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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource
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...
Published on August 14, 2011 by Colin Platt

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun for the young.
Basic but fit the need for a gift for a young man who has everything and loves Harry Potter...
Published 27 days ago by Shirley H


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource, August 14, 2011
By 
Colin Platt (St. Marys, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, Third Edition (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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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delivers On Its Promise, April 30, 2011
This review is from: The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, Third Edition (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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, July 21, 2011
This review is from: The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, Third Edition (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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More of a historical reference book, February 3, 2011
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This review is from: The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, Third Edition (Paperback)
This book is a good read but more of a historical information book as to where many of the types of people, animals,etc came from in JK Rowlings mind. It does have a reference guide to where in each Harry Potter book (with the book,chapter and page no.s)at the end of each chapter as to where the particular item described can be found.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big hit with a Harry Potter fan!, October 4, 2011
By 
M. Ament "mhoward8" (Maryville, TN United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, Third Edition (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, May 15, 2014
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This review is from: The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, Third Edition (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great HP companion book, May 12, 2014
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This review is from: The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, Third Edition (Paperback)
Really enjoyed this book to go along with a Harry Potter unit study. My middle school aged kids and I loved learning a bit of fiction and real history about magic
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Additional Reading to Harry Potter, August 29, 2013
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This review is from: The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, Third Edition (Paperback)
A good addition, reminds readers that there is a history or back story to what is in the series besides what JKR invented.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical!, May 24, 2014
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This review is from: The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, Third Edition (Paperback)
I purchased this book for a friend who has read all the Harry Potter books and has seen all the movies. She was delighted with it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accio book!, June 18, 2014
By 
KKB (Portland, OR) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, Third Edition (Paperback)
Well, this is one of those "must-haves" for your collection is you're a Harry Potter nerd, which I definitely am.
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The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, Third Edition
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