- Rating: 5/5 Cats
- Recommended for: All and Everyone
- Reviewed by: Cassandra Rai
Today we dive into the wondering world of wizardry with the timeless classic, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (book 1). These novels are so popular and with good reason. J.K. Rowling starts the series off with the perfect novel to get you hooked. I like how you immediately get the read of the characters introduced: Harry is the main guy with a complex past, the Dursleys are the stuck-up Muggles, Ron is the youngest son from a large family who’s loyal to his friends, Hermione is the star student who has (at first) has her priority mixed up, Draco is the rich entitled kid who quickly becomes arch enemies to Harry, Hagrid the big lovable guy who loves destructive creatures no matter what, Dumbledore is the majestic powerful Head Master, and Voldemort (we’re not scared to say his name) is the mysterious evil who is never really gone or far away.
One of my favorite parts of this novel is the trip to Gringotts, the wizardry bank. J.K. Rowling gives great details to describe the scenery of Diagon Alley and of the goblins. I like the mystery associated with all the possible things that are held in the bank and all the protections they have installed (dragons, hexes, curses, and so on). I also like the sport Quidditch that is introduced here. Flying on broomsticks plus competitive play equals a great sport. It’s classic that Harry Potter would get a position on the Gryffindor Quidditch team and as the youngest Seeker in the century. I did like how Harry got the position by illegally flying his broom during lessons without teacher supervision and he was so good that Professor McGonagall just ignored that fact. Professor McGonagall is an interesting character who is strict with the rules but is lenient when it comes to her house (and doing what is right). I’m glad she sticks around for the whole series.
We get our first look into the infamous Voldemort at the end of this novel. The whole time you’re thinking Professor Snape is up to something and could be the evil character. He’s hateful to Harry, Head of the Slytherin house, and mentor to Draco Malfoy; fits perfectly that he’s the “bad guy”. That’s why I like the twist that is discovered when Quirrell is the one helping Voldy get the Sorcerer’s Stone. Quirrell is so quiet, polite, and comes off as meekly that it’s an unexpected twist. Even though it’s a little clique that “love” is the most powerful old magic that defeats Voldemort/Quirrell, it does honor Harry’s parents deaths, fits with the fact that little newbie wizard Harry doesn’t know much to be able to defeat the most powerful wizard of all time, and makes sense that Voldemort wouldn’t be able to recognize/defend versus the power of love.
One of my favorite parts of this book (that isn’t really shown during the movie) is Norbet, the Norwegian Ridgeback. Lovable yet gullible Hagrid trades the secret to getting past Fluffy (the 3 headed dog) for getting a dragon egg. I really enjoyed hearing about how Hagrid was keeping the egg stoked over his fire in this small wooden hut. I also think it was hilarious that the diet of baby dragons consists of a “bucket o’ brandy mixed with chicken blood”. I just find the entire chapter describing all the interactions between baby Norbet and Hagrid hilarious (like when the dragon is first hatched, immediately snaps at Hagrid’s fingers, and Hagrids response is “bless him, look, he knows his mommy”).
Overall, I loved the 1st book of Harry Potter. It’s so well written and hooks you right into the wizarding world, making you want to keep reading and following Harry’s story; and don’t worry, I do.