Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

June 30, 2013 Review 0 ★★★★★

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #4
Published by Scholastic Inc. on 2002 September 28
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Hardbound
Source: Purchased
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five-stars

Harry Potter is midway through both his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event that supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn't happened for hundreds of years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he's not normal - even by wizarding standards.

And in his case, different can be deadly.

Weeee! We are now halfway through our magical adventure with Harry with this 4th installment.

Gist

Goblet of Fire opens up with an almost shapeless Lord Voldemort and Petter Pettigrew scheming another plan. And miles ahead, we see Harry Potter waking with a start, his scar hurting.

As if that was a sign for further mayhem, Harry Potter and the gang went to watch the Quidditch World Cup only to be terrified when at the end of the match, the Dark sign was cast into the atmosphere. And Death Eaters—followers of Voldemort—were seen fleeing from the scene.

After the events at the World Cup, another big event was soon to commence at Hogwarts, the Triwizard Tournament. Highly prestigious and dangerous, this tournament is held every 100 years and a competition among the three biggest wizarding schools of Europe: Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft of Britain, Durmstrang Institute in Scandinavia, and Beaubaxton Academy of Magic in France. The tournament will select one champion from each school and they will complete three tasks designed to test magical ability, intelligence and courage. Champions compete for the honour and glory of winning the Tournament and for the Triwizard Cup and a monetary prize.

However, since the tournament is renown for being extremely dangerous, it was discontinued but revived on Harry’s fourth year. To ensure the safety of the competitors, only sixteen years old and above students were allowed to join. Due to the prestige and the 1000 galleon prize money, almost everyone was keen to join the tournament including Harry and Ron though they’re not yet allowed.

The date of choosing the champions arrived and it was an impartial judge in the form of a goblet of fire which chose the champions. The goblet chose Fleur Delacour from Beauxbaton, Viktor Krum from Durmstrang, Cedric Diggory from Hogwarts…and to everyone’s surprise and horror, Harry Potter. This caused an uproar among the students and the teachers from the other schools since the goblet of fire was programmed to choose only one champion from the three schools. To worsen the situation, due to being constantly overshadowed by his bestfriend, Ron thought that Harry had cheated, thus, putting a strain to their friendship.

Meanwhile, Hermione and the other teachers believed Harry to be innocent. Soon, mysterious events started to unfold with Harry uncovering some ugly truths of the new characters introduced in the book. Later on, Harry—proving to be quite a competent champion in the Triwizard tournament—finally managed to get to the third task. As he was progressing towards the cup which was planted in the middle of the maze (the third task), he met Cedric and found out that Fleur and Viktor was out of the running. Both Hogwarts students, they decided to take the triwizard cup together.

The cup turned to be a portkey (a magical object designed to transport wizard from one place to another) and transported Cedric and Harry in the graveyard of Hangleton village where Lord Voldemort and Pettigrew was waiting. The shapeless Voldemort immediately killed Cedric while Peter ties Harry.

Peter then proceeded to drop Voldemort into a waiting cauldron taking some of Harry’s blood, the bone of Voldemort’s father and his own hands. Voldemort resumes his body and gets out from the cauldron. He presses a tattoo mark on his forearm and suddenly, hooded Death Eaters materialized from the air surrounding them. To taunt the grieving and horror stricken Harry, Voldemort engages him in a duel but after their wands behaved strangely, Harry was able to escape and used the cup to return him along with Cedric’s body to Hogwarts.

Upon his return, Harry was immediately greeted by Dumbledore and Mad-eye moody (the new DADA professor). Amidst the chaos, Moody was able to smuggle Harry into the castle eventhough Dumbledore firmly instructed for Harry to remain. Once inside Moody’s office, as if the horror of the events weren’t enough, the professor revealed that he was Barty Crouch Jr.—son of Barty Crouch, a ministry official—who had been imprisoned in Azkaban for being a Death Eater and one of the most loyal servants of Voldemort. And that, he had been drinking Polyjuice potion to maintain his impersonation of Mad-Eye Moody. Barty Jr. further informed Harry that it was him who had tampered with the Goblet of Fire so that it will also choose Harry to compete for the tournament. By doing so, he laid out the path for Harry to be directly delivered to Lord Voldemort.

Dumbledore, who saw that Harry was missing from his sight despite his instruction, immediately realized that Mad-Eye Moody was an impostor. He set off to go to his office and apprehended the impostor. Harry was safe for the meantime.

Cornelius Fudge, who had watched the tournament refused to believe that Voldemort is fully back. After giving Harry his money prize, he immediately left, refusing to accept Harry and Dumbledore’s story.

My review…

Plot

HP is like an endless flame, burning better and better with each succeeding book. The Goblet of Fire (GoF) is darker than the previous books but still contains the ingredients that endeared us to Harry and his world.

GoF is a stunning book of sinister plot, a trigger of adrenaline rush and a storage of gruesome truths and betrayals. It was jaw dropping till the end with a lot of twists and turns. Furthermore, GoF is immersing us deeper into the world of HP as we get to know the other wizarding schools in Europe and their cultures.

And who would ever forget this book after it just treated us to the gory Rebirth of Lord Voldemort?

Characters

If there’s one thing I found so amazing with HP is that it has well-developed characters. And unlike from the other books which suffer from introducing a lot of characters that everyone and everything gets mixed up, Harry Potter becomes more enjoyable as Rowling introduces new characters. And by golly, I always look forward to the new faces in the book because they become more and more interesting.

Of course, after years and years of waiting, we finally meet the Darkest Wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort. And boy, he was scary as hell, a perfect villain worthy to be called as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

Dialogues and Interactions

Being the darkest book out of the first four, GoF evolved into having a more serious tone compared to the others. Although it still has the funny side of things, it was generally dark. Perhaps, this is to emphasize that the world of HP is in transition due to Lord Voldemort’s rebirth.

Overall, JK had been consistent with the dialogues and interactions making us fall in love once more with the characters.

Lessons Learned

  • The importance of the role of parents in shaping a person’s personality- Although the book was focused on the Triwizard tournament, this has been one of the keypoints of the book. It particularly refers to Barty Sr. being a neglectful father and thus leading to Barty Jr.’s walking on a twisted path.
  • Play to your strengths- As what have been advised by the impostor Moody to Harry which actually proved to be effective when Harry retrieves the Golden egg.

What about you? Is HP one of your favorite series? As for me, the saga has already earned a permanent home in one of my drawers. 😀

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