Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Author: J. K. Rowling
Page Count/Review Word Count: 640
Goblet of Fire is the fourth book in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, and it’s one of my favourites in the series, for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is the fact that the clever story line features a number of twists and turns whilst simultaneously developing the overall plot for the series, a neat element which Rowling used throughout most of the Harry Potter books.
It also includes the Quidditch World Cup, which is full of evocative scenes which bring it to life in your imagination, as well as a little bit of romance and the return of He Who Must Not Be Named, although I won’t say too much about that because I don’t want to give away spoilers.
Speaking of spoilers, this book is also notable for being the first Harry Potter book to seriously deal with the death of one of its characters – I won’t say which one, but I will say that he’s one of the good guys. Rowling handled it well, and I think it acts as a sign of things that are yet to come, in the later, darker books.
Goblet of Fire also includes the Triwizard Tournament, a set of competitive games featuring three participants from the three great wizarding schools – the titular goblet is used to decide the champions of each of the schools. Unfortunately, Harry gets drawn into the tournament despite the fact that he doesn’t want to participate, and his best friend Ron doesn’t even believe him when he explains that he didn’t want to compete in it.
As usual, Harry’s friends come through for him – Rowling has a great talent for making her characters realistic and believable, despite the magical universe that they inhabit, and I’m always amazed by the way that she uses their strengths and weaknesses to interact with the story line. A great example of this is when Neville Longbottom’s interest in herbology leads to him giving Harry some gillyweed, to help him with one of the tasks. Although this only happens in the movie – in the book, it’s Dobby who gives it to him.
I thought that the Triwizard Tournament was a great concept, and it’s almost like an echo of the Quidditch World Cup, which takes place right at the start of the story. Both of them bring the wizarding community together, and both of them push them apart – sports tend to do that. At least the Goblet of Fire, which selects the competitors for the Triwizard Tournament, has the magical equivalent of software in place to make sure that Harry, who’s under the legal age of 17, couldn’t possibly enter. Right?!
Overall, I’d still have to say that Goblet of Fire is one of my favourite Harry Potter novels, and it might even be my favourite. But even with that said, I wouldn’t recommend reading the books out of order – you get so much more from them if you consider them as part of a series, rather than as standalone novels. To be honest, I find the concept of reviewing individual Harry Potter books a little absurd, because you should just read the whole series. But if you were to review the books individually, then this one just has to be near to the top of the list.
So what are you waiting for? Go out and buy it for god’s sake, and then come back and leave me a comment to let me know what you thought, both of the book as a standalone and as a series as a whole. Eighteen words to go on this review – help me out here, I’m struggling. I need some more words.