Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

HP 7Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Author: J. K. Rowling
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
2010 (2007)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 607
Started: 28th June 2016
Completed: 29th June 2016 
Rating: 4.5/5
Summary: Harry Potter is preparing to leave the Dursleys and Privet Drive for the last time. The future that awaits him is full of danger, not only for him, but for anyone close to him – and Harry has already lost so much. Only by destroying Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes can Harry free himself and overcome the Dark Lord’s forces of evil. In a final and perilous journey, Harry must find the strength and the will to face a deadly confrontation that is his alone to fight.

Contains major spoilers.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final book in J. K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ series which follows the school years of a young wizard and his friends.

This book was adapted into two films, Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) and Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011). I do enjoy the films, especially the scenes which tell the story of the Deathly Hallows, but I prefer the book to the two films.

This is one of my favourite books in the Harry Potter series. It lies in joint second with the Half-Blood Prince but after the Prisoner of Azkaban. This is reflected through my rating even though I acknowledge some aspects of the novel that I dislike.

There are several aspects of the plot that I thoroughly enjoyed. The search for the remaining Horcruxes is incredibly well written and very complex. It’s not an easy journey for Hermione, Ron, and Harry as they face many different challenges such as the necklace affecting Ron in a way that jeopardises the whole mission and all three of them are being stalked by Voldemort’s followers. Harry’s realisation that he is the final Horcrux is almost heartbreaking as he resigns himself to die for the greater good.

deathly-hallows-symbolI also loved the scene revolving around Dumbledore’s will and the introduction to the Deathly Hallows through the book that he bequeathed to Hermione. It was incredible how Rowling linked Harry’s family to the original owners of the Deathly Hallows through the invisibility cloak that first appears in the first book of the series. It’s a wonderful way to tie all of the books together. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story because it’s a fairy tale of the Wizarding World, something that even wizards and witches don’t believe once they’ve grown up, so finding out that the story is true brings more magic to the story.

The Battle of Hogwarts is the climax of the novel and although the whole novel is full of action this is the chapter where the reader finally experiences the battle between good and evil that they’ve been promised since the first book. It didn’t disappoint me in any way and I love that Voldemort dies like a normal man (not like in the film adaptation) because it highlights that, despite his best efforts, Tom Riddle was only human.

I love the themes that are at the forefront of the final book. It’s a much more adult book while still retaining the childhood themes of magic and love. However, Rowling focuses much more on the ideas of death, war, and good versus evil. Death is the major theme as Harry must become the true Master of Death to defeat Voldemort who has mastered death in his own way. Rowling sadistically rips out her reader’s heart when Harry dies at the hand of Voldemort but she ultimately restores hope and wonder to the Wizarding World when Harry masters death and returns to battle Voldemort.

The characters become more well-rounded as Harry unselfishly sacrifices himself for his friends and Ron mourns for his family. I was happy to see that Ron and Hermione finally got together during this book because that relationship had been building for most of the series. I’m glad that it was the fact that death was staring them in the face that made them realise that they loved each other, rather than just a typical teenage romance. Even Dumbledore, despite his death in the previous book, becomes a more well-rounded character as Harry finds out about his past and meets his brother. Dumbledore’s death allowed Rowling to explore the darker aspects of Dumbledore’s character that were hinted at in the previous books without tarnishing his reputation as a benevolent character too much.

You can tell that J. K. Rowling’s writing style developed over the course of creating this series but she still retained her use of simple language which makes this book suitable for all ages. However, she adds in much more description and the book is incredibly detailed which is great for older readers. This book does feel more grown up than the first two or three books in the series but this isn’t because Rowling has started throwing in complicated words or anything like that, she’s just changed the tone of the novel through her writing skills.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The only thing I’d change is the epilogue. It’s too sweet and nice and it just didn’t feel like it fit with the rest of the novel. The epilogue was just portrayed the characters with perfect lives and I wasn’t convinced by it at all. I’d just delete it all and leave the book without an epilogue at all. Or maybe she could have shown Harry, Ron, and Hermione sharing a flat and watching Netflix because that would be more realistic. However, since I can ignore the epilogue (as I did during this re-read) I did rate the book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I would recommend this book without any hesitation and I’d recommend the whole Harry Potter series to anyone who hasn’t read it.


2 thoughts on “Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

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