The third book in this series turns out to be more mature and much darker than the two previous books. This is where we are introduced to the dementors, the dark signs (Trelawney’s prophecy and the Grimm superstitious), as well as the fear which was pervading in the wizarding and in muggle world from Sirius Black’s escape from Azkaban.
This book was opened, as usual, with Harry’s troubled relationship with the Dursleys, although this year was also his happiest birthday in his entire life; he got gifts from Ron, Hermione and Hagrid. His days in Diagon Alley—where Cornelius Fudge placed him after he had run away from the Dursleys—were perfect too. I am a fan of entertaining myself alone; the freedom of watching or shopping anywhere I like is very enjoyable; and that’s why I could appreciate Harry’s feeling at his last weeks of holidays there. Writing essays while enjoying the flowing ice-cream at Florian Fortesque, isn’t it the most awesome holiday in the world? :) And it was topped by the arrivals of the Weasleys and Hermione to join him before starting their third term in Hogwarts.
However, it is in this third series that my liking of Harry was slightly reduced. Here is the hint of his snobbery, because he was ‘the boy who lived’, because he has escaped Voldemort’s attack thrice before. “Did they think he (Harry) couldn’t look after himself? He’d escaped Lord Voldemort three times; he wasn’t completely useless…” Harry must have forgotten that in those three events, he was helped by others? Other might said he was a lucky boy, but I think it’s not merely lucky, but because he was destined to do big things for his world and humanity.
Obedience—or in this case, disobedience—was also Harry’s weakness. I know that as teenager, we don’t like to be told to do or not to do things, teenagers like to do things in their impulsive and foolish way. But I find that aspect is quite overdose in Harry. It’s not just bravery, but more than that. Harry felt that “I don’t go looking for trouble, trouble usually finds me”, that might be true at first, Harry didn’t ask to be Voldemort’s sparing partner in the first place, but he was often carried away to meddle in other things that’s not his concerns. Maybe Harry inherited it from his father James—whom, I admit, was one I dislike most of all protagonists in the series. Harry has many great qualities, but those two—snobbery and disobedience—were not in it.
Among his great qualities, his loyalty in friendship is what I admire. But in that case, Ron and Hermione have their equal shares too. When the Hogsmeade’s weekends came, Ron and Hermione put off their quarrel because Harry was sad of not being able to enjoy Hogsmeade’s festivities. I was amazed when the three of them chased Scabbers—who was chased by Crookshanks—then the black dog attacked them, Ron put himself in Harry’s place by pushing Harry aside and let himself being exposed to the dog. It was an impulsive move, where you don’t have even a second to think, and by that, we know that Ron—despite of being always Harry’s shadow, and I know there’s a bit envy in him—cared so much for Harry, that he sacrificed himself to save his best friend. Isn’t amazing? And at the age of thirteen! Well that, I think, that made me liking Ron more than Harry from this series on…
But I think, the friendship of the ‘Moony-Wormtail-Padfoot-Prongs’ group is more distinguished in this series than of Harry-Ron-Hermione’s. It amazed me more how Sirius, James and Peter—when they knew that Lupin was a werewolf—instead of abandoning Lupin, they share Lupin’s unbearable moments by being Animagi. And they have put great efforts to secretly exercise to perform Animagus. Like Lupin said:
“They couldn’t keep me company as humans, so they keep me company as animals.”
What a huge sacrifice they had done for one friend! This was probably the most touching part for me in this book.
If there is one single thing that I can criticize from Prisoner of Azkaban, it is how quickly Harry put trust in Sirius Black. One moment he was so sure that Sirius has killed his parents, and just after Sirius told them the truth, Harry was suddenly trust him? While he was so difficult to trust Snape—it took years for him, till the end actually—despite the fact that Dumbledore trust him so much? Well…I think it’s rather too quick to believe. But apart from that, I love this book! Four stars for The Prisoner of Azkaban, which I must label as to be read for teenagers of 14 years above, and….can’t wait to get to number 4!
Favorite quotes or passages:
"You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don't recall them more clearly than ever in time of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself most plainly when you have need of him." ~Albus Dumbledore
"You know, Harry, in a way, you did see your father last night... You found him inside yourself." ~Albus Dumbledore
*I read ebook version for:*
3rd book for Hotter Potter
9th book for What’s in A Name Challenge 2013
3rd book for Fun Year Event with Children's Literature