Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Book 7 of 2015: Quidditch Through The Ages by J.K. Rowling

At the beginning of December 2014 I read Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, one of the two Comic Relief/Harry Potter tie in books J.K. Rowling released back in 2001. It only seemed natural that I followed it up with the companion book Quidditch Through The Ages the following January.

It's one of the books that is mentioned early on in the Harry Potter series and is designed to be a reproduction of a library copy from Hogwarts, complete with additions from the students who have read it. It's packed with information about the history of the game, going right back to its origins, as well as famous teams from around the world, and interesting moves and plays in the game.

I mentioned last week that I read Miramont's Ghost which left me mostly disappointed but slightly creeped out. Well, I live in an old house, in the grounds of an even older house, and it was January so night time was very dark (and therefore even creepier). I decided that before I could actually go to sleep I needed to read something a little less creepy. It was about 9:30pm so I needed something quick and easy; Quidditch Through The Ages fit the bill.

I have to admit, I don't enjoy this book as much as Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. I put it down to the fact that I'm probably the least sport-minded person in the history of the world and apparently that extends into fictional sports as well. All the same, it's funny and interesting.

I like that there are mentions of things that come up much later in the series. I love that J.K. Rowling laid so much groundwork to set up the world. You don't have to read these books to enjoy the others, but you get an extra level of the Wizarding World and that's always a good thing. There's so much depth in these books that you know these things are in the story somewhere, I wish there were more of these books to take us further into the world.

Speaking of which, I stand by my insistence that if they ever produce any more of these books, they have to release Hogwarts, A History. I would love to learn more about the history of Hogwarts, even if it was as slim as this book (a mere 56 pages). That's another complaint, of sorts, I wish these books were longer. I know they were released for charity and were just designed to be little books, but I can't help but want more. I'm never satisfied.

One thing did really make me smile while I was reading this:

Caerphilly Catapults
The Welsh Catapults, formed in 1402, wear vertically striped robes of light green and scarlet. Their distinguished club history includes eighteen league wins and a famous triumph in the European Cup final of 1956, when they defeated the Norwegian Karasjok Kites

Because at the time of reading this book I'd been to Caerphilly about a fortnight before.

Which is something else I like about this book. The list of the teams means that there's something there for almost everyone to relate to; there'll be a place where they live or have been or which is near to them and they can imagine where that Quidditch team might play. It's a little bit like giving something back to all of the Harry Potter fans who obsess over the series and wish they could go there too.

Reading a reproduction Hogwarts library book is about as close as I'm ever going to get to going to Hogwarts, so if that's the case, I'll take it!

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