Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #3
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Scholastic, 1999
Source: Library Audiobook
Read for: Harry Potter Challenge

Memories from the first time: So, I actually wound up reading this book second in the series. It was the one that came in second from the library, so it was the one I read, not knowing when I would have the chance again. I also remember that up until the fourth book came out, it was my favorite of the Harry Potter books. It is kind of unique -- we don't actually see Voldemort in this one, and all the intrigue with Sirius Black and Remus Lupin absolutely blew my mind. 

Impressions this time: I can see why I loved this book so much the first time I read it. Each Harry Potter book seems to grow up a little with the protagonists. Harry seems older -- he is learning more, able to accomplish more. I also noticed quite a bit the anger he has that his parents were killed and how much he wants vengeance for that. It is an element throughout the series, but for some reason it really stood out to me this time around. 

Best new spell: Expecto Patronum definitely carries the day in Prisoner of Azkaban. Harry spends so much time working to perfect it, and I love that he is finally successful. It is also awesome to me that he masters the spell despite the fact that it is very difficult for even grown wizards. 

Best new character: Definitely a tie between Remus Lupin and Sirius Black. I'll be talking more about Lupin in a moment, so I'll focus on Black for a second. I think Sirius is one of the most complex characters that we come across in the series. Imprisoned in Azkaban for a crime that he is innocent of committing, he nevertheless grows hardened during his time with the Dementors. He has some very difficult and conflicting emotions for many of the characters in the book, such as Snape, who is trusted by Dumbledore but who has a shady past. I love the way Sirius and Harry's relationship grows in this book. 

My crush for this book: I definitely have a thing for Remus Lupin. A throwback to my days of Twilight-crushdom on Jacob? Perhaps. No, actually, I think it is the fact that Lupin is such a good mentor for Harry. He is wise and steady and clearly has learned quite a bit from his experiences with prejudice and judgement. I loved the way he took Harry under his wing, and also the way he strikes at times a pathetic but brave figure.

Most villainous moment: This is pulling in elements from the fourth Harry Potter book, but in this one Wormtail begs for Harry to have mercy on him and not kill him. When Harry complies, Wormtail grovels at his feet and tells him that is what his father would have done. One short year later, Wormtail delivers Harry to Voldemort to be killed. It's clear that Wormtail is entirely self-interested and despicable. 

New secret discovered about Hogwarts: The reason the Whomping Willow was planted! It was made so that Remus could disappear to the Shrieking Shack when he transforms into a werewolf. 

Coolest new fact learned about the wizarding world: Hogsmeade, the wizarding village, is definitely an awesome place. I would love to walk around in the wizarding shops and see all the different people and creatures populating it. 

Favorite magical creature: This isn't really a creature, I suppose, but learning more about the animagi was interesting. I love Sirius as the large black dog and think it is very fitting with his personality. 

Best argument between Ron and Hermione: When Harry receives a Firebolt for Christmas, Hermione turns it over to Professor McGonagall in order to make sure it wasn't from Sirius and a trap for Harry (it was from Sirius, but not a trap, since Sirius is of course not evil). Both Ron and Harry were pretty incensed with Hermione for quite a while. 

Deathly Hallows that show up: The Invisibility Cloak. 

Horcruxes that show up: I'm drawing a blank on this one... were there any in the third book?

Coolest magical object: Not really magical, but I love that chocolate reverses the effects of the dementors. I think it reverses the effects of real life dementors as well. 


  1. I love your discussion of this book! I am pretty positive that the Harry Potter series is a classic of our generation... one that will continue to speak to generations past us. Isn't that what a classic is all about? I don't think there were any Horcruxes either.... most don't show up until the sixth and seventh book... except for the diary of course! Thanks for the post!

    1. I hope that it does last through more generations. I am definitely planning on reading it to my son when he gets a little older!

  2. The third book has always been my favorite. It's such a great story line, and I love how this is where you really start to learn about Harry's parents and family.

    1. I agree -- we start getting to know him so much better. Before getting to this book I had forgotten what an impetus the loss of his parents is to Harry to fight Voldemort.

  3. With so many book I want to read for the first time it's nearly impossible to re-read old favorites. I will re-read the Harry Potter books again, though...someday. I truly love them and think we can discover something new in them every time we read.

    1. I have the same problem. I tend to listen to old favorites on audiobook because then if my attention wanders for a few minutes I don't feel as if I've missed the whole story.


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