Well, it’s hardly a review, just a brief note 15 years and a number of rereads later.
Still one of the two finest books in the series and an almost perfect mystery. I say almost, because there are a couple of weak points IMO – 1., how did Dumbledore not suspect anything at any point? and 2., why go to all the trouble of entering Harry into the Tournament and keeping your fingers crossed he’d survive, when you could just give him a Portkey literally at any point during the year? That second one is a serious flaw that remains unexplained, but seeing how superbly the whole thing is constructed, how perfectly thought out and placed the clues are, how clever the red herrings (Bagman’s gambling, used as double foil – once making readers wonder why he’s so keen on helping Harry and once giving the twins a potentially sinister secret), how seamlessly it all come together, I’m willing to overlook it. And I certainly never thought of it the first 3 times I read the book.
This is where Rowling showcases