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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the long-awaited final book in the Harry Potter series.

While at times the plot reads like the instructions to a hypothetical board game (use your sacred House object to destroy each Horcrux, then go to the Forbidden Forest and encounter Voldemort to win the game), Deathly Hallows is a fitting culmination to the story of the student wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

The author, J.K. Rowling, manages to cross-reference every character and story line from the previous six books into this 600 page finale. I found all of the detail somewhat tedious at times, but Potter fans will appreciate the respect which the author shows her loyal readers.

Rowling is especially good at describing community gatherings, such as at The Burrow, Shell Cottage, Hogwarts School and Privet Drive. Perhaps she is trying to help the reader conjure a sense of safety and belonging in the midst of terror and chaos, which would certainly suit the times we live in.

Personally, I think Hermione Granger is the star of the show; without her knowledge, ethics and quick-thinking, Harry and Ron would likely end up as permanent inmates of Azkaban.

The earlier books are better (and funnier) than this one – and the third in the series Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is really the Classic to be honoured accordingly.

Details of the Australian publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, as well as the earlier books, are available at http://harrypotter.allenandunwin.com/. I think J. K. Rowling deserves every royalty for services to reading and the imagination.

Reviewed by Mark Young