After attending the Quidditch World Cup, where Voldemort's followers, the Death Eaters, cause a riot, Harry heads to Hogwarts for his fourth year of wizard study. There, Headmaster Dumbledore announces that instead of the usual interhouse Quidditch matches, Hogwarts will host the Triwizard Tournament. This competition between the great wizard schools of Europe has not been held for centuries because of the high death toll. The magic Goblet of Fire chooses one champion to represent each school, but somehow Harry is also chosen, even though he is underage and Hogwarts already has a champion. Sirius Black, Harry's godfather, suspects that this is another plot against Harry's life. As Voldemort is returning to his full power, and complex and deadly schemes are in motion, few people are who they seem to be, and even Dumbledore's protection may not be enough to keep Harry safe this time.
I think the books in this series keep getting better and better. Why have I not read these until now??
This book was full of the action, adventure, and jilted lovers that the first three books either lacked or just hinted at. I thought the challenges of the Triwizard Tournament were better than I even expected them to be. This book, for me, was reminiscent of The Sorcerer's Stone in that aspect. The storyline is shifting to appeal to a slightly older audience now, halfway through the series, which I really like. I like that this series is geared to grow with a younger audience--that each time a book came out, Harry was a little bit older and a little bit wiser-- and so was the reading audience.
I also like that, even in my mid-twenties AND almost 15 years after the fact, I can feel that same attachment to these characters that millions around the world have felt. I was reading somewhere recently that this series has been translated into almost 70 different languages. So, I know for a fact (and also because of all you HP crazies out there) that I am not the first--nor will I be the last-- to dread the end. I worry about how everything could be tied up with a neat little bow by the end of the last novel. It took four books for Voldemort to return. How on earth is everything going to be wrapped up in three more?? Granted, I still have over 2,000 pages to read in the series, but still! And I wonder how many more people will die before the end...What's the count at now?? There was so much death in this book.
On to Book 5. And what I'm sure will be an even darker story.
Wish me luck. (I'll be biting my nails the whole time...)