Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Once returned to Hogwarts after his summer holiday with the dreadful Dursleys and an extraordinary outing to the Quidditch World Cup, the 14-year-old Harry and his fellow pupils are enraptured by the promise of the Triwizard Tournament: an ancient, ritualistic tournament that brings Hogwarts together with two other schools of wizardry--Durmstrang and Beauxbatons--in heated competition. But when Harry's name is pulled from the Goblet of Fire, and he is chosen to champion Hogwarts in the tournament, the trouble really begins.
My favourite of the seven!
The plot thickens! This is quite a hefty tome - 637 pages to be exact - and I think this is testament to how complex the plot is becoming. Rowling is aware her readers are growing up, so she weaves layers and layers of plot into this novel to make it as intricate and exciting as she possibly can. I think the entire plot in this installment is wonderful.
The Triwizard tournament is my main reason for loving this one. I loved meeting wizards from other countries and learning of their cultures, and different ways of life. There were different spells, objects, creatures and places to learn about during the tournament. We are even allowed a peek into the Prefects' bathroom!
Rowling's character development is lovely. I really love seeing Harry, Ron and Hermione grow up. In this installment, Rowling gives them all exactly the same teenage stresses that we all go through, and it's refreshing to see. I particularly enjoy Harry's "Wangoballwime?" invitation to Cho.
Barty Crouch Jr. is a character who has always intrigued me. I hate him so much that I almost love him in an odd way. The chapter Veritaserum in which he tells his story is one of my favourites in the book. It's just so fascinating; the things he did were deplorable. I find it a shame that the kiss was performed on him - he could've done some wonderfully awful things later on in the saga.
I love reading the series back to back. But, as always, I never want to begin reading Order of the Phoenix because it's almost like the beginning of the end. Here I go!