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The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, Third Edition Paperback – October 19, 2010


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The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, Third Edition + The Hogwarts Library (Harry Potter) + The Unofficial Harry Potter Spellbook: The Wand Chooses the Wizard
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 3 edition (October 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307885135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307885135
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A potent blend of fact, fiction and folklore. . . . Thorough research and period prints combine to create a memorable book.”—Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Allan Zola Kronzek is a professional magician and educator who lectures on the history of magic and conjuring. A frequent visiting artist at elementary and middle schools, he is the author of A Book of Magic for Young Magicians: The Secrets of Alkazar. Elizabeth Kronzek, his daughter, is a writer, editor, and historian. She holds a master’s degree in Renaissance history from Princeton University.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 34 customer reviews
My Harry Potter fan kiddo loved this book.
Reading Frenzy
There is a lot of detail in this book, but you can read as much or as little as you want.
A reader from California
I loved this book when I borrowed it from the library a while ago, and now it's mine!
Dawn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Colin Platt on August 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
While the target audience of this book are clearly the legion of Harry Potter fans, this is actually a fascinating book for anyone interested in the history of human superstitions. From Egyptian beliefs around cats and beetles (scarabs) to medieval beliefs in witches and how they used cauldrons, from the spread of Banshees from a purely Irish belief to their appearance in other parts of Britain and the US, with the spread of the Irish to the 'origin' of Yetis this is a book that is filled with short, easy to read reviews of many topics of the superstitions and beliefs of humans around the world over the last few millennia.

A word of warning that has been noted by others: If you think that this is a direct tie in with the Harry Potter series, you may be disappointed. While all the creatures, processes and theories that I can think of in Hogwarts are referred to, and clearly the Harry Potter series is the underlying reason to pull this particular set of examples together, this is definitely NOT an investigation into the underlying motives and themes of the various books.

If you want an overview of the various sources of the mythologies and traditions referred to in the Harry Potter series, this is an excellent reference book. If you are looking for critical analysis of WHY certain things fit correctly into the world of Harry Potter, this is not the book for you.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A reader from California on April 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
A really fun and interesting read, and delivers on its promise to go into more detail about many of the creatures/beliefs in the HP books. As others have mentioned, the HP books are a jumping off point for more detailed descriptions on items such as palmistry, divination, etc.

I found it fascinating that so much described in the HP books was either real or had roots in actual beliefs: for example, Nicholas Flamel was a real person; mandrakes actually existed in medieval folklore; even the idea behind horcruxes was a belief throughout the ages.

I was surprised to learn that Rowling did not actually make up a lot of the stuff in the books. On the other hand, she more than makes up for it in the HP books by bringing in a phenomenal amount of creatures and belief systems that are either real (like Flamel) or have roots in hundreds of years of legend and folklore. Its incredible to learn that she knew about, and was able to integrate, such a vast amount of information into the HP books.

It was very helpful to have references at the end of each chapter in this book letting us know in which HP book and on what page we could find references to that particular item. I found myself going back to the HP books many times to look up the items referenced in the Sorcerer's Companion.

There is a lot of detail in this book, but you can read as much or as little as you want. I read many of the chapters all the way through, but skimmed some others.

My favorite chapter was at the end, which lists the derivation and meaning of many of the HP characters' names. That was fascinating--it confirms how clever and creative Rowling is.

Overall, highly recommended and fun for all HP fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Heather J. Hernandez on February 27, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book to read to learn a bit about real things in the Harry Potter world. Easy reading and I feel like I actually learn something, too.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BookBaby22 on July 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
Quick Review: If you're in a English class that deals with fantasy books and tales BUY THIS BOOK. Its GREAT for references and research, at the very least to get you started and going in the right direction. Also great for just about any HP fan.

Long Review: I have owned this book for about three years (I think I have an older edition, but I doubt its changed THAT much.) This book is simply fascinating! I still read through it from time to time when I am bored or when I'm re-reading the Harry Potter books. I have also used this when reading other fairy tales or fantasy books, because like the description says, a lot of the info is universal, not exclusively Harry Potter Related.
The book overflows with verifiable history, and it has helped me on a handful of essays in both High School and College English classes. I also lent it to a friend who was taking a class specifically on "Greatest Fantasy Writers of Our Age." It was basically a class on Tolkien and J.K.Rowling, no joke. (Btw, who else is jealous of her getting to take that class. Lol!)
Anyway, the only thing I can even THINK of that is negative for this book is that there is not enough entries! I'd love if this book was about 1000 pages longer. I'd love to have a section on ALL the plants and herbs mentioned in the book, different types of wand wood and their significance, how wands are 'made' in different legends, etc.
This book is one of my favorites in my whole library. I really hope that she expands it to a HUGE series of books!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Ament on October 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 8 YO daughter loved this book. We recently gave it to her and she wagged it around for 2 solid days, reading details about Harry Potter's world. It includes info from the 1400s when people really believed in magic and magical creatures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dawn on May 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book when I borrowed it from the library a while ago, and now it's mine! Complete with real life examples of how things in Harry Potter were really used and more.
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