Review: Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
November 21, 2017
Autumn is finally upon us, and that can only mean one thing: it's Harry Potter 'season'. Dark, foggy nights, brightly coloured crisp autumn leaves and curling up with a cup of tea in front of a fire. The Prisoner of Azkaban happens to be my favourite in the Harry series, and is like the ultimate form of comfort during these cozy winter months, I love it.
"Harry Potter's third year at Hogwarts is full of new dangers. A convicted murderer, Sirius Black, has broken out of Azkaban prison, and it seems he's after Harry. Meanwhile, life continues as usual at Hogwarts. A top-of-the-line broom takes Harry's success at Quidditch, the sport of the Wizarding world, to new heights. Harry becomes close with the new Defense of the Dark Arts teacher, who was a childhood friend of his father. Yet despite the relative safety of life at Hogwarts and the best efforts of the dementors, the threat of Sirius Black grows ever closer. But if Harry has learned anything from his education in wizardry, it is that things are often not what they seem. Tragic revelations, heartwarming surprises, and high-stakes magical adventures await the boy wizard in this funny and poignant third installment of the beloved series."
I always reread the Harry Potter series in some way or another, but the last time I actually read the Prisoner of Azkaban I was about 15. I am now 19 over those 4 years since reading I have a whole new but somewhat similar perspective on it. The last thing I remember whilst reading POA was frustration at Sirius not coming forward and proclaiming his innocence normally. Secondly, why don’t they just use the truth telling serum on Sirius to check if he’s telling the truth, rather than make him fly off with buckbeak like a thief in the night? As I am older now reading it, I understand that it wasn’t really possible because of dementors etc Upon this most recent reading of POA, however it also allowed me to appreciate how innocent Harry truly is. This is the last in the Harry Potter series where Harry is truly a child. Harry begins to lose faith in Dumbledore, signifying his fall from grace - in my opinion - as a less than stellar parental figure to Harry. One right of passage is the realisation that adults are actually people and heroes, like everyone else are capable of imperfection.
“Harry... had expected Dumbledore to pull some amazing solution out of the air. But no … their last hope was gone.”
Reading Harry Potter as an adult I now understand Sirius' character more and he has slowly become one of my favourites in the series. I could relate to his desperation and the hope that kept him alive in Azkaban and the life that he hoped he could have if he ever left.
"I knew I was innocent."
So as the usual year at Hogwarts goes on, Harry, Hermione and Ron, try to keep up with their lessons (and start new ones, with some funny scenes) and in the end, get involved with a plot to turn back time and save Sirius and Buckbeak. It is one of the shorter Harry stories, but with so much detail in every paragraph and the lovely world-building created, you definitely don't miss out on the fun and action of the longer, later books. If you haven't read a Harry book, (I recommend reading them in order, starting with Philosopher's Stone) but definitely give this one a try!