It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a Harry Potter fan. Last year I reviewed the illustrated edition of Philosopher’s Stone, so it’s probably no surprise that Chamber of Secrets was top of my Christmas list this year.
This is the second book in the series, which are each in turn being made into new hardback illustrated editions. The story follows Harry in his second year at wizardry school Hogwarts, where all the students, particularly those from Muggle families (that’s non-magical to anyone unfamiliar with the stories) face a great danger. Harry and his friends Ron and no Hermione must try to discover what the Chamber of Secrets really is and what dangerous creature is lurking there.
On first reading, if you had asked me to list my favourite Harry Potter books in order, Rowling’s second book in the series would have been right at the bottom of the list. At the time I found the plot a little less exciting than the first one, and filled with what felt like irrelevant details about Hogwarts and the wizarding world. Also I felt that there were just too many questions unanswered (Why did not one person in the story know that Tom Riddle was Voldemort’s name as a child? Why had no one come across the term mudblood in their first year?).
However, as is often the case, revisiting the story gave me a fresh perspective. Reading it now, knowing the significance of Riddle’s diary and various other plot points, it is actually far better than I remembered it to be.
As for the illustrations? Well once again they are so well done, each one giving a fresh perspective on the story. My favourite this time is a double page of illustrations and information about phoenixes: I just love the attention to detail that has gone into it.
Another lovely addition to the Harry Potter series.