The wizard­ing world ex­plored

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews - Jayne Nel­son

re­leased OUT NOW! 63 pages/79 pages/68 pages | ebook Edi­tor JK rowl­ing Pub­lisher Pot­ter­more

Only avail­able in ebook form,

these three slim vol­umes (Short Sto­ries From Hog­warts Of Power, Pol­i­tics And Pesky Poltergeists; Hog­warts: An In­com­plete And Un­re­li­able Guide; and Short Sto­ries From Hog­warts Of Hero­ism, Hard­ship And Dan­ger­ous Hob­bies)

are a col­lec­tion of sto­ries, ideas and back­ground in­for­ma­tion taken from JK Rowl­ing’s Pot­ter­more web­site. Which means that if you’re a mem­ber there, you’ve prob­a­bly read most of these al­ready. Sure, there’s some new stuff – although we can’t imag­ine many fans have been itch­ing to find out Ho­race Slughorn’s back­story – but, by and large, these books have, in the worlds of the Pot­ter­more web­site edi­tor, been “sewn to­gether” from ex­ist­ing ma­te­rial... not all of it penned by Rowl­ing her­self.

Are they worth it? Well, they’re only a cou­ple of quid each and they’re pre­sented nicely enough. And frankly, if you’re a Pot­ter nut, it’ll save you scour­ing the in­ter­net ev­ery time you want to check up on what kind of wand Re­mus Lupin uses. Plus there’s no deny­ing that if you haven’t spent time on the site, the in­for­ma­tion here is in­trigu­ing – the afore­men­tioned Lupin’s tragic back­story an­swers a few ques­tions about why he came to Hog­warts, for ex­am­ple, and the his­tory of the Hog­warts Ex­press is amus­ing (it was stolen from Mug­gles!). With­out a doubt, the most un­miss­able in­clu­sion is the chap­ter about Min­erva McGon­a­gall; you’ll never look at Mag­gie Smith’s movie ver­sion in the same way again.

There are a few dis­ap­point­ments, such as the fact that the piece on Time-Turn­ers doesn’t men­tion Harry Pot­ter And

The Cursed Child – given that these books were re­leased after the pre­miere of the play (which uses Time-Turn­ers as a cen­tral plot point), that seems a quite se­ri­ous over­sight. More il­lus­tra­tions might have been nice, too, to liven up a se­ri­ous amount of white space. Still, the end re­sult is fun, friendly... and largely es­sen­tial.

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