- Release Date:1997-06-26
- In-universe Date:1991
- Series:Harry Potter
The author’s first novel introduces Harry Potter, the son of a powerful wizard and witch who are killed by an even more powerful sorcerer. Sent to live with his Muggle (non-magical) aunt, uncle, and cousin, Harry is treated poorly without knowing why. On his tenth birthday, Harry learns that he is a wizard and is to go off to Hogwarts, a prestigious school for wizards and witches. Harry and his friends, Hermione and Ron, soon discover that something shady is going on, and they must save Hogwarts from the very sorcerer who killed Harry’s parents.
I’ve left out the pros and cons of the Harry Potter series because, it is obvious that whether there are any negative aspects to the series at all, the majority of society doesn’t care. J. K. Rowling is officially the richest author in the world, and so this review and those of the other six books are more of a tribute than a review.
Harry Potter is a boy of eleven. He is an orphan and lives with his Aunt and Uncle who treat him very badly and force him to live in the cupboard under the stairs. However, this does not stop strange and unusual things to happen around Harry that he cannot explain. On the eve of his eleventh birthday he is greeting by an enormous man named Hagrid who tells Harry that he is a wizard and that he is invited to attend Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. He accepts and his adventures begin alongside his new found friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
Harry learns that he is not an ordinary wizard. Without knowing it, he is famous from birth. He is told that his parents did not die in a car crash as his parents had told him, but had been murdered by the most infamous dark wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort. After trying to kill Harry, Lord Voldemort mysteriously disappeared and was presumed dead. However, the Dark Lord is still out there somewhere biding his time until he can regain his body and take revenge on the boy who lived.
I’m not sure exactly how one would describe Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It is a magical book in more ways than one. Though a children’s book in its simplicity and targeted audience, readers of any generation will find it entertaining. It does a beautiful job of involving an ordinary boy with ordinary talents and skills, into situations of epic proportions. J. K. Rowling brilliantly describes appropriate reactions of a young boy suddenly realizing that he is famous.
Many of the characters are unique and the author does a good job of making each one different in his/her own right. Ron is a loyal friend, Hermione a brilliant student, and Professor Dumbledore is a wise and extremely powerful wizard mentor suited to a fantasy novel. Perhaps the most intriguing character is that of Professor Snape the potions master at Hogwarts who appears sinister enough to be the Dark Lord himself. He certainly arouses Harry’s suspicions.
The book ends with a startling twist that nobody reading the book for the first time could guess, even though the answers are hinted at plentifully in the book. I would recommend the Harry Potter series to any and all. Start here with the first book and I promise, be ye young or old, that you will not be disappointed.