Harry Potter: An ode to the World of Magic and Fantasy

Stripping away the popular image of serene, silver-bearded wisdom, Rita Skeeter reveals the lawless youth, the life-long feuds, and the guilty secrets that Dumbledore carried to his grave, WHY was the man tipped to be the Minister of Magic content to remain a mere headmaster?


Voldemort had raised his wand. Harry saw the mouth move and a flash of green light and everything was gone…


A good book gives the reader a perfect, vicarious experience. The reader is kept absorbed in the plots, making it impossible for him to stop turning the pages.


And then, there are excellent books, those which make a reader an inherent part of themselves and the readers delve on those books long after they have been kept aside. Such is the experience of reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This is the last book of Harry Potter’s magical world created by the venerable J. K. Rowling in her series of seven books.


After learning about the Horcruxes, the base treachery by Severus Snape and the resultant death of Albus Dumbledore, and in the wake of ever-growing menace of Lord Voldemort; Harry, Ron and Hermione pull themselves out of Hogwarts education and set out on the mission path that Dumbledore had laid for them. The story moves around their isolated trips for Horcrux-destruction. The first half is deliberately slow paced with the death of some significant characters. We learn more about the wand-lore and invisibility cloaks, and Harry discovers Dumbledore’s deepest secrets. That and the curious connection of Harry’s and Voldemort’s wands lead us to the ‘Deathly Hallows’.


It is in the second half of the book that the story suddenly gathers speed and twists. The main plot remains of the final confrontation of Harry and Voldemort, and conquest of the deathly hallows. The sub-plots are the hitherto purposefully, guarded secrets of Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape, a certain house-elf and Lily Potter.


Though there aren’t any significant new characters introduced in this book, we see a return of many old characters (those alive, of course) from the previous parts: Rita Skeeter, Griphook – the goblin, Ollivander, Aberforth Dumbledore and Viktor Krum. Hey, did I just say ‘no significant new characters’? Well, ready yourself for a surprise return of old-yet-new character!! He’s significant, very pivotal to the main plot and sub plots!! The character sketching remains as ingenious and detailed as we have come to expect of this author.


Anticipate darker humor (Fred-George humor is a passé), minimal romance, complex magic and quite a few deaths on your way with Harry and Co., into the thickets of the magical world. The book, as the previous ones, is full of lessons on moral fiber, mental courage, team-work, loyalty and friendships.


The book falls in the genre of ‘fantasy fiction’, and though it is popularly claimed as being ‘inspired’ from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, it is anything but so. The author writes from a third person limited view. The masterstroke, however, is the detailing of the narration, complete with imagery, spell work, laws of the magical world, various institutions (Gringotts, Ministry of Magic) and of course, the various magical creatures. All this, taken together, makes Harry’s world almost a parallel to the ‘Muggle’ world.


Various themes underlie different parts of the novel, predominantly, courage, danger-in-the-face-of-death, oppression, racial superiority, selflessness and even envy. The author also addresses the concerns of today, such as, manipulation by the press, secret operations by certain terror elements and of course, making the right choices.


As expected from the anticipation created by the sixth part, this book sold record 10 million copies, worldwide, in 24 hours of release, with people waiting in serpentine queues right from before midnight. Apparently, people could not wait any more to find out what happens to Harry and old Voldy and even the greasy Potions Master.


Does Rowling succumb to the popular demand of ‘keeping Harry alive’? Does Harry have a magical power Voldemort knows not? Or is it a plain duel of magical talent and survival of the fittest?


To know this and more, go grab your copy, now!


Mugdha Kudtarkar

[Image source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/capitrueno/1140802191/]