Original Concept: J.K. Rowling
Released: June 27th, 2019
Harry Potter: A Journey Through Charms and Defense Against the Dark Arts is the first ebook in a series of four coming out this summer, all focusing on the real-life and historical elements behind the world of Harry Potter.
Before I start my review, I want to be a bit clear about this series. I’ve been seeing a lot of people confused online, so I feel this is important to note; these are not Harry Potter ebooks, nor were they actually written by J.K. Rowling. They were written by Pottermore, and inspired by the History of Magic novel that came out.
Each ebook in the series takes one or two school subjects taught at Hogwarts, and then focuses on the past and influences that J.K. Rowling pulled from in order to enrich her world. This series is perfect for anyone that wants a starting point for research. But it may not be in depth enough for those seeking a lot of details about these influences.
Harry Potter: A Journey Through Charms and Defense Against the Dark Arts focuses on, unsurprisingly, Charms and Defense Against the Dark Arts. I was really curious to see what they were going to cover in both sections. I had some assumptions and ideas…but you never really know until you start reading.
The first half of this ebook, the charms portion, looks at things like abracadabra, transformations, and everything in between. I loved the inclusion of graphics to help tell the history, and the quotes from the Harry Potter series to give the context for their inclusion.
The Defense Against the Dark Arts half surprised me slightly, with the choices that were made. I don’t disagree with anything that was included – I think I just expected different material? Though I did enjoy reading about what they covered (snakes, basilisks, magic circles, etc).
On the whole, I really did enjoy this read, but I do think it’s important that people know what they’re getting into here. Also, I’m surprised that they didn’t do more marketing for the series (with ideally a more accurate representation of what was inside). But maybe that’s just me.
There are three more ebooks in the series. Harry Potter: A Journey Through Potions and Herbology released at the same time as this one; Harry Potter: A Journey Through Divination and Astronomy is coming later, and Harry Potter: A Journey Through Care of Magical Creatures is last.