fiction, review

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

When I first laid my hands on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I seriously hoped it would be better than the movie adaptation. And I was not the least bit disappointed. Much to my surprise, it’s not only better in some aspects, including the portrayal of each character, but also it’s so much different from the disappointing movie. Published a year after the third installment, this fourth book of the Harry Potter series offers a true adventure of a magic world.

When the Quidditch World Cup takes place, the Death Eaters show up and make such a riot in the middle of wizarding and Muggle communities. While everything is looking unlikely to get worse, the most unexpected thing just happens out of the blue: the emergence of the Dark Mark, the sign of the Dark Lord. However, in spite of the commotion, the Triwizard Tournament is about to begin in Hogwarts, the contenders being the champion from each school whose names are put into and chosen by the Goblet of Fire. Having the Age Line limiting the age of the participants, the fourteen-year-old Harry Potter is, of course, not expected to join the competition. But someone puts his name into the goblet without anyone knowing it, so Harry, however resistant he is, is forced to join the dangerous tournament.

Just as expected, Harry has to deal with murmured accusation that he cheats in putting his own name into the Goblet of Fire when he himself doesn’t know who does it. But, despite having to face many people accusing him, including his own best friend Ron, Harry takes part in the competition and performs top performances, undoubtedly getting the best marks. What he doesn’t know, but what we all may assume it’s just the way it is, is that the last task of the tournament will bring him to the whys and wherefores of his name being put into the goblet. He doesn’t have any idea that Lord Voldemort, the Dark Lord, has been waiting for him to help rising his power again.

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, we get to see some more shocking turns of characters, as Rowling has been used to doing to her creation of people. However habitual it is, the result still amazes me and keeps me wonder. And I can definitely say that Rowling’s portrayal of characters in the book is way much better and much more twisting than it is in the movie. That said, what gets my most attention is the sneak preview of more of Lord Voldemort’s character through the more-or-less-in-depth narration of his background and history. Though not in full yet, Rowling succeeds in presenting the character of Lord Voldemort so that the reader, and I suppose Harry, too, can prepare and brace themselves for something nasty in the next number of the series. And that’s only for starters, there are a lot more surprises of characters sit between the pages of this book and are waiting to jump on you.

I have to say that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the thickest book of the series I’ve read so far with the longest plot to boot, what with nearly in-depth description of Lord Voldemort’s background and quite long history and detailed steps and rules of the Triwizard Tournament, not to mention some more warning revelations. Fortunately, the still attractive way in which Rowling composes every sentence and narration helps, so I didn’t get bored and put the book down fast. The jokes and hilarious dialogues also kept me stay on my seat while I was reading it, making me enjoy the book just the way I always did. The descriptions of all the magic stuff are also fantastic, and I believe Ms. Rowling had put a lot of efforts to create such a magic world. The narrative is just typically strong. And I don’t think I have to mention again the dark atmosphere shrouding the story.

All in all, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a fantastic fantasy book. When I was reading it, I kept saying that the movie adaptation should have followed its lead, not straying out of the line and changing almost everything, from its storyline to its portrayal of characters. I know transforming a very thick book into a movie is never an easy task, but I expected that they would only reduce it, not change it. Well, what I’m saying is that this book is just fantastic.

Rating: 3.5/5

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