The third book of the series and my personal favourite has Harry Potter and his friends in their third year at school. (Read the reviews of the first and second if you haven’t already). It begins with the summer holidays at the Dursleys where Harry loses control when uncle Vernon’s sister Marge comes to visit resulting in her blowing up like a balloon. Consequently, Harry who has broken the law that underage wizards and witches are not allowed to perform magic outside of school, packs his things and runs away. He is picked up safely and not expelled (as he originally feared) and resides at Diagon Alley the rest of the summer. However, all is not well in the magical kingdom. A mass murderer and loyal supporter of Voldemort has escaped the most secure wizarding gaol Azkaban. His name is Sirius Black. No one knows how he managed to do something no wizard has ever succeeded in doing. For the prison is guarded by Dementors who pretty much suck the happiness out of every individual there. The problem with Black’s escape now is that Harry is his target. Resulting in security being tightened around the school and Harry being watched. The term involves adventures and escapades for Harry, Ron and Hermione including flying on a hippogriff, having Hagrid as a teacher, learning how to tell the future through Divination with Professor Trelawney, and learning to conjure the Patronus charm to ward of the Dementors with Professor Lupin among others. Will Sirius Black ever be caught? Or will he get to Hogwarts first?
This by far was one of the most exciting books. I fell in love with it on reading it…the suspense, the humour, the thrills…brilliant! The overarching theme is loyalty as portrayed through not just Harry, Ron and Hermione but also through Lupin and Sirius. Rowling also seems to be making a comment on the death penalty and whether it is justifiable for even the most heinous of crimes. Sirius if caught, faces the Dementor’s Kiss, the wizarding version of the death penalty where his soul will be sucked out. Furthermore, the best way to fight fear is through laughter and facing it and this is a message that we could all use in our lives. Comments are also made about the vagueness of fields such as astrology through the Divination course. And finally, there are things that happen in your life which cannot be meddled with. So even the worst thing that might happen, still shapes your life and you in a certain way. It isn’t destiny necessarily but about how different events in our lives can shape us to be who we really are.
I would love to give this book more than the highest rating if possible…but because I can’t it gets a 5.
Until next time,