Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth book in the Harry Potter series and is written by J.K. Rowling. In this book, Harry Potter’s encounter with Voldemort, which was expected to send the Ministry of Magic into a frenzy, has surprisingly been kept mum. No one outside of Harry’s circle believes that Voldemort is truly back, and the Ministry is spreading the stigma that Harry is the boy who always cries wolf. The Ministry of Magic has also used this opportunity to discredit Dumbledore and they’ve replaced him with Dolores Umbridge, the new Defense of the Dark Arts teacher who has complete control over everything that happens in Hogwarts. With loads of work in his fifth year of Hogwarts, his social image knocked down all the way to the lowest peg, the ignorant and cruel presence of Dolores Umbridge, and the terrifying news of Voldemort’s return all happening in his life, Harry Potter’s durability of steel is tested to its melting point.
The Order of the Phoenix is the longest book in the series, clocking in at 870 pages. While long books have worked in the past (see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), this book can seem a bit bloated at times. In my opinion, this might be the weakest book in the series, but it doesn’t mean much when talking about a Harry Potter book. This book is more political and has themes about government corruption and misinformation, which is very interesting but not so much as the main themes of a Harry Potter book. However, there are themes of rebellion in this book, and that is portrayed beautifully to the reader. Dolores Umbridge is an unusual, yet amazing villain for Harry Potter to face. The thing that makes her so strange for a Harry Potter villain is that her strength doesn’t come from her magic powers, but rather from her political power. They cannot do anything against Umbridge because she is the law, and anything she says must be followed or the perpetrators will face legal consequences. This can make her downright cruel sometimes, and this makes our protagonists’ small acts of rebellion more satisfying. Harry Potter goes through a lot of misery in this book, and it only makes you sympathize with him even more. Though it might not be the best book in the series, don’t sleep on this book. It still has those light-hearted moments and jokes that every Potter fan loves, but it also presents a more Sirius tone (Ha!) than the other books. Find some place comfy, wrap a blanket around you, and enjoy Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix!