He's baaaaaack! Harry Potter, boy wizard, returns in this much-anticipated fourth book about the amazing goings-on at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
With two weeks of summer to go before school starts, Harry is thrilled to learn that he'll be leaving his wretched relatives, the Dursleys, and going to stay with his best friend, Ron Weasley, and Ron's family. But even more special than his visit is the chance to attend the Quidditch World Cup championship game. Harry, Ron, their friend Hermione, and most of the Weasley clan head off to a magical stadium for the big game. During all the festivities, the Dark Mark of Voldemort is raised in the sky, frightening the thousands of wizards and witches at the event. Could Voldemort be regaining his strength?
Harry doesn't have too much time to worry about this scary idea as his fourth year at Hogwarts is about to begin. He may not be all that eager to start his school work, but he's super excited about the new Quidditch season. And he also wants to know who the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher will be.
Once at Hogwarts, though, Harry --- and everyone else --- gets a big surprise. They learn that Quidditch is canceled for the year so that the school can concentrate on a different competition, the Triwizard Tournament. It's a contest between the three largest European schools of wizardry: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang. One champion is chosen to represent each school in a series of dangerous tasks. As students from the other two schools arrive to spend the year at Hogwarts, everyone wonders which students will compete, their names finally selected by the ancient Goblet of Fire.
The Tournament is exciting, but it's only part of the year's activities. A regular class load, including instruction from Mad-Eye Moody, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a magical eye and wooden leg, keeps Harry and his friends busy. Of course, there's time for fun, including weekend trips to the wizarding village of Hogsmeade. And at 14, Harry and his fellow fourth-years are ready for their first school dance (who will Harry ask?).
As the Triwizard Tournament and the school year unfold, nearly all the witchcraft and wizardry students face new challenges. But this year Harry faces the most danger of all. He now must trust that his growing wizard skills and the support of Professor Dumbledore, and his godfather, Sirius Black, will be enough to see Harry safely through this fourth year.
Yes, this is a very long book. But you'll want to step right into the enchanting world of Hogwarts and ride along as Harry unravels more of the magical mysteries in his fascinating life.
Reviewed by Shannon Maughan on July 30, 2002
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Book 4