for exhilaration and everyone settles down to enjoy the game. The enjoyment will be short lived though as dark forces flow through these pages. A symbol is seen high above trees in the nearby forest which declares the return of the Dark Lord Voldermort. Harry will begin a year a Hogwarts like no other. He will take part in the newly reinstalled Triwizard competition which has had deadly results in previous years. He shouldn't have been in a position to enter but someone ensured he competed. This is the year that sees Harry Potter tested in ways that we have not witnessed before. Will he win through? Will he live to tell the tale?
Let the games begin.....
Much to my delight we have some fun with the Dursleys at the beginning of the prose. Once again Harry is treated to the delights of his estranged relatives: Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and the wonderfully colourful Dudley. To say that these people hate Harry Potter would be an understatement - yes that is how much they loathe their guest. Since the introduction of Sirius Black into Harry's life - as guardian - things have at least become more comfortable for Harry whilst he lives with the Dursleys over the summer. He has now been freed from the cupboard under the stairs and actually resides in a bedroom of his own - yes poor old Dudley had to give up his extra room...a shame. The humour that this situation provides is refreshing and even though we spend less time with this larger than life family in this tale there is enough to be lasting in my memory when I have finished reading the book. Rowling was inspired when she dreamt up this scenario as it is something that I consider a treat when beginning the book.
In contrast to the warm and comforting time spent with the Dursleys there is a dark passage that evolves in the early stages of the book. The prose has a more grown up feel to it in this section although it is still within the descriptors of the age group that it was intended for. The Dark Lord is making a move and has a plan that will end his weakness and bring him back to power. I was not expecting this kind of a start to the prose and was caught off guard - I was used to giggling at the chaos within the Dursley household, but here I was witnessing evil beginnings and my heart was in my mouth when a muggle (non magic human) investigates these evil intruders in the house that he maintains for his employers. Rowling takes to suspense writing easily and I soon settled in to this different kind of a read.
Harry is now 14 and it is within this book that he and Ron discover girls, though not the ones who we would think or want them to notice. Not in the beginning anyway. This coming of age theme is appropriate for this particular stage in the adventure and adds another interesting dimension to the prose. Ron and Hermione are with Harry at the Quidditch World Cup - an interesting and exciting concept. This scenario is a scene setter for lots of what is to follow in the prose. We are introduced to Winky, a house elf who has an important master that she cherishes. She is similar to Dobby, Harry's friend who is also an elf but no longer employed as a house elf. I find the elves appealing though can't quite work out their motives or loyalties at times - they keep me guessing. The usual fast paced game is infused with drama and daring feats and ends in a triumph that is celebrated loudly. The celebrations spill out of the arena and back to the campsite but everything will change on this night of joy. Death eaters (supporters of the Dark Lord) have come out to play - the sign of the Dark Lord is activated and seen by many - this causes panic and a time of chaos ensues which will result in serious accusations for someone. Rowling had me gripped, intrigued and frantically guessing at this point. I had so many questions and needed to digest what had just happened as she has created so much in such a short space of time....then she leaves me in anticipation as I discover that this year at Hogwarts is to be special, like no other that Harry, Ron or Hermione have seen - and they have seen a lot - I am turning the pages to find out what that is.
Three wizards. Just three. One from each school of wizardry and witchcraft. Will compete against each other in the Triwizard Cup. Can be any gender but must be 17 and over. That rules out the young trio then and Harry is relieved even though his ginger haired friend, Ron, is hungry for attention and glory. Hogwarts has two parties of visitors from schools a far, this is a welcome change and I am captivated by the guests. One in particular is Victor Klum and this is because Rowling has made him so very interesting - he is a whizz of a seeker in the game of Quidditch. Harry is a superb seeker too - I am wondering if she is setting them up against each other. But Klum plays for his country - he is 'that 'good! What chance will Harry have against him? Fleur Delaclour is another that catches my attention - she is beautiful as well as capable, this is my kind of female character. I have an idea that Rowling is going to shake things up big time in this book -this is the one that breaks the mould, the one that gets serious. I can feel it progressing in the pages. Dark things are coming. Someone is a traitor in the school but I can't work out whom? There is a sneaky reporter who is causing all kinds of trouble for Harry too - Rita Skeeter, slippery as a snake but a great addition to the bad guys of the prose.
