Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
by JK Rowling (Author)
Possibly the most eagerly awaited book of 2007, the final instalment in the adventures of the intrepid boy wizard sees Harry on the hunt for horcruxes (objects in which Voldemort has hidden his divided soul). Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ended with the death of Dumbledore, with Voldemort in the ascendancy, and chaos reigning at the Ministry of Magic. In the opening chapters here, loyalty is put to the test and the Order of the Phoenix must be vigilant about who they can trust.
In a break from the previous six books, Hogwarts does not feature prominently, as Harry, Hermione and Ron abandon their studies in order to find the remaining horcruxes and defeat Voldemort.
JK Rowling jokingly described this book as ‘a bloodbath’, and while it’s not quite that violent, many major and much-loved characters are killed off. Speculation was rife that Harry would die in the final clash with Voldemort, but young fans will breathe a sigh of relief to discover that he survives.
This is a fitting end to the Harry saga. If Rowling previously lost her way (for example with problem editing and repetition), she’s back on form here. What distinguishes the series as remarkable (the humour, the multi-dimensional characterisation, the believability of the fantasy, the inventiveness, imagination and great storytelling) comes to the fore here as the characters face their greatest challenges. Their increasing age is acknowledged by their romantic interests (the Ron/ Hermione relationship, Harry’s feelings for Ginny) and by more adult conversations – Ron’s curses are particularly amusing. All of the tantalising loose ends are neatly tied up, villains are gratifyingly dispatched and good triumphs over evil, but this is not a negative. Newcomers, those who have followed Harry from the outset, and curious adult readers will find little to complain about here, although younger/more sensitive readers may find some aspects upsetting. Age: 8+