Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
21 July, 2007. That was the last time Potterheads across the world got a slice of their favourite magical world. With the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the last book in the seven-book series, the epic saga came to a close. Harry Potter fulfilled the prophecy by slaying the Dark Lord Voldemort. The grand Battle of Hogwarts was won and we bed a tearful goodbye to our favourite triumvirate of Harry-Ron-Hermione as they prepared their next generation for Hogwarts, 19 years later.
So, when JK Rowling announced in 2015 that she was bringing Harry Potter back, it was a dream come true for all her fans. Nine years of wait ended as Harry Potter returned with his ‘Cursed Child’. Written by JK Rowling in collaboration with John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is currently onstage in London.
To come up with a sequel of the Harry Potter series was a daunting task and JK Rowling has lived up to the expectations set by readers across the globe. The book ‘opens at close’ (begins with a stage adaptation of the Epilogue of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows). We find Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, Draco at King’s Cross Station, seeing their kids off. We are introduced to James, Rose, Albus, Lily.
From the first scene itself Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes you on a trip of nostalgia. Platform 93/4, the steamy Hogwarts Express, Lady with the trolley and two boys sealing a bond of friendship aboard the train – the more you read, the more you are immersed in memories of your childhood when the magical world seemed more real to you than the mundane Muggle existence.
The book is pacey and at 330 odd pages it is among the shortest stories of the Harry Potter series; not unexpected, though, as this is the script used for rehearsals of the play. Even with such fewer words, Rowling explores the characters with finesse. A teenager, Albus Severus Potter, is grappling with the burden of expectations his father’s name brings along. He finds a companion in Scorpius, son of Draco Malfoy, who is also shunned by the wizarding world (reasons for which are better left unsaid).
Halfway through Act 1, when you might start wondering what turn this story would take, the tale takes a turn that’d make you sit up and hold your horses before judging Rowling. True to her style, the book is full of wit and wonder, even in the face of wildest travesties. And then there references to the old series that would make your eyes moist (you cannot resist laughing out loud when Snape makes an appearance).
And as you travel in time (quite literally), you can also relate the narrative to socio-political realities of our modern world. In an Orwellian manner, Rowling also warns the world against dictatorial fascism, specially in these times of violence and rising intolerance. It is essential more than ever to embrace our pluralities and celebrate the diversity of this beautiful world.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is also a coming-of age tale. Rowling has thrown in a lesson or two of parenting, too. Above all, the play (or the story, as I like to describe it as) is about coming to terms with our past. This book is a lesson that we must not hold time in high regard and be responsible with our present, because in future, our past deeds will drive the course of actions.
As the play drew to a close, Rowling kept hopes of future books in the Harry Potter franchise alive. I, for one, would kill to read many more tales of adventure involving Albus and Scropius (and may be Rose could join them, too).
There is no way a Potterhead would rate Harry Potter and the Cursed Child anything less than 5 stars, and I would dare not.
Grab your copy now and make your Monday more meaningful, NOW!
Posted on August 1, 2016, in Books and tagged Albus, Book, Book Review, Bookreview, Books, Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Hermione, Hogwarts, JK Rowling, magic, Muggle, Potterhead, Ron, Scorpius, Snape, wizard. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.