Cedric Diggory of Hufflepuff is drawn to represent Hogwarts and is joined by the beautiful Fleur and the odd but magnificent Klum. I am a little deflated at this point because I wonder how Harry is going to figure in all the contest danger. I had expected him to somehow be drawn out, even though he is under age. But of course he is drawn out in addition to the three and all rules are about to change. I have my suspicions about Ludo Bagman - just don't trust the ex Quidditch player who loves himself. He is just too nice to Harry, I feel my skin crawl when he attempts to have quiet words with Harry - I urge Harry to run...as fast as he can from Bagman, for his life?? I don't know, there is something not right about that man. He is up to something and I despair when I see his name appear on the page within reach of Harry's.
I am pleased to see Hagrid within the prose - a favourite of mine this oversized, compassionate man. He looks out for Harry like he was his own son and speaking of looking out for Harry this prose will see the return of the wonderful Sirius Black - he is fast turning into a hero for me and I want him to come and protect his godson (Harry) but also don't as he is on the run for something he didn't do and only Dumbledore and Harry, Ron and Hermione are privy to that information. I worry about him when he is around even though I am captivated by him...the work of a good author. Rowling has also managed to get me to care about Harry, Ron and Hermione - and Hagrid and Dumbledore...and oddly Snape! Snape? The greasy, cunning, nasty potions guy who is always having a go at Potter? What has made me change my mind about this horrid man? There are subtle and not so subtle revelations in this prose and some in the last novel that have led me to have some attachment to this weird man...that tells me how good Rowling is, if she can get me to dislike a character and have no trust in them and then begin getting me to care for them....she has talent.
Malfoy has some sneaky tricks to play as the prose develops but is more in the background in this instalment - a dig here and there and the maintenance of his hate campaign against Harry keep the bad guy element of the book burning at just the right temperature and he is just as spiteful as ever...I'm not attached to him.
There is so much going on in this prose that I cannot put the book down; well I have to do but very reluctantly. The contests will test the nerve and capabilities of the competitors' big time and are not for the faint hearted. Dragons will feature at some point and of course that was a high point in the book for me and it turned out that it was for Harry too! I was disappointed to see Ron fall out with Harry because he was jealous of him competing - it was not very appealing and I found myself distancing myself from Ron for a while as his behaviour made me uncomfortable - I did think it believable and appropriate for the age though and it was not long before Harry was retaliating in much the same way. For some reason I didn't feel the same towards Harry which suggests that I am fonder of him that I am of Ron. Hermione will surprise Ron and Ron will surprise himself when the castle hosts a ball in tribute to the Triwizard contest - this was interesting and Ron settled himself back into my affection at some point during that time.
The final contest draws all the intrigue and plotting together - someone has been a very busy boy or girl haven't they! A finely crafted finale will see Harry come face to face with death and at the same time he will realise that the Dark Lord has risen - some will not believe this but it is only important that one person does ... will Harry convince that one person of this fact?
There is an event in this book that reduced me to tears and it was most unexpected. Rowling developed key characters and plotted perfectly to produce a fantastic, gripping outcome which resulted in a death - Harry's response was breath taking and my response was to cry! Not expected. It was a powerful, emotionally charged piece of writing.
Who stitched up Harry Potter? How will things turn out in the wizarding world? What will become of Hogwarts? Did Harry win the Triwizard cup? Has the Dark Lord risen and if he has just how powerful will he be? Does Harry need to be worried? The scar is hurting....run Harry Potter!
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It is five stars all the way for this coming of age prose that enters the dark side. Rowling continues the adventures of Potter with a powerful tale. The prose will see Harry maturing a little more, along with his close friends Ron and Hermione - some of it I found uncomfortable as Ron struggled with his jealously of Harry's fame but in the end he worked his way back into my heart. It also tells of new beginnings for Lord Voldermort - this provides excellent depth and dimension. This is the book that breaks from the enchanting nature of all things Potter and ventures into the realms of evil doings - I found it to be absorbing whilst maintaining a good pace and building up to fast page turning pace in all the right places. There will be sides to choose and this book is the beginning of change...a change in the grand scheme of things. Those at the top do not want to hear it but HE has risen and the choice will be to join him or fight. It's another masterful piece from Rowling...magnificent.
Published on Ciao
Summary: There are dragons in this one