display | more...

The seventh, and final, novel in J.K. Rowling's utterly successful Harry Potter series.


Minor spoilers follow. I won't go too far, though.

The last book follows on from where the sixth, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, left off, with Harry returning to his vindictive relatives, the Dursleys. The Order of the Phoenix are coming to pick him up and take him to a secret location, but there is a flaw in the plan: Severus Snape, Harry's vindictive Potions teacher and Death Eater, has told Lord Voldemort about what they are planning to do, and when. The night comes, the Dursleys are moved to an even more secret location, and the Order pick Harry up.

As is predictable, Voldemort and his supporters catch up with the Order. As he goes to kill Harry, however, his wand backfires, and in the ensuing battle, one member of the Order is killed. Everyone else arrives at the final destination: The Burrow, residence of Harry's best friend Ron. Ron's brother Bill is to be married soon, and Harry is going to stick around until then. The day comes and celebrations begin, but midway in, Death Eaters arrive to spoil the fun. They are clearly looking for Harry, since they leave everyone else alone. However, Harry, Ron and their other friend Hermione escape.

Harry, Ron and Hermione start plotting to destroy Voldemort's Horcruxes - objects in which Voldemort has put part of his soul, that make him as good as immortal. They plan to do this by moving around the country in a tent, thinking hard about their next moves, and trying to collect clues as to where the Horcruxes are. They already know that Voldemort's pet snake, Nagini, is a Horcrux; as are a locket that belonged to Voldemort's great-great-great...grandfather, and Hogwarts co-founder Salazar Slytherin; a goblet that belonged to another Hogwarts co-founder, Helga Hufflepuff; and something that could possibly have belonged to one of the other two founders.



This book dragged me right in from the start. Although the three main characters are not learning from school, they still make it to the school (well, they have to! don't they?) I knew that it would probably be tricky for J.K. to have the destruction of four Horcruxes, plus the final battle between Harry and Voldemort, in only 600 pages. However, she's managed it quite nicely, placing two of them inside the school. I was quite upset when she killed off the characters that she did (I won't say names here, but there are at least ten deaths on the "good" side, but I will say this: Mrs. Weasley is exceptionally vicious when she wants to be).

Yes, this is the final book. No, it doesn't look like she'll write another one. Without giving away if Harry or Voldemort are killed (or both, or neither, for that matter), J.K. Rowling has nevertheless ended the series quite decisively and there probably won't be any more. Which is good. Too many sequels leads to a drop in quality.

Congratulations, Joanne: you've touched the hearts of children and adults worldwide, you've created a set of literary masterpieces, and your name and work will outlive you, even if you make millions of Horcruxes for yourself...

For those who are wondering, the Deathly Hallows are legendary objects that, if one possesses even one of them, can make one quite powerful: an all-powerful wand, a stone that can bring back the dead, and a cloak that makes the wearer invisible. Familiar? ...