Synopses & Reviews
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the epic tale of Harry Potter, Harry and Lord Voldemort each prepare for their ultimate encounter.
Voldemort takes control of the Ministry of Magic, installs Severus Snape as headmaster at Hogwarts, and sends his Death Eaters across the country to wreak havoc and find Harry. Meanwhile, Harry, Ron, and Hermione embark on a desperate quest the length and breadth of Britain, trying to locate and destroy Voldemort’s four remaining Horcruxes, the magical objects in which he has hidden parts of his broken soul. They visit the Burrow, Grimmauld Place, the Ministry, Godric’s Hollow, Malfoy Manor, Diagon Alley…
But every time they solve one mystery, three more evolve—and not just about Voldemort, but about Dumbledore, and Harry’s own past, and three mysterious objects called the Deathly Hallows. The Hallows are literally things out of a children’s tale, which, if real, promise to make their possessor the “Master of Death;” and they ensnare Harry with their tantalizing claim of invulnerability.
It is only after a nigh-unbearable loss that he is brought back to his true purpose, and the trio returns to Hogwarts for the final breathtaking battle between the forces of good and evil. They fight the Death Eaters alongside members of the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore’s Army, the Weasley clan, and the full array of Hogwarts teachers and students.
Yet everything turns upon the moment the entire series has been building up to, the same meeting with which our story began: the moment when Harry and Voldemort face each other at last.
"Potter fans, relax this review packs no spoilers. Instead, we’re taking advantage of our public platform to praise Rowling for the excellence of her plotting. We can't think of anyone else who has sustained such an intricate, endlessly inventive plot over seven thick volumes and so constantly surprised us with twists, well-laid traps and Purloined Letter-style tricks. Hallows
continues the tradition, both with sly feats of legerdemain and with several altogether new, unexpected elements. Perhaps some of the surprises in Hallows don't have quite the punch as those of earlier books, but that may be because of the thoroughness and consistency with which Rowling has created her magical universe, and because we've so raptly absorbed its rules.
We're also seizing the occasion to wish out loud that her editors had done their jobs more actively. It's hard to escape the notion that the first three volumes were more carefully edited than the last four. Hallows doesn’t contain the extraneous scenes found in, say, Goblet of Fire, but the momentum is uneven. Rowling is much better at comedy than at fight scenes, and no reader of the sixth book will be startled to hear that Hallows has little humor or that its characters engage in more than a few fights. Surely her editors could have helped her find other methods of building suspense besides the use of ellipses and dashes? And craft fight dialogue that sounds a bit less like it belongs in a comic book? Okay, we're quibbling. We know these minor nuisances won't dent readers' enjoyment, at least not this generation of readers; we couldn't put Hallows down ourselves. But we believe Rowling, and future readers, deserved even better. Ages 9-12. (July)"
Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[T]rue to its roots, [the series] ends...with good old-fashioned closure: a big-screen, heart-racing, bone-chilling confrontation and an epilogue that clearly lays out people's fates....While Ms. Rowling's astonishingly limber voice still moves effortlessly between Ron's adolescent sarcasm and Harry's growing solemnity, from youthful exuberance to more philosophical gravity, Deathly Hallows is, for the most part, a somber book that marks Harry's final initiation into the complexities and sadnesses of adulthood." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"It's hard to imagine a better ending than the one she's written for her saga....Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows may be a miracle of marketing, but it's also a miraculous book that earns out, emotionally and artistically." Elizabeth Hand, The Washington Post
"[A] triumph. Its weaknesses become a source of strength, like the scar on Harry's forehead, and the seventh and last novel in J.K. Rowling's series turns out to be the best one." The Oregonian
"It's a great read. Don't be sad that it's over to be complete, a finished, fully realized creation, Harry's tale had to end. We had to know what would finally happen to him, and now we do. I'm satisfied, and I can't wait to see the movie version of this last book." Philadelphia Inquirer
"I'm amazed, when I sit back, at the sheer, immensely complicated arc of the story; Rowling has always said she had the entire seven-book series plotted out from the very beginning, and it's clear she did....Rowling winds up her tale with a stunningly beautiful simplicity. As an added flourish, she gilds it with a moving epilogue, one that brought tears to my eyes." Entertainment Weekly
"Seventh time's the charm. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows isn't letter-perfect, but it's the most captivating book in J.K. Rowling's series. Dramatic, poignant and deftly plotted, it's a classic yarn." Kansas City Star
"[A]n exhausting, gut-wrenching experience....It is very, very good. Rowling's seventh novel shows she's mastered her craft: All her powers are on display here the magnificent imagination, the keen wit, and, most of all, her tremendous gifts as a mystery writer." Miami Herald
"[W]hat Rowling has achieved in this book and the series can be described only as astonishing. Just as her characters have matured, the language and tone of the books have grown in sophistication and lyricism. But she has never lost the sense of wonder that has propelled her into literary legend." Los Angeles Times