In the fourth book of J.K. Rowling's massively popular series, Harry, Ron, and Hermoine attend the Quidditch World Cup. Quidditch is the most popular sport in the wizard world, and the World Cup brings together wizards from all over the world... Turns out to be the perfect place for the evil Lord Voldemort's supporters (known as "Death Eaters") to rally together and cause some trouble. The Death Eaters' stunt sends everyone into a frenzy. Meanwhile, as the school year begins at Hogwarts, Harry learns that students from the Belgian and French schools of magic (Durmstrang and Beauxbaton, respectively) will be visitors at Hogwarts to participate in the Triwizard Tournament -- a series of tasks to determine the strongest wizard or witch. Harry is too young to participate, but that doesn't stop a hidden Death Eater from trying to bring Harry straight to Lord Voldemort, who is still seeking revenge.
The Triwizard Tournament is the main reason that I enjoyed this book so much. The selection of school "champions," the clues they are given for each task, the strategies to consider for facing each task... Beautiful. I have to say, it reminded me a little of The Hunger Games... Of course the entire Harry Potter series was written before The Hunger Games... and the Triwizard Tournament is much less violent and cold-hearted. Still, there were some similar elements. Just enough to make me smile.
Another dimension of the Hogwarts' students lives was added in Goblet of Fire, and that is romance. Harry, Ron, and Hermoine are 14 in this book, and hormones are kicking in. All three of them are struggling with crushes, and things get complicated when Hogwarts hosts a ball to bring together the students from the competing schools. There's plenty of drama about all of that, but it wasn't overkill. (And by that, I mean, it wasn't the kind of drama you might read in, say, Twilight.) It didn't take away from the story, and I appreciate that.
You find out some interesting things about some of the recurring characters in this book, like Snape and the Malfoy family, among others. I'm really looking forward to seeing how things shape up as far as that goes. I'm kind of sad that I'm over halfway done with the series. That's why I'm reading them about a month apart... Spreading it out as much as I can.
Read from May 29, 2011 to June 11, 2011