Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort. Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And the Azkban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts...he's at Hogwarts." Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.
I really like this installment, because it's where everything starts to get exciting!
This could possibly be my favourite of all the Potter books, as it's where Sirius Black and Remus Lupin are introduced, and I think they're both wonderful. It's certainly my favourite of the three I've read so far! It's a huge leap from Chamber of Secrets in many areas. It's different, more complex, but mostly due to it being far darker than its predecessors.
I particularly enjoyed the etymology of Sirius Black's name. I'm not sure if this is common knowledge amongst Harry Potter fans (the softcore ones, that is), but the star Sirius is known as the Dog Star. This is obviously a nod from Rowling towards his ability to turn into a dog at will. I am the kind of strange person who appreciates tiny facts such as these.
This book also gives us our first glimpse into Snape's background. The first two novels had us regard him as merely a strict Potions master who has a general contempt for Harry, but this time we're allowed a peek into one of his best kept secrets, and are given more of a hint as to why Harry is such an eyesore to him. I love the slow way Rowling reveals Snape's past to us throughout the whole saga.
The plot gets more exciting, more mysteries come to light, more suspense, and Rowling really excites the imagination. Most of all, I am incredibly excited to start on Book Four!
31 / 66 books. 47% done!