Customer Reviews: The Lord of the Hallows: Christian Symbolism and Themes in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter
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on November 19, 2009
This wonderful book will delight not only Christians, but all students of spirituality and mythology. It is filled with fascinating arcane information, yet the author's engaging and descriptive style results in a text that never feels weighed down by its rich content matter. I learned quite a few intriguing facts about a variety of Christian legends; Ms. Roper's knowledge of symbolic lore and Christian history is impressive (I was particularly enchanted by her chapter about the Deathly Hallows, or holy relics -I loved the parallel she drew between The Elder Wand and The Spear of Destiny, that is, the spear reputed to have been used to pierce Christ's side). Anyone interested in literature and religion will find this volume to be a valuable addition to their library.
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on July 25, 2009
I've just bought and read The Lord of the Hallows by Denise Roper. I was fortunate enough to hear her presentation of the themes found in both Tolkien and Rowling, at the recent Azkatraz convention in San Francisco, and was very interested in the comparisons she made between certain elements between the two authors. For example,she illustrated that there are croppings of Hobbit names used throughout Rowling's books. Longbottom leaf is a type of tobacco(or stronger, wink wink) that is cultivated by the Hobbits, and then we find that name used by Harry's friend Neville, in the Harry Potter books. Puddifoot, as in Madam Puddifoot's shop in Hogsmeade, is also a name of a family of Hobbits. In short, readers who enjoy Tolkien's books and Rowlings will enjoy reading Roper's book as well.
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Denise Roper sure knows her stuff. This book analyzes Christian symbolism in Harry Potter, focusing on magical animals, names, hallows, horcruxes and more. There are many links to Lord of the Rings and Narnia that a casual reader might not notice, but Ms. Roper draws them all out for us. How is the weasel significant? WHat about Madame Pudifoot's? While many have observed Harry and Frodo make the ultimate, Christ-like sacrifice, Ms. Roper digs deep, linking their journeys with Bible passages and deliberate allusions from JK Rowling. She uses interviews, letters, and lesser-known works from Rowling and Tolkien to make her case, offering a deep, detailed analysis for fans of both series. This is also one of the few books to really take apart Deathly Hallows, the last of the series. Certainly, those afraid of Harry Potter's alleged witchcraft should read both this and John Granger's book on God in Harry Potter. Fun, easy analysis for a variety of audiences.
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on April 10, 2010
I really enjoyed this book! Fans of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings who are looking for a deeper understanding of religious symbolism in the books will enjoy it, too. Roper is a talented writer that obviously double checks all her facts, and she writes her literary criticism in a very professional and scholarly way. This is a book I'll be sure to keep to reread from time to time after I reread Tolkien's and Rowling's books.
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on November 9, 2009
I enjoyed this book very much,it was well written and easy to understand. It made the Harry Potter books easier to understand and relate to.
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on February 23, 2010
The Lord of the Hallows is subtitled "Christain Symbolism and Themes in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter". Yet the book itself seems to be a mish-mash of different things. Although there are many interesting points about the influences of Christianity on the story a large majority of the book is taken up with the simliarities between Rowling's Harry Potter and Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings/ An astute reader will guess this from the title and cover art but the given premise of this book is somewhat misleading.

While the parrallels drawn are intriguing there are many instances were the author seems to be straining. She cites every possible utterance of "God" as proof positive that the wizards of Rowling's world believe in a higher power. I find it more likely that Rowling was simply trying to make them appear as life-like as possible to the mordern reader who is suppose to question whether or not Wizards exist in their world.

The primary flaw of this book is the formatting. While passing off as a book this is actually a collection of short essays formatted in MLA style. MLA is inappropiate for this medium and it is distracting to find mistakes in the MLA format itself. Many typos also distract the reader. The closing line of chapter ten looses its effect as the reader stumbles over a major typo. The author also seems to fall into first person at random times to cite the fact that she correctly guessed Rowlings' plot developements.

On the whole, this book has some interesting points and information although it strays into many seemingly unrelated items. The author will hopefully address some of the formatting/grammar issues
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