Nancy O'Toole's Reviews > Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
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Mar 14, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, young-adult
Read in October, 2009

When Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he’s just as surprised as everyone else when he discovers that the Triwizard Tournament is going to take place over the school year. Designed as a way to establish friendship in the wizard world, the Triwizard Tournament is a competition between three different schools. Only the tournament has fallen a bit out of favor due the fact that participants have a nasty habit of dying. Every student wants to be picked as the champion that will represent Hogwarts, but only a few are eligible to place their names in the Goblet of Fire due to an age restriction. Harry, being only fourteen, doesn’t enter the contest, and is shocked when he’s announced as a champion for Hogwarts. It soon becomes obvious that someone has entered Harry’s name into the Goblet of Fire in secret, someone that may wish Harry dead.

I was fourteen when Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire first came out. On the release date, I remember eagerly waiting for the UPS man to arrive with my copy of the book. When he did (apparently after delivering several other copies of the book to various people in town), I ran up to my room and started to read, and read, and read. In the several hours it took me to read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I completely discarded things I normally did on a Saturday, like eat. Rereading it years later, I didn’t tackle the book with quite as much enthusiasm, but I couldn’t help but get sucked into Harry’s world again.

One thing I enjoy the most about Goblet of Fire is the fact that it feels the more expansive than the previous books. Thanks to the Triwizard Tournament and the Quidditch World Cup (which Harry witnesses before the school year), we get to see witches and wizards from all over the world. We also get to learn more about what life was like when Voldemort was in power. Goblet of Fire has the largest cast of the series so far. Here we see favorites from previous books, like Sirius Black and Dobby the house-elf, as well as dozens of new faces, many of them with secrets that Harry must discover.

Goblet of Fire proves that Rowling is a master plotter. She has a real knack for hiding little nuggets for important information throughout the book, and the reader doesn’t truly discover their importance until it’s too late. One thing this volume also does well is suspense. Certain sections, such as the first task for the Triwizard tournament, and pretty much the every moment of the last hundred pages, make it impossible to put the book down. Goblet of Fire has its more lighthearted moments as well. Rowling’s trademark wit can be found her amusing in portrayal of newspaper reporter Rita Skeeter, who can’t help but sensationalize every story. This volume also showcases quite a bit of romance as well, as Harry, Ron, and Hermione each end up falling in love with the wrong person.

With it’s longer length and darker moments, Harry Potter in the Goblet of Fire launches the Harry Potter series to the next level. It’s no longer about Harry’s journey to defeat whatever magical challenge Hogwarts throws at him by the end of the school year. Instead it’s about a complex magical world filled with danger, and where the good guys don’t always come out unscathed in the end. I very much enjoyed reading this book again.
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