Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter, #3
When Harry accidentally (though deservedly) blows up his aunt, he’s sure he is going to be expelled from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. To Harry’s surprise, the Minister of Magic dismisses his offense, but something has him and even Mr. Weasley worried. While on the train to Hogwarts, Harry learns his school will have new occupants: the dementors, the eerie guards of the wizard prison Azkaban.
Harry discovers that one of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named most loyal followers, Sirius Black, has escaped from Azkaban with the express purpose of hunting Harry down. With peril at every turn, Harry and his friends’ school year is more dangerous than ever before.
“As though the creature beneath the cloak sensed Harry’s gaze, the hand suddenly withdrawn into the folds of its black cloak.
And then the thing beneath the hood, whatever it was, drew a long, slow, rattling breath, as though it were trying to suck something more than air from its surroundings.”
Most people consider J.K. Rowling’s third installment in her series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, to be the book that diverts the series onto a darker path. And although the previous books had some dark elements, I tend to agree with this assessment. Harry’s journey is bred out of tragedy and this is the first book that really acknowledges this fact. The dementors, with their ability to drain the happiness from those in their presence, have a distressing effect on Harry, causing him to relive the last moments of his parents’ murder. As events play out, readers get a different glimpse at its protagonist: Harry becomes vengeful and is tempted to give in to his anger, regardless of the consequences.
The Prisoner of Azkaban introduces another one of my favorite Harry Potter characters: Remus Lupin. He is by far my favorite professor and acts as a foil to another Hogwarts professor, Severus Snape. I’m starting to notice how much Rowling loves contrasting characters. While Snape is spiteful and bias, Lupin is kind and inviting. Once again, Ron and Hermione, both steal my heart. These kids are wonderfully flawed: Hermione, though a bit of a tattle-tale, has such a big heart and Ron, extremely stubborn, is probably the most loyal friend in the series.
I’m going to be taking a little break from Harry Potter, but rereading this series has simply made me appreciate its brilliance even more.