Over the last couple of years or so I have been reading the Potter series to my oldest as bedtime stories (spaced between other books). Over the last 6 months we have read the last 3 books increasingly close together as the larger story arc ramped up. I haven’t reviewed the others here for a couple of reasons – one, they are Harry Potter books and frankly what more can I really add to what has already been said over the years and two – I don’t review children’s books here very often and the earlier Potter books are firmly in that category.
There will be some spoilers for the books below, so if you don’t want to see them please don’t read any further.
However with Deathly Hallows I have decided that I would like to talk about it here. I haven’t read this one for a long time (since it was published in fact – I queued at midnight for my copy, a truly magical experience that I’m not sure will be repeated for any other book release) and although I remembered loving it on that initial read there are so many other books to read I have never re-read it for myself.
I’ve loved sharing the whole series with my boy but I was reminded of just why I enjoyed this book so much – its all the small moments and the drawing together of event from past books and call backs to those.
Funny how I misremembered some things though – in my head Ron was gone for a good third of the book, but in reality it was only a couple of chapters. Likewise the ‘in the tent’ sections as a whole, they had seemed longer in my memory than the actually are.
One of my favourite call backs takes us right back to one of my favourite moments in ‘Philosophers Stone’ when Ron demands to know of a panicking Hermione who’s being trapped ‘are you a witch or not!’ This time it’s the other way round with Hermione getting to ask the question to Ron. I don’t know why but it just makes me smile.
Kreacher and his story are also so well done, I really felt for him and was so pleased things got better for him – I wish we’d seen more of him again after the Battle of Hogwarts. I feel he’s one of the most under appreciated characters of the whole franchise (probably because his part in this book doesn’t feature in the films) Controversial opinion but I love Kreacher more than Dobby.
All the loose threads start coming together as well and you realise how much you have been shown in previous books without ever knowing – Ravenclaw’s Diadem, the locket, who R.A.B is, the clues around Snape’s alliances and motivations.
And who doesn’t love Neville finally coming into his own and chopping a giant snakes head off with a sword.
One of the most clever bits of writing though (and I’ll admit I had to have it pointed out to be because I managed to completely miss it) is that once Harry has willingly died to defeat Voldemort – all of Voldemort’s spells lose their power. Harry has literally died for everyone, he’s given them all the same protection that his mother gave him all those years before.
For me this is probably my favourite book in the series – but you do need to have read all the others to fully appreciate it.