The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, Third Edition Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

ISBN-13: 978-0307885135
ISBN-10: 0307885135
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Harry Potter aficionados: remember when Buckbeak, Hagrid's pet Hippogriff, was put on trial by the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures? This crazy idea was not invented by Harry Potter's creator, J.K. Rowling. In fact, from medieval times all the way up to the 19th century, animals and even insects were often charged with crimes, arrested, imprisoned, tried, convicted, and sometimes executed. Harry Potter's fantastic world of magic has its roots in true history, mythology, and folklore; father-daughter team Allan Zola Kronzek and Elizabeth Kronzek have now made this wealth of astonishing information available to Muggles in their Sorcerer's Companion. From astrology to Grindylow to reading tea leaves to witch persecution, this fascinating volume gets to the bottom of every magical mystery connected with Hogwarts. Readers learn the unusual method by which premodern Europeans protected themselves from the cry of the uprooted Mandrake, involving a loyal dog and a rope. (Professor Sprout's solution was to have her herbology students wear earmuffs). Hermione probably knew, when she was hexed by Draco Malfoy so that her teeth suddenly grew past her chin, that hexes originated in Europe. But did she know the connection between hexes and the folk magic of the Pennsylvania Dutch? For fans of the tremendously popular Harry Potter series, or anyone who is intrigued by magical lore, the Sorcerer's Companion will quickly become a true friend. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

Father/daughter team Allan Zola Kronzek and Elizabeth Kronzek target the wizard's mature fans with The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter. Each alphabetically organized entry contains a potent blend of fact, fiction and folklore. The "Broomstick" entry, for instance, details the effects of a purported "flying ointment" that witches rub into their brooms to prepare for takeoff. The section on "The Sorcerer's Stone" explains the ancient Egyptian art of alchemy. A note at the end of each section shows readers where to find the reference in the Harry Potter books. Thorough research and period prints combine to create a memorable book.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


Product Details

  • File Size: 18635 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 3rd ed. edition (October 19, 2010)
  • Publication Date: October 19, 2010
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047O2FCG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,326 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent novel I first purchased when I was ten years of age. It is currently its third edition, which is the one sold here. Quite simply, the book has detailed excerpts detailing various aspects of the "Harry Potter" universe including their historical and mythological origins.

A fun read, well written, with multiple illustrations as they appeared throughout history.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having lots of fun with this...it isn't meant to be read cover to cover (it's more like a dictionary/encyclopedia) but you can, and I am. Lots of interesting facts and background on all the different things in the book and how they relate to the book/movie series. The next time you see the "Boogyman" ask him about his cousin the Boggart who just may be hiding in your closet if you've been unkind to their friend the Brownie.
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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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