This is the second time I’ve read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but the first time reading it critically. I’ve tailored this review in the following in mind: the intended audience for the book and its place in the series.
“Deathly Hallows” is a tad over a 100 pages longer than its immediate predecessor in the series as Rowlings completes her series with the climactic Battle of Hogwarts as Harry and Voldemort face off in their prophesied encounter. Along with Ron and Hermione, Harry chases after the remaining Horcruxes that Voldemort has left behind but eventually the trail returns the grounds of Hogwarts. However along the way, the friends not only have rough times with one another but also with the legacy of Albus Dumbledore. Yet a legendary set of magical objects, the titular Deathly Hallows, enter into the narrative that both hinder the quest of the Horcruxes while also driving the narrative forward to its ultimate conclusion.
“Deathly Hallows” finds the series entering the endgame as the Wizarding World falling under the control of Voldemort as the Ministry falls to his puppet. Battles occur throughout the book, the first being when Harry leaves Privet Drive for the last time which results in the death of Mad-Eye Moody and the maiming of George Weasley. After the fall of the Ministry, Harry, Ron and Hermione go on the run until they infiltrate the Ministry to get a Horcrux from former opponent, Dolores Umbridge. Through the fall and into the winter, their quest is stalled until a turn of events at Malfoy Mansion makes them realize where another Horcrux is. After successfully infiltrating, grabbing another Horcrux, and escaping Gringotts the trio head to Hogwarts after Harry learns from his connection to Voldemort that Hogwarts houses a Horcrux. This return to Hogwarts sets in motion the destruction of the final Horcruxes and the Battle of Hogwart that ends with the duel of Harry and Voldemort. The major subplot of the book are the Deathly Hallows, two of which have been in plain sight for the entire series, but the most noteworthy is the Elder Wand that Voldemort covets to overpower Harry’s wand because what occurred at the end of “Goblet of Fire”. Harry’s obsession with the Hallows do affect the overall quality of the narrative because of their supposed importance is undermined by how late in the series we learn about them and do through shade over a very good book.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows shows the Wizarding World entering a time of darkness as Voldemort has seemingly taken over but with Harry there is hope people cling to. Save for the late inclusion of the titular Deathly Hallows, the idea of which I believe should have been mentioned earlier in the series, Rowlings completes the overall story she began way back in “Sorcerer’s Stone” by showing how everything that happened before has led to the climactic moment at the end of the book. In the end, this final installment of the series gives the reader who has spent time reading the previous six books a very satisfied conclusion to the story of Harry Potter.