In this book Harry is about to enter his fourth year at Hogwarts! The book starts with another characters POV who faces off against Voldemort - we see Wormtail has found his master and is back to serving him. Harry then wakes up and we find out what we were witnessing was his dream. The fact that we are only ever given as much information as Harry has really brings a good sense of mystery to the book. We work through the story, clues and obstacles with him, rather than knowing the ending and waiting for the main character to hurry up and realise. A good portion of the start of the book is spent on the Quidditch cup - were we learn a lot more about the magical world of wizards. What it would be like growing up with magic always around you, how wizards act in the outside world. We learn quite a bit about what people do with themselves after they leave school through out this book as well. Back at school they learn about the Triwizard Tournament and.. Someone has entered Harry! But why? Is someone trying to kill Harry? A lot of the teachers think so, including Dumbledore. Who would go through all this trouble to get Harry? I can think of one person... Highly recommended!
THE FOURTH BOOK of the greatest YA series of books ever written (and arguably the greatest set of fantasy books ever written - for any age) continues with the detailing of the education (and adoration) of the world’s favourite wizarding apprentices at the world’s favourite wizarding castle. But it must be said, GOBLET OF FIRE opens with a much darker tone than the preceding three volumes and never really lets up.
The early highlight of the book - and the only real throwback to the complete and utter joy found in the opening trilogy - comes as a gift to the reader in chapter four. Whilst it could also double as a philosophical debate on the merits (or lack thereof) of bullying, and what happens to bullies in the long run, seasoned fans of the series may well find themselves LOL’ing at Cousin Dudley and his cohorts when the Weasleys arrive to take Harry back to The Burrow.
Damn, it was funny.
But the joy doesn't last long. Voldermort is on the loose and our Harry is in more danger than he realises. The Quidditch World Cup is on, and the gang have tickets to see who wins the final. And even at this event, the epitome of all things magical, memories of an incredible final are ruined for everyone by the appearance of a Dark Mark in the sky, along with rumours, false accusations and hot tempers leading to all sorts of nasty comments which would have been better left unsaid.
And even once the real story commences with another year at Hogwarts (and therefore a new Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher), Mad Eye Moody - the new teacher of this fine discipline - continues the worrisome tone of the book by seeing what students in his class can fight back (survive) against the three so-called ’Unforgivable Curses’.
But it doesn’t stop there. The legendary TRI-WIZARDING TOURNAMENT is being held in the grounds of Hogwarts for the first time in centuries, and as Dumbledore explains to the members of all three schools lucky enough to bear witness to this event, entry is open to all students above the age of seventeen. So then, how does our Harry get invited to participate? And why? And at what risk? And who manipulated vents that out the young prodigy into this position in the first place.
After a brief conversation with Sirius in chapter nineteen, both Harry and the reader are much wiser. None of which I intend to reveal here, of course, but one wonders how Sirius manages to know so much, so far away from the action at Le Castle Le Magnifique. We also learn a little of the first task the Champions need to overcome if they wish to advance to the second task. But more importantly, Ron is still at odds with his BFF and that is upsetting the soul of Harry, Hermoine as well as the rest of the world known as readers. But that is for the story’s central characters to work out. And work it out, they will.
The point is, four hundred pages in and this book, whilst it doesn’t feel *wrong*, simply doesn’t have the same tone, the same sense of happiness and joy, and the same sense of self discovery that the first three books possessed and gifted the world with. Not to mention the unequivocally brilliant ending that was the finale to volume three. This may be Ms Rowling’s way of teaching kids around the world that life is not always fun, its not always happy but it’s fair to say that life is not always a life and death struggle against the forces of evil, either. Sure there is still fun to be had at Hogwarts in Year Four, but with Quidditch taken out of the book’s formula one of the most brilliant aspects of studying (and living) magic has been taken away from our heroes. And from the reader, as well.
And so it is up to JK to prove me wrong. THE GOBLET OF FIRE is exciting, it is thrilling, it’s highly educational and slightly political (anyone care to join SPEW? It’s for a great cause...) but as I have just mentioned, it is not the same joyful, laugh a minute reading experience the earlier books were. Keep reading, I will. That goes without saying. And if the book’s second half disproves what I have talked about in this review, I am sure to let you know. But for now take it from me. This book is mandatory reading but just don’t expect the soul enhancement you got from books one, two and three.
The story begins with a murder committed far away from Hogwarts. Yes, this one is way darker than the first three Harry Potter books. JK Rowling has handled this superbly well. The children who must have been lapping up the books were also growing along with Harry Potter. The negative picture of the story has been introduced in stages. Excellent!
Harry goes to stay at the Weasleys home towards the end of the summer holidays. Harry, Ron and Hermione get the opportunity of a lifetime – to go to the Quidditch World Cup match along with Mr. Weasley, Percy, Fred, George and Ginny. The ground where the match is to take place is totally bewitched with more than a million witches and wizards from around the world coming together to watch the match. One has to read the sequence to understand the magnitude of the author’s imagination as she describes the scene. Then, there is the match itself with the veelas (introducing yet another batch of magical creatures in the form of beautiful women) and Leprechauns fighting it out (literally) on behalf of the players of their countries.
There is Barty Crouch from the ministry and Ludo Bagman who is supposed to be in charge of organizing the match - interesting characters that move the story along.
The Dark Mark is set off immediately after the match and the Death Eaters (Lord Voldemort’s followers) are rather excited. This brings about the question whether the evil Voldemort is coming back.
The fourth year begins at Hogwarts and this year, they get yet another defense against the dark arts teacher in the form of Professor Moody. Moody has the oddest appearance that one could have ever seen. Beautifully described! He wears a bright blue ball for one eye that rotates fast giving him a 360 degree view, even through Moody’s own head. This eye has given the professor the name Mad-eye Moody. While he does not hesitate to train the students in the forbidden curses, he is so far the best teacher they have had in the subject. Moody takes a liking to Harry and vice versa. But is he what he appears to be?
Then there is the Triwizard Tournament to take place between Hogwarts and two foreign magic schools – Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. Three champions – one from each school – are to compete in the tournament. Students who are interested in participating and are above the age of 17 are only allowed to put their names written on parchments into the Goblet of Fire. No one could cheat the age line drawn around the goblet by Dumbledore.
Fortunately or unfortunately, someone has added Harry’s name (he is underage) to the goblet. The magical goblet chooses four champions – Viktor Krum from Durmstrang; Fleur Delacour from Beauxbatons; Cedric Diggory from Hogwarts and Harry Potter from Hogwarts. Ron is quite cut up with Harry as he believes that Harry has used special magic to add his name to the fire.
While the delegations from the other schools are not happy to have two champions from Hogwarts, Dumbledore is worried about Harry’s participation in the tournament. But, Harry has no choice as he is magically bound to do it as his name was thrown out of the Goblet of Fire.
Adventures galore involving dragons, mer-people and a dark maze follow. The tournament leads to the climax that is as amazing as it is incredible. One has to read it to believe it. I remember reading the last few chapters a few times before I could fully absorb that Lord Voldemort was finally back.
Priori Incantatem was simply amazing! You have to read the book to check it out for yourself. I read, breathed, woke up and slept magic for weeks together on reading this book the first time. The ninth time was no different, believe me.
Absolutely fascinating! While one part of your mind might feel that Harry is too young to face such things in life, the logical follow up of events convince you that he is the perfect hero.
Love you Harry Potter and love you JK Rowling for giving birth to Harry!