It’s no secret that I’ve long been a fan of the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. It was the first fantasy series I really got into, and the book that really got be going running a serious website (The Site of Requirement).

The series follows the story of Harry Potter, a boy orphaned by the notorious Lord Voldemort, an immortality-seeking wizard responsible for several years of terror and killing that left the wizarding world in a shambles, and nearly exposed the magic-users to ordinary people, in modern day Britain.

On Harry’s eleventh birthday, he is visited by a messenger from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and told that he has magical powers. He leaves his…less than pleasant aunt and uncle and journeys to the school.

As he learns magic, and of the slightly foreign customs of wizards and witches, he makes friends among them, and slowly learns of who he is, what he did when he was only a year old. Lord Voldemort had tried to kill him, and had apparently died in the process. (But did he really die? I’ll let you read the books and find out.)

The seven-part series is packed with action, humor, magic, prophecy, and some tragedy. The first two books, which earned the series it’s status as “children’s books,” are good, and set up the series, but the later books, which progress in thickness and get darker and more serious along the way are truly amazing in how things are linked together, and the plot twists that really spice up the story. As you read you’ll have more than a few “oh, I never would have thought of that, but I should have!” moments. There’s a 90% chance you’ll like the series right off the bat, but the third book is when it really starts getting good.

This is a very good series, and definitely a “must read.” If you don’t believe me, check out some of the Amazon users’ reviews. Book 1, Book 3, Book 5. Oh, and don’t try the lame “I’ve watched the movies” excuse, the films don’t hold a candle to the novels.