It is not surprising that J. K. Rowling needed a break before writing the fifth
book. The first four came out within a couple of years, to
record breaking success. What is
surprising is how she managed to maintain
such quality in the first four, each new book being longer and more complex, while
building fantastically on its predecessor. The fifth installment, Harry
Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
, promises to be over a third longer than
the fourth volume, Goblet of Fire
, which is staggering considering that
Goblet of Fire
is 734 pages long! More staggering still, in regards to
Rowling's output, is that Goblet of Fire
is a really great book. While
at times darker than the previous volumes, and with some moments of genuine, heightened
emotion, Goblet of Fire
retains Rowling's deliciously wicked humor and
startling imagination. While the wait is still on for Order of the Phoenix
due to be released on June 21, Goblet of Fire
is the perfect way to remember
what all the fuss is about. Georgie, Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
"Readers are in for a delightful romp with this award-winning debut from a British author who dances in the footsteps of P.L. Travers and Roald Dahl. There is enchantment, suspense, and danger galore (as well as enough creepy creatures to satisfy the most bogey-men-loving readers, and even a magical game of soccerlike Quidditch to entertain the sports fans).
---Publishers Weekly, starred review
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
"the magical foundation so necessary in good fantasy, are as expertly crafted here as in the first book."
--Booklist, starred review
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
"Isn't it reassuring that some things just get better and better?"
--School Library Journal
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
"Rowling seems to have the spell-casting powers she assigns her characters: this fourth volume might be her most thrilling yet. Rowling plants the red herrings, the artful clues and tricky surprises that disarm the most attentive audience. The muscle-building heft of this volume notwithstanding, the clamor for book five will begin as soon as readers finish installment four."
--Publishers Weekly starred review-- July, 2000
"Harry is now l4 years old and in his fourth year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where big changes are afoot. This year, instead of the usual Inter- House Quidditch Cup, a Triwizard Tournament will be held, during which three champions, one from each of three schools of wizardry (Hogwarts, Durinstrang, and Beaux-batons), must complete three challenging magical tasks. The competitors must be at least 17 years old, but the Goblet of Fire that determines the champions mysteriously produces Harry's name, so he becomes an unwilling fourth contestant. Meanwhile, it is obvious to the boy's allies that the evil Voldemort will use the Tournament to get at Harry. This hefty volume is brimming with all of the imagination, humor, and suspense that characterized the first books. So many characters, both new and familiar, are so busily scheming, spying, studying, worrying, fulminating, and suffering from unrequited first love that it is a wonder that Rowling can keep track, much less control, of all the plot lines. She does, though, balancing humor, malevolence, school-day tedium, and shocking revelantions with the aplomb of a circus performer. The Triwizard Tournament itself is bit of a letdown, since Harry is able, with a little help from his friends and even enemies, to perform the tasks easily. This fourth installment, with its deaths, a sinister ending, and an older and more shaken protagonist, surely marks the beginning of a very exciting and serious baffle between the forces of light and dark, and Harry's fans will be right there with him".-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
--School Library Journal, August 2000
" Was it worth the long, agonizing wait and all the hype and hoopla? You bet! Harry's fourth challenging experience willmore than live up to his myriad fans' expectations--though the 734 pages divided into 37 chapters may be a bit daunting to your readers. The very length, however, allows an even richer tapestry of magical events and humorous escapades, even as the tale takes the long-predicted darker turn. . . . Any inclination towards disbelief on the part of readers is swept away by the very brilliance of the writing. The carefully created world of magic becomes more embellished and layered, while the amazing plotting ties up loose ennds, even as it sets in motion more entanglements. The long climax races relentlessly to a stunning denouement that leaves the way open for the next episode. Le the anticipation be
It's the pivotal fourth novel in the seven-part saga of a young wizard's coming of age. The thickest. The juiciest yet. Harry Potter turns fourteen. But will all his friends? Rumors have persisted that one of the characters may not see the conclusion of this novel, something the author has refused either to confirm or deny. But we who love Ron, Hermione, Hagrid...even pitiful Neville Longbottom...wait anxiously to see if they will make it through safely. No one's fate is certain when Volde -- excuse me -- He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is part of the picture.
What is certain is that a novel of excruciating suspense awaits, leavened by J. K. Rowling's inimitable sense of humor and the burgeoning details of her magical world. Whether it's taking a front-row seat at the International Quidditch World Cup, or meeting the new Defense-Against-the-Dark-Arts teacher, or finding out if Harry really does start a romance with Cho Chang, fans of the history-making boy-wizard will find their thirst for Hogwarts adventure slaked deliciously...at least for a little while!