Author: Fionna Boyle
Trade Paperback, 466 pages
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication date: 2004
List: US$14.95, C$16.95
Price & More Info: Click Here
First things first. This is NOT a serious magical book, so unless you are a
fan of the Harry Potter series, or you are the significant other or parent
of a Potter fan (and don't share their enthusiasm), you will probably want
to give this book a pass. It is a compendium of all kinds of trivia
regarding the Potter universe. Like The Sorcerer's Companion (which I have
previously reviewed) it is unconnected with, nor is it authorized by, anyone
connected with the Harry Potter books or movies. Unlike The Sorcerer's
Companion this book is about the series, rather than the ideas behind it.
You won't find any magical background here. This work is just for fun.
The author is careful not to give away significant plot details (through the
use of puns, euphemisms and such) so as not to spoil things for those who
haven't read the entire series to date. She also gives very plain warnings
when sections contain details when sections contain detail which might be
considered as "spoilers."
While by no means a replacement for reading the books themselves (nor is it
intended to be), it is a wonderful resource to have handy if ".you've
forgotten a potion ingredient, can't remember the effects of a particular
spell, or are just having trouble keeping all the characters straight." The
die-hard Potter fans probably won't need this book, but the casual
enthusiast will enjoy having it handy.
This guide, like the books themselves, will appeal to all ages. The writing
is clear and crisp. The author explains things with a sense of humor. It
also includes an abbreviated index of wizarding terms and an equally
valuable index of British terms, which can help untangle some confusion on
the part of many Americans.
This book ends with suggestions for hosting your own Harry Potter party; a
"tour" of the sites which figure in the books and movies; a listing of some
of the more than 8 million websites featuring Harry Potter; as well as
sources, endnotes and an index.
It makes a welcome addition to the library of Potter-related books
available. I look forward to the updates as the last two books in the Harry
Potter series appear.
Reviewed by Mike Gleason