- Author J. K. Rowling
Harry’s second year at Hogwarts is much the same as his first. He starts by being imprisoned unfairly by the Dursley’s before being rescued and whisked away for a taste of life with the Weasleys. This is a great introduction for us, the reader, to what life would be like living at home with a wizarding family. We’ve seen what it’s like being a wizard amongst non-wizards, and being a wizard at a wizarding school, but this is new and brilliantly entertaining.
Once the school term starts, the sequence continues to unfold similarly to the first. Snape is not very nice to our heroic threesome, whilst there is a secret that Harry is determined to get to the bottom of. He and his friends figure it out, face off the baddies and save the school. Hoorah! What this book does differently is up the stakes just a notch.
From hindsight, we know that each subsequent HP book gets darker, more scary and more suspenseful, but for now we are still in relatively light adventure territory. This is a step above the Philosopher’s Stone as we have students actually being harmed - albeit temporarily. We also have incidents where all three of the gang get injured - Ron has to deal with a slug attack, Harry has a broken bone to mend whilst Hermione gets the worst of the lot. The visits to Madam Pomfrey in the hospital wing become more frequent, but so far, it’s all still well that ends well.
The characters are really starting to be cemented into place. Dumbledore as the wise and all-knowing headmaster. Hagrid as the loyal but misguided friend. Malfoy as the annoying bully you’d like to throw off a bridge. And, of course, little Ginny - perhaps Harry Potter’s biggest fan.
And so, the story is just as enjoyable as the first, although every page is painted with a slight sense of foreboding that worse things are ahead.