The story begins with a murder committed far away from Hogwarts. Yes, this one is way darker than the first three Harry Potter books. JK Rowling has handled this superbly well. The children who must have been lapping up the books were also growing along with Harry Potter. The negative picture of the story has been introduced in stages. Excellent!
Harry goes to stay at the Weasleys home towards the end of the summer holidays. Harry, Ron and Hermione get the opportunity of a lifetime – to go to the Quidditch World Cup match along with Mr. Weasley, Percy, Fred, George and Ginny. The ground where the match is to take place is totally bewitched with more than a million witches and wizards from around the world coming together to watch the match. One has to read the sequence to understand the magnitude of the author’s imagination as she describes the scene. Then, there is the match itself with the veelas (introducing yet another batch of magical creatures in the form of beautiful women) and Leprechauns fighting it out (literally) on behalf of the players of their countries.
There is Barty Crouch from the ministry and Ludo Bagman who is supposed to be in charge of organizing the match - interesting characters that move the story along.
The Dark Mark is set off immediately after the match and the Death Eaters (Lord Voldemort’s followers) are rather excited. This brings about the question whether the evil Voldemort is coming back.
The fourth year begins at Hogwarts and this year, they get yet another defense against the dark arts teacher in the form of Professor Moody. Moody has the oddest appearance that one could have ever seen. Beautifully described! He wears a bright blue ball for one eye that rotates fast giving him a 360 degree view, even through Moody’s own head. This eye has given the professor the name Mad-eye Moody. While he does not hesitate to train the students in the forbidden curses, he is so far the best teacher they have had in the subject. Moody takes a liking to Harry and vice versa. But is he what he appears to be?
Then there is the Triwizard Tournament to take place between Hogwarts and two foreign magic schools – Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. Three champions – one from each school – are to compete in the tournament. Students who are interested in participating and are above the age of 17 are only allowed to put their names written on parchments into the Goblet of Fire. No one could cheat the age line drawn around the goblet by Dumbledore.
Fortunately or unfortunately, someone has added Harry’s name (he is underage) to the goblet. The magical goblet chooses four champions – Viktor Krum from Durmstrang; Fleur Delacour from Beauxbatons; Cedric Diggory from Hogwarts and Harry Potter from Hogwarts. Ron is quite cut up with Harry as he believes that Harry has used special magic to add his name to the fire.
While the delegations from the other schools are not happy to have two champions from Hogwarts, Dumbledore is worried about Harry’s participation in the tournament. But, Harry has no choice as he is magically bound to do it as his name was thrown out of the Goblet of Fire.
Adventures galore involving dragons, mer-people and a dark maze follow. The tournament leads to the climax that is as amazing as it is incredible. One has to read it to believe it. I remember reading the last few chapters a few times before I could fully absorb that Lord Voldemort was finally back.
Priori Incantatem was simply amazing! You have to read the book to check it out for yourself. I read, breathed, woke up and slept magic for weeks together on reading this book the first time. The ninth time was no different, believe me.
Absolutely fascinating! While one part of your mind might feel that Harry is too young to face such things in life, the logical follow up of events convince you that he is the perfect hero.
Love you Harry Potter and love you JK Rowling for giving birth to Harry!