Book Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter #3

Harry Potter is lucky to reach the age of thirteen, since he has already survived the murderous attacks of the feared Dark Lord on more than one occasion. But his hopes for a quiet term concentrating on Quidditch are dashed when a maniacal mass-murderer escapes from Azkaban, pursued by the soul-sucking Dementors who guard the prison. It's assumed that Hogwarts is the safest place for Harry to be. But is it a coincidence that he can feel eyes watching him in the dark, and should he be taking Professor Trelawney's ghoulish predictions seriously?

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the third book in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Having defeated the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets and meeting the famed Dark Lord as well. Everything has been solved once again at Hogwarts and as I said the things with school remains the same, Harry has to return to Privett Drive for the summer. 

And so once again the story picks up with Harry having the worst time of his life and it is about to turn even worse where possible. Uncle Vernon's sister comes over and things get out of hand. So out of hand that it actually is Harry that says he has had enough and just picks up his things and starts walking away. If there is one thing in the wizarding world it is that fellow wizards look after each other. There is a special bus called the Night Bus that helps stranded wizards, but just before Harry gets picked up, he encounters something weird in the bushes, a dark presence that he cannot directly place. The Night Bus brings Harry to the Leaky Cauldron where he stays for the remainder of the two weeks of the holidays. Here he learns that a dangerous criminal has just broken out of Azkaban. The notorious Sirius Black, who was in league with Lord Voldemort. Even despite this news Harry doesn't get beaten out of the way and enjoys the last two weeks with his friends Ron and Hermione. Luckily there is no Dobby that tries to keep Harry from going to Hogwarts. 

But yet again the trip to Hogwarts isn't without troubles. When Harry is on the train, one of the guardians of Azkaban, a Dementor, makes an appearance. All this is because of Sirius Black, the Dementors are the emdobidment of despair, sorrow and sadness. When a Dementor enters the room, they bring a terrifying coldness along. Harry's first encounter with such a creature, knocks him out cold. Luckily for Harry, Professor Remus Lupin is on board and manages to chase the Dementor away. Having recovered from the Dementor attack, it is explained that due to the fact that Sirius Black is on the loose, the security on the Hogwarts grounds have been upped and the Dementors are there to keep the students safe. 

The start of the year despite Sirius goes well. Up until the day that Harry, Ron and Hermione have the lesson of Care of Magical Creatures this time given by none other than Hagrid. Hagrid is one who likes to approach things on a more practical side. He introduces the third year students to the creature known as a hippogryph. It takes a great deal of effort to get the respect from such a creature and it goes well in the beginning, but Draco isn't charmed by this and demands respect which backfires and he gets hurt, Buckbeak the hippogryph that hurt Draco will be prosecuted by the Ministry of Magic. Another new addition to the teachers is the aforementioned Remus Lupin who replaces GIlderoy as defense against the dark arts teacher. With him Harry, Ron and Hermione for the first time realise just how much they have been missing when it comes to actually defending yourself against the dark arts. A new subject that the team is introduced to is divination by Sybil Trelawney. Here Harry learns that dark times lie ahead of him and they actually soon become true. The dark dog that Harry has been seeing will visit him soon. And thus occurs the inevitable encounter between Sirius and Harry. And this is quite the turn around of events, because as we all know it Sirius wasn't after Harry but after the Peter Pettigrew... the person who betrayed Lily and James Potter. Proving Sirius' innocence is difficult and there is only one way to set things right. Three turns will do it!

Once again J.K. Rowling's story doesn't disappoint. This is precisely how a story should be build up over the course of several books. If you look at what happens in The Prisoner of Azkaban it is a lot, too much to tell actually. The whole scene around the reveal of Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew and Remus Lupin is a lot to take in there are perfect example of plot twists, though I am of the opinion that a lot would have been better is Sirius just dropped the bomb saying that all is well Harry I just want that thing of Ron. But in the end it proved to be a lively scene. 

What I am very curious about and this is an answer that only J.K. Rowling can give. What is Snape actually saying. Snape was involved with the Shrieking Shack scene, and he is saying that Harry and his friends are confunded, but does he actually know the truth and is covering for them? Does this mean that he actually vouches for Harry? Quite a turn around of events if this is the truth. I know that Dumbledore trusts Snape a lot. Let's see how this works out. 

When you look at the overall story the events aren't as shocking as those of the first and second book in terms of the interference of Lord Voldemort, instead this book gives a lot of exposition when it comes down to Harry's past, his parents and his parents friends Moony, Padfoot, Wormtail and Prongs. It also fully marks the presence of Voldemort for next book. Something has to give, something big is happening soon!


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