Just like everyone else who has ever read one of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books, I am hooked. After reading four books in the series, I can say with confidence that there are no weak spots, no plotting errors, no word out of place in these remarkable books.
Once again, Rowling offers a fantastical feast, grounded in all of the things that readers love. The Goblet of Fire offers action, mystery and romance.
There is a challenge when Harry Potter is selected to compete in the Triwizard Tournament, in which students from different schools from around the world compete.
There is an ominous sense of dread when the Dark Mark appears during the Quidditch World Cup, frightening the gathered wizards and witches and suggesting that Voldemort might be gaining some strength.
There are suggestions of romantic tension between Hogwarts students and those from international schools, especially as they pair off to attend a ball to celebrate the Triwizard Tournament.
And of course, there is a mighty and mysterious enemy in Voldemort who provides an enduring threat to Harry and his friends.
Throughout the books, there is also the comfort and stability of the friendship between Harry, Hermione and Ron, and the sense of an overarching godlike figure, protecting students and teachers at Hogwarts, offered by Dumbledore, and to a lesser degree, Hagrid.
I was a bit worried when I started The Goblet of Fire that the book was so long – would this book aimed at children manage to entertain me through so many pages?
I shouldn’t have worried. I enjoyed the introduction of new characters through the students and teachers from visiting schools, and there were lots of fascinating magical gadgets with Rowling’s usual witty playfulness with language, including the ‘pensieve’, which cleared minds and enabled users to see their memories with greater clarity.
And as usual, the fight of good against evil is intoxicating, with Harry Potter once again coming face to face with his nemesis.
I’ll have to keep this short as now I really want to get started on the next instalment of Harry Potter.