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"To Harry Potter - the boy who lived!” - J.K. Rowling,
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
I thought I'd break the Harry Potter Series down a bit so that I can talk about the books in a little more detail without creating one huge post. So, this post will deal with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The next post I write will most likely deal with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and finally Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. But they may be broken up differently depending on how much writing I do about each book.
I'm going to start off by saying that the Harry Potter Series is one of the best out there and it's certainly my favourite and it probably will be until the day I die. However, after reading these three books for the first time, any time I read the series afterwards I always have to force myself to read these three and not to jump right into the action that starts in The Goblet of Fire. This isn't because they aren't well written or anything that J.K. Rowling has done, I just feel that the action tends to be a little calmer or slower to build.
The Philosopher's Stone is our introduction to the Wizarding World. And it does this job well. J.K. Rowling describes the characters very well, allowing readers to have a sense of knowing personally each of the main characters and perhaps allowing the readers to replace the characters in the book and insert themselves into the book. This is certainly the mark of a brilliant author.
In The Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling helps readers delve deeper into the world of Hogwarts. The history of the school is given in a bit more detail as the school is being attacked from within. We also are introduced to some of Hagrid's history, showing us even more that he's nothing but a gentle giant with a large heart. J.K. Rowling elaborates on things mentioned in the first book and creates an even deeper understanding of the Wizarding World.
The third book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, brings about the discovery of James' friends and Harry's godfather. We learn more about Severus Snape, and James' and Lily's death. Not only that we find out that the death of James and Lily was brought about by the help of a betrayer. J.K. Rowling continues to lay the groundwork for her later books marvellously.
I feel that these three books are more about character building, learning about the world as well as learning about the different characters. There is some character growth, but it seems more evident in the last four.
But in order to have a brilliant series, there needs to be a strong base. And J.K. Rowling has certainly built a strong base. These three books are well-written, well thought out and overall a marvellous read. They lay out the stepping stones for the more action-packed books and they do so wonderfully. If you haven't read the books, then I strongly suggest you do!