Book Review: “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)” by J. K. Rowling

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Fantasy

Source: Bought

Other Harry Potter books

Summary from Goodreads:

For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter’s defeat of You-Know-Who was Black’s downfall as well; and the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, “He’s at Hogwarts . . . he’s at Hogwarts.”

Harry Potter isn’t safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.


I always have a hard time ranking the book in the series. It’s like trying to pick a favorite kid. You just can’t do it. Despite that POA almost always tends to end up on the top of my list (usually tying with Deathly Hallows). I’m not sure exactly why I like it so much but I suspect it’s because some of my favorite aspects of the series are introduced in this book. The Marauder’s map, Lupin, and Sirius. The Marauder’s map is definitely one of the cooler objects in this world. Between it and the invisibility cloak the trio is almost unstoppable. Lupin is awesome. He’s my favorite Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. And then there’s Sirius. I love how in 300 pages Rowling can make us go from hating the guy to making him an awesome godfather.

The series has always been  bit dark but it’s around here (and Goblet of Fire) that I think the series starts to shift from the lightheartedness of the first two books to the much darker tone that continues for the rest of the series. It’s the first time we’ve really learned about the circumstances of Harry’s parent’s deaths. Obviously that’s dark. It’s made worse by the fact that their deaths were  a result of a betrayal of a ‘friend’.

To me one of the more darker and scarier aspect of the series is Azkaban and the Dementors. Prison should be a scary idea. That’s why it’s a punishment. Wizarding prison seems so much worse than ‘normal’ prison because of the environment. Being in solitude is enough to drive most people a little crazy but to have guards that literally feast on your happiness/soul? That is downright terrifying.

Hermione shines in this book. I love her interaction with Malfoy! It’s about time someone did that to him. We know that girls tend to mature faster than boys do but it’s pretty clear to see it when you compare Hermione to Harry and Ron in this book. She takes on more than she can literally do, she’s willing to risk her friendship with Harry in order to assure his safety, and on top of her endless loads of homework she takes on research to help Hagrid save Buckbeak. That’s pretty impressive for a 13 year old.

I was a bit impressed with Harry in the book. He has a nasty habit of acting first and thinking later which always gets him into trouble. He was able to control his temper (with in reason) for the book. Most people would have acted very stupidly if they found out that their parents’ murder was because of their best friends betrayal. Yes he did hate Sirius and want to kill Sirius for most of the book but he didn’t go out and act on that impulse. That’s a step up for him!

The bottom line? Very, very enjoyable.

12 thoughts on “Book Review: “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

  1. Ah my favourite Potter book. I think it was because it was the fist one to really get dark and start to bring the depth of the later series to the fore. You know it intimately I see, puts me to shame having only read it once. Fine review.

  2. Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite too, and the reason for me is that the plot is tied together really, really well. All the aspects of the plot are important, and in the climax they come together beautifully. Snape’s enmity, Hermione’s impossible class schedule, the business with Hagrid’s hippogriff — it’s so many different things, and they all fit together like a glorious puzzle.

    • I love the way things fit too! You’re right. This story all fits together well but it also fits in well with the rest of the series. Upon rereading the books you know how important all these pieces are to the larger story.

  3. This was also high on my list of favorite Harry Potters. Though the last time I reread the series, I was much fonder of The Half-Blood Price and The Deathly Hallows than I was the first time around. I dunno, if I reread again, I’d probably pick a new favorite!

  4. Pingback: Some Thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” by J.K. Rowling « Zezee's Link

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