Your devotion is nothing more than cowardice. You would not be here if you had anywhere else to go.
It is Harry Potter’s fourth year at Hogwarts and one big event is forthcoming for the school year: the Triwizard Tournament is being held in Hogwarts. The participants are the three biggest schools of magic from Europe: Beauxbatons, Durmstrang and Hogwarts. Each school gets one student to compete against each other. However, the only remarkable thing about this year is that the Goblet of Fire announces a fourth student to participate: Harry Potter. Harry, who never really wanted to be part of this, has no choice but to fight through the Triwizard Tournament with no support from his schoolmates and friends to begin with.
The Goblet of Fire is the perfect blend of a humorous young-adult fiction and a serious action-drama novel. It also marks the transition of Harry Potter and his friends from an easygoing childhood life to serious adulthood adventures. The book has an aura of darkness about it right from the first chapter and it consistently maintains that tone to the very end. Unlike the preceding three books in the series, The Goblet of Fire is fairly lengthy. Even so, the consistently palpable tension throughout really takes the edge off the book’s length. The plot also accommodates a fair chunk of relationship drama.
The Goblet of Fire sees the characters become more mature. In this sense, it wouldn’t be unfair to term this as the coming-of-age novel of the Harry Potter series. Hermione Granger, in particular, drives home her image as not just a clever girl, but a passionate and determined wizard as well. Her complex personally is actually quite likeable. Having been typecast and stereotyped as a beauty with brains, Hermione showcases her more girly and emotive side in The Goblet of Fire. This helps her come out of Harry’s shadow after having been portrayed as his clever friend throughout the series.
The book is also replete with various details that make the mystic world a lot more realistic. Cedric’s fairness, for example, is for all to see. Even though the book is a dark novel, it has its fair share of humor as well. The confluence of adolescence and magic is an intriguing one, and the readers – in spite of being Muggles – can often relate to events.
Decent people are so easy to manipulate, Potter.
The Triwizard Trials make for an interesting read, though their labyrinthine structure and the part featuring Voldemort are a bit too anticlimactic. Cedric’s death comes across as shocking, and is more likely to catch you than the actual grief will (read the book to find out!). Even though this part is immensely important, Rowling simply chooses to skim over the ritual that restores Voldemort. This is the one part where the author could have done a lot better: she fails to make the most of the ritual’s setting and darkness to truly demonstrate the terror that Voldermort is supposed to incite.
The Goblet of Fire concerns the part when things really begin to heat up in Harry’s life. His relationships with his friends and peers become more complex, he is clearer about his duties, and the plot itself begins to move forward in a more certain direction.
To sum up, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the moving novel in the series. It brings us closer than ever to the real, darker world of wizards. Scoring an impressive 4.1 stars out of a possible 5, this book is a must-read for Potterheads and non-fans alike.
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