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Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire
Author - J.K.Rowling

Harry Potter’s adventures at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry continue to enthrall readers as Harry enters his fourth year of study. The Goblet of Fire, however, is not a ‘children’s book’ as we know it. It is 636 pages long, and events don’t happen in a linear, straight - forward fashion. The past and the present are intertwined, and the author skillfully weaves many strands of the story together. As the main characters are fourteen now, we could classify it as ‘teen fiction’.
Harry watches the spectacular Quidditch World Cup Finals with the Weasleys (how they take him from his guardians’ home is a hilarious encounter between the magic people and the ‘muggles’ or non-magic community). The excitement of the match quickly turns to panic when the Death Mark appears in the sky. This reminds everybody of the growing power of the Dark wizard Voldemort who had tried to kill Harry as a child.
Back in school, the magical Goblet of Fire chooses Harry to participate in the Triwizard Tournament, against all known rules. Surely someone wants to put Harry in grave danger. Apprehensive and lonely (he has nobody but Sirius who is in exile to advise him) Harry has to deal with Ron’s jealousy and rivalry too.
Life at Hogwarts becomes more stressful now; Malfoy and gang are out to demoralize Harry; Professor Snape is even more unpleasant to him this year; the popular press make him out to be a boy who craves cheap publicity; Hermione wants his support for SPEW- the Society for Protection of Elven Welfare; to cap it all, he has to find himself a dance partner for the Yule Ball!
The Triwizard Tournament tasks find Harry ill-prepared until the very end. How he gets through the first two with help from Hermione, the ghost Moaning Myrtle and the house-elf Dobby, make interesting reading. If the final task is relatively dull, the events that follow guarantee that we cannot put the book down until the last page is read. The rise of Voldemort and his duel with Harry have us reading on with thudding hearts.
The Goblet of Fire, like the other books in the series, stresses that what we make of ourselves is more important; not where we come from. It also holds a mirror to the world around us. The setting and events narrated might be magical, but the theme is very much ‘muggle’- our own prejudice when it comes to dealing with people and creatures different from us. Here they are wizards of mixed blood, giants, werewolves or house-elves. The refusal of the Ministry of Magic to accept Voldemort’s return is a wonderful example of how power and authority can blind one to reality.
The book comes to an end on a disturbing note; Dumbledore and the ministry seem to have parted ways. Harry is exhausted, emotionally and physically. There is no perfect, happy ending here. But Harry and his friends are growing up through the adventures to a better understanding of their world.
Recommended for readers 13 and above.

Review - By Revathi Sachidanandam

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