Author: J.K. Rowling
# of Pages: 435
Release date: September 1, 1999
For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.
Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter’s defeat of You-Know-Who was Black’s downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, “He’s at Hogwarts… He’s at Hogwarts.”
Harry Potter isn’t safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.
This is probably the HP book that I know the best. For some reason, I believe I’ve read it more than the other books as well as seen the movie a few times (and I’m truthfully not a huge fan of the HP movies). For that reason, this book is a true comfort read for me… I love going back to the familiar story and rediscovering Sirius Black and his contribution to Harry’s history.
The Prisoner of Azkaban has quite a bit of suspense and adventure – definitely more than the first two books. First of all, there is the terror and uncertainty of Sirius Black being at large throughout the novel – how did he escape? Where is he now? What does he plan to do once he finally gets to Harry at Hogwarts? Also, there is the fact that Harry keeps getting snippets of information about why Black is after him in particular – although he has some knowledge, everything he hears confuses him (and the reader).
I think that one thing I love so much about this book is how much Harry is forced to grow up. He learns a lot of new information about his parents’ past, about how exactly they were found by Voldemort and who in the wizarding world is truly on the dark side and out to get Harry. He becomes much more aware of the world around him, and how events that occurred many years ago can still have a great impact on his life. He still has plenty to learn about his past and about the wizarding world (which he absolutely will do in the next four books), but I think that this book is sort of a turning point where he really begins to grow up.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite of the first three books in the series, not my favorite overall but my favorite of the first three. I also think that, when reading this series, if you get to this book you will definitely want to go on to read the rest. It begins to set off the more sinister tone of the last three books and gives you just a touch of what’s to come with the rest of the series.
More reviews –