J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban follows the third year of Harry Potter. This novel presents a much more personal threat, as we follow the struggles that Harry must go through. Additionally, it presents new dynamics unseen before, as Harry’s friends and allies must support him through this tough journey. In this story, Harry must deal with his newfound knowledge that he has been targeted by Sirius Black. In the Wizarding world, Sirius is an escaped murderer who supposedly was involved in the deaths of Harry’s parents. However, he was also the best friend of Harry’s father. This novel heavily sheds light on the details of Harry’s family, as well as what happened on the night his parents died. Once again, there are the familiar characters of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but there are also numerous new ones as well. Sirius Black begins as a mysterious character, but you come to learn more of him later on. Additionally, there is Remus Lupin, a professor at Hogwarts who helps and teaches Harry throughout the story. These new characters all have a stake in the main plot and provide more mature figures to the young leads.
The Prisoner of Azkaban feels even darker than the last two books. It is also more heartfelt and a more personal journey. In this novel, we really get to see Harry confront his past, which has always been somewhat of a “curse” to him. Furthermore, there are some very memorable parts in this installment, including the use of the time turner (which I won’t spoil), as well as the inclusion of the Denentors, horrific creatures that feed on despair. This book truly is memorable.
To sum it up, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a daring and thrilling adventure that allows the readers to have some insight into the characters that we have seen for the last two books. It is also quite independent of the other parts of the series, if you compare it with later installments.
My rating for this novel would be a 9/10, as it is truly a good read. You definitely have to have read the previous parts, as it does rely on your familiarity with the main characters.