Published September 1st 2014 by Bloomsbury (first published July 8th 2000)
Author: J. K. Rowling
Genre: Fantasy, fiction, YA/Children’s
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“The villagers of Little Hangleton still called it ‘the Riddle House’, even though it had been many years since the Riddle family had lived there.”
“There will be three tasks, spaced throughout the school year, and they will test the champions in many different ways… their magical prowess – their daring – their powers of deduction – and, of course, their ability to cope with danger.”
The Triwizard Tournament is to be held at Hogwarts. Only wizards who are over seventeen are allowed to enter – but that doesn’t stop Harry dreaming that he will win the competition. Then at Hallowe’en, when the Goblet of Fire makes its selection, Harry is amazed to find his name is one of those that the magical cup picks out. He will face death-defying tasks, dragons and Dark wizards, but with the help of his best friends, Ron and Hermione, he might just make it through – alive!
I thought book 4 was a step up a notch, but this book takes it up even more notches! And in the same kind of way, I thought Prisoner of Azkaban was the height of clever plotting, but the whole of The Goblet of Fire is clever, and I admire Rowling for being about to plot so well, and craft a story like this which is pretty complex, but is still a fun read.
I thought this would be entirely focused on the Triwizard Tournament which it is but it’s also about a lot more than that. It’s about Voldemort’s return, and I feel that after this book the rest of the series will be a lot darker, a lot more serious.
The opening chapter ‘The Riddle House’ gives us a flavour of what’s to come, as we encounter the beginnings of what will later become the fully formed Voldemort. At first I didn’t like this opening, I just wanted more Harry and Hogwarts and the fun and sport of the Quidditch World Cup and the competition of the Triwizard Champions. But after having read the whole book I appreciate the beginning for being that bit darker, and for sowing an unsettling seed right from the off.
“…it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!”
From then on, the book was exactly what I’d hoped for, and we find out a lot more about the wizarding world. I found that my curiosity was high the whole time, I wanted to know the reason behind everything, and I loved that there were details in the book that aren’t in the film, so I had the genuine experience of being surprised.
The thing about Harry that has bothered me so far is his not being able to tell people about his problems. Whenever something happens to him (like his scar hurting) I immediately think tell someone or go to Dumbledore because that’s what I’d do if I was in his position. To everyone he’s a ‘celebrity’ and even I find that difficult to comprehend, so I doubt the impact of who he is really hits Harry, and that could be behind his secrecy about things, or at least part of the conflict.
But in this one, the penny seems to have dropped a little way, as he frequently communicates with Sirius, and later on goes running to Dumbledore in a genuine emergency, an act that found me feeling very relieved no matter what would happen next.
There was also an ‘Agatha Christie’ style breakdown of the plot in this book which I really enjoyed, I could almost feel everything slotting into place, and that’s when the cleverness of the book struck me, but I also wanted to challenge it in terms of how everything that has happened has all helped Voldemort to come back. I feel like Dumbledore should have stopped Harry being in it, but then I know there wouldn’t be a story. And I’m pretty sure something else, maybe worse, would have happened instead. I feel like all the warning signs were there, and nothing was done to stop it.
I also really want to like Moody, but because of what happened to him I still feel like I don’t truly know him. I want to like him the way I like Lupin, so maybe I’ll get a chance in the next book (which I’ve started reading!)
One of the most delightful things in this book is the house elves. There’s a strong theme of slavery and exploring what that means for the house elves, and how people react to it and treat it, but I loved that they were included, whereas in the films they’re not really a huge part of it, apart from Dobby.
Prisoner of Azkaban is still my favourite, but I really enjoyed this one too. However I’ve realised that the darker it gets the more my mind wanders…I prefer being fully immersed in Hogwarts, so I hope I can adjust to the final three books, which I’m guessing will be pretty dark.
Link to the book on Goodreads: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Read my reviews of the previous books in the series: