by J.K. Rowling ★★★★★
It’s the summer holidays and soon Harry Potter will be starting his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is counting the days: there are new spells to be learnt, more Quidditch to be played, and Hogwarts castle to continue exploring. But Harry needs to be careful – there are unexpected dangers lurking …
JK Rowling continues to surprise and delight with the power of her rich, demanding and action-packed storytelling. [Goodreads]
An action-packed story that’s full of great moments.
This was another great trip down memory lane. I love re-reading HP books. Harry has endured another challenging period in the Dursley household with fresh memories of Sirius from book 3 crisp in his mind. At last, he had someone (besides Dumbledore) to watch over him, even if it was from a distance.
HP 4 starts with a great celebration. It’s Quidditch World Cup time and there’s a bucket load of excitement that goes with it. It’s a rare opportunity for magic folk to gather and bask in the spectacle of a major event. As with any great spectacle, there are some who see it as an opportunity to cause havoc. An evil prank by a pack of Death Eaters and the appearance of the Dark Mark demonstrate how easily things can switch from the highs of the sports field to the lows of dark magic. It’s a huge wake-up call to many, but others still remain in denial of the impending return of Voldemort.
Soon after the cup, another school year begins, which promises to be full of drama and excitement. Existing bonds have grown stronger and foes have grown ’foeier’, but there is big news on the way. Dumbledore announces that Hogwarts will host the legendary Triwizard Cup, which has been dormant in the magic world for many years (due to unfortunate deaths and injuries in the past). The cup would be a good-hearted battle of endurance and smarts between the three great schools of the wizarding world.
That’s where J.K. throws a spanner in the works. Instead of the expected three competitors, a fourth is thrust into the game. Harry. And he must accept his role and compete to win, whilst fighting against multiple opponents that lay within and outwith the challenges of the cup. The Triwizard Cup is a battle for Harry on so many levels. Only one competitor can win and claim victory. The plot is full of great twists that both surprise and delight.
The influx of visitors to Hogwarts brings with it a whole wave of new characters that weave into the lives of our favourite wizards. Hagrid for one shows a new side to his personality as he falls for one of the visitors. Hermione is also a little besotted by one of Harry’s opponents, as she blossoms into her teens and dazzles at the ball. There’s also the subtle beginnings of an underlying (and unacknowledged) chemistry with Ron.
This book is another wonderful tale by J.K. that builds on the previous books and sets up well for the ones that follow. She builds the threat of looming chaos and Dumbledore is worried. It’s a turning point in the series where the Ministry is starting to lose all sense of logic by denying that Voldemort’s strength is growing. There’s a lesson to be learned – don’t ignore the squeaky wheel, it’ll fall off one day and you’ll be in deep trouble.
Each time I re-read these books I love them more. The Goblet of Fire is an action-packed story that’s full of great moments. The various paths and plots within the story converge into a wonderful and exciting climax.
Check out my other Harry Potter reviews:
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire