Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling

There is an advantage in rereading a series like Harry Potter, and that is knowing how it all ended, to see its connectivity as it builds toward its climax. When I first read it, over 15 years ago, I had no idea what will be in store for the coming installments. So, this book was just another adventure of Harry Potter where he yet again displayed his heroism. But now, when I’m revisiting them, I can see how Rowling has shaped the series and build up from book to book her story of good against evil.

Lord Voldermort, as any Potter fan will know, is the evil incarnation. His power, however, was defeated, by a power far more powerful, a power the dark lord never comprehended, and that was the power of love. It all fits the theme – good vs evil. But Rowling also wants to show that evil doesn’t take the defeat too kindly and that it lurks in every dark corner, ready to pounce again. And so, Lord Voldermort hunts Harry so he could crush the good that is associated with him and defeat the forces that fight to preserve the good in the world.

Returning to the book, I found this daring adventure of Harry to be exciting and fascinating. This is the first full-blown adventure of Harry after learning of his magical inheritance. This adventure allows Harry yet again to prove his courage and loyalty which he does admirably. Reading the book was like a positive antidote to the present hard times, where we tend to lose hope and courage. Harry’s fighting nature, the determination to do what’s right, and his courage, even knowing he is no match for the power that he challenges, makes us question whether we tend to give up at the very moment that we should fight.

About the creative genius of Rowling, I’m not about to harp afresh. I said that in my review of the first book of the series, and I’ll leave it there. But I would like to mention what I’ve quite missed out on in my first reading; that is satire and humor. Rowling injects both of these subtly through the character of Gilderoy Lockhart, the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts. I think all of us must, at some point in our lives, have met the sorts of Gilderoy Lockharts, those who take credit for other people’s honors. 🙂 I liked how Rowling made Harry instrumental in exposing his deception and humbling his vanity while fighting a bigger battle with Lord Voldermort.

There is one more thing I want to mention before I wind up my review and that, with a big apology to all the Ronald Weasley fans. It looks like that all through my first reading, I haven’t truly appreciated Ron’s character. I’ve seen him only as “the faithful” who follows the “master”. But this second reading of the book made me see the individuality of his character, which to me was closed by Harry’s bravery and Hermione’s brains. But I’m slowly beginning to realize that without Ron’s steadfast support and loyalty, perhaps, it wouldn’t have been quite easy for either of them to shine as they did.

I’m quite warming to the series again and remembering all the pleasure of my first reading. I was in awe then, and I’m still, even now.

Rating: 4/5

About the author

Piyangie Jay Ediriwickrema is an Attorney-at-Law by profession. Her devotion to literature has taken shape in reading and reviewing books of various genres set in different periods of time. She dabs at a little poetry and fiction of her own and hopes to share her work with the readers in the future.

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