Book Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Posted May 22, 2011 by Whitney in Review / 3 Comments

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Author J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #3
Publisher Arthur A. Levine
Publication Date September 8, 1999
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For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well; and the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts . . . he's at Hogwarts."

Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.

Part of this may have to do with Alan Rickman’s delivery of the line but my favorite quote of all the Harry Potter books/movies is spoken by Professor Snape while substituting for the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher Professor Lupin, “Turn to page 394.” on page 394 is the chapter on werewolves and by setting this chapter hopes a student will recognize Remus Lupin for his true nature. I love this because it is portrayed so dry but at the same time with great authority.

Another thing I didn’t realize before now is that however slightly has the underlining of prejudice in the plot. I believe this is shown through Professor Lupin, whose true nature is of a werewolf which is why he’s been missing classes. Remus is described as having shabby dress with dark circles under his eyes. Somewhere in the book he is commented as saying that it is difficult for him to hold a job and after transforming, and putting students at risk, resigns from the post because “parents wouldn’t want their children being taught by someone like me.” Maybe I’m reading too much into this but I thought this was an interesting analogy towards racism or discrimination.

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3 responses to “Book Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

  1. Great review! I haven't read the book yet, but I have seen the film. You make interesting points. I have to get to these books eventually.

  2. I think Azkaban may be my favorite of the series because I feel it's the most completely plotted and the writing is better. Her later books, though I loved them, tended to have too many unraveled ends and internal narrative inconsistencies.

  3. Pepca– I hope you do get the opportunity to read it, I think you'd really enjoy it. I read it every year myself.

    As the Crowe Flies– I've always gone back and forth as to whether "Azkaban" or "Goblet of Fire" is my favorite. I enjoy Azkaban as Harry isn't dueling Voldermort for once and gives more insight to his parent's deaths.

    True, her later books have unraveled ends but I think they are all tied up by the end of book 7. I think I like book 4 so much because it is the beginning of destruction to vanquish what the wizard community has tried to rebuild.

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