This book is where I always feel the story really gets going. The larger world starts to come into play and we see that things are not all rosy in Harry Potter universe.
We’ve already seen the discrimination that can be put on muggleborn (though it’s often overlooked that this whole world looks down upon anybody born without magic, muggles, and treats them like children, the almost definition of class discrimination, ‘you have to be born with it’) in early books but it starts to come more to the forefront now. We also see the power of the press come into play (probably to do with the author’s well known struggles with it in real life) and the witch hunts that happened after the first fall of Voldemort.
Other than that though it does move along fairly similar to previous books. Harry has struggles. He overcomes them through an awful lot of help from people around him. He triumphs and gets the glory.
That is until the scene in the graveyard. There is massive tonal shift and the story gets a lot darker immediately, instantly becoming a different beast. I believe it is this shift that made them the phenomenon they are today. Yes they probably would be been still very popular but it is this shift that makes them appeal so much across many demographics. It is a brilliant piece of storytelling and why this book is one of favourites.
5 stars out of 5