Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publication Date: September, 1999
Genre: Young Adult
Description: For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.
Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well; and the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts . . . he's at Hogwarts."
Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.
My Thoughts: The third installment of the much beloved Harry Potter series has been my favorite from the beginning and continues to be. With the Prisoner of Azkaban, the reader is given a glimpse of the dark direction this series will take, but this book still manages to be a lot of fun. From Harry’s reckless lashing out at Aunt Marge to his crazy ride on the Knight Bus, from Harry’s first encounter with the dementors on the Hogwarts Express (not fun at all) to obtaining the Marauders Map, from meeting Buckbeak, or battling boggarts that look like Professor Snape to conjuring a patronus charm to ward off dementors and finally learning that everything is not as it seems may make your average thirteen year old more confused than ever, but not Harry. I love how Harry, Ron and Hermione seem to take it all in stride and just get on with it.
Remus Lupin and Sirius Black are two of my favorite characters in this series. Finally, Harry meets people who actually knew and were friends of his parents. I don’t count Dumbledore, I guess because he’s a given and he’s not of their generation. Professor Snape knew Harry’s parents and his revulsion towards Harry and James Potter are all too apparent so meeting Professor Lupin and Sirius Black and learning of their connection to James and Lily make it all the better.
I very much enjoyed the brewing conflict between Ron and Hermione regarding Crookshanks and Scabbers. Hermione has bitten off more than she can chew, it seems, with her extra full class load and seems to be barely managing it so she isn’t her usual analytical self. Of course, knowing already how these two end up by the end of the series doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of watching these characters grow and develop.
The Prisoner of Azkaban provides countless hours of reading entertainment. Numerous intense and suspenseful scenes where long hidden secrets and truths are revealed to the amazement of the reader. When the story comes full circle and the last page is turned, I was left with a feeling of euphoria and a rush of adrenaline, akin to an exciting ride on a fast moving roller coaster. I wish I could pick one favorite moment from the book, but I fear I would do the story a great injustice if I tried. I was pulled into this story almost immediately, my sense of excitement and anticipation growing as I turned each page. I love each story in this series, but this one holds a very special place in my heart.
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