Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Book 5 - No Cost Library

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5)

Author(s): J.K. Rowling  
Publisher: Scholastic, Year: 2003


Dark days have just arrived at Hogwarts. Harry Potter is conscious after the Dementors attack on his cousin Dudley that Voldemort would stop at nothing to kill him. There are those who doubt the return of the Dark Lord, but Harry is not alone: a hidden order is assembled at Grimmauld Place to battle the Dark Powers. Harry must encourage him to teach Professor Snape how to defend himself from the wild assaults Voldemort has perpetrated against his mind. Yet by the day, they are stronger and Harry is running out of time.

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Book Review:

Harry in his fifth year of Hogwarts sees Harry in the fifth installment of the Harry Potter series; his toughest year yet. It's the end of the summer holidays and both Dudley and Harry are targeted by a Dementor after a confrontation with Dudley Dursley and his little gang, prompting Harry to use a Patronus Charm. The Ministry of Magic is swift to charge Harry with the crime of 'underage sorcery' and it is only with the aid of Dumbledore and that of the neighbor of Dursley who is tainted with a squib (a witch or wizard of pure blood who has no magic ability) and who has been watching out for Harry all these years that the Ministry sees Harry clearing all charges as his hearing.

Presiding at the hearing is Dolores Umbridge, an official of the Ministry who soon finds herself in Hogwarts as the new teacher of dark arts, but it becomes apparent that she is not only there to teach; the Ministry has accepted the theory of the subject only, she is there to spy on behalf of the Ministry who are conducting a propaganda campaign against Harry, discrediting his assertion that Vodemort is back. It soon becomes apparent that there is nothing cuddly about Dolores with all her tweee pink cardigans and pictures of fluffy kittens. Harry and his friends agree to form 'Dumbledores Army' and meet in the Requirement Room to practice and teach defensive spells to one another. This is after this party is revealed that Dumbledore assumes full responsibility for defending his students and then has to escape the clutches of the Ministry, leaving Dolores Umbridge appointed as Hogwarts' new Headteacher. Meanwhile, Voldemort is gaining more strength, and his Death Eaters are becoming ever closer to him and to Harry's dream connection. During an effort to block this Severes Snape attempts to teach a way of holding these hallucinations at bay, but this results during Harry witnessing something from the history of Severes that they all wish he had not. Incapable of handling this bond, Harry and Dumbledores Army are drawn to the Ministry to support Harry's godfather, Sirius Black, whom Harry saw being tortured in Voldemort 's dream, but he's not sure whether it's not a trap and Voldemort has realized that he and Harry share that relation. There are fought wars and there's a tragedy that Harry can't keep from happening that will surprise everyone. With the Ministry no longer willing to hold Voldemorts' news return a secret that exonerates both Harry and Dumbledore.

"Dumbledore lowered his hands and stared through his half-moon glasses at Harry.
"It is time," he said, "for me to tell you what I was meant to tell you five years ago, Harry.
"'Please, sit down and I'll tell you all.'"
Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Phénix Order

It is the series' longest novel, but it's a cracking read, with so much going on and the pace picking up again from the first page. The book really explores the potential of Harry and his history which gives rise to more surprises than you would expect. The fight scenes are very complicated and you will have to re-read them to get your head 'round what's going on, but as always, JK Rowling makes your effort more than worth it. It may be a harder reading for younger kids than previous books but it's no less fun and the story's suspense continues to grow. There are some lovely touches, the house of Sirius Black 's family, where Harry, Hermione and Ron hide out while one is being hunted by the Magic Ministry and we see other loved characters like Remus Lupin once again. In parts this book is really dark and we see that our hero is not unfailing, giving him another dimension and helping us to connect with his struggles. Humor still exists, and it's certainly not just doom and gloom. An outstanding novel, and a great read.

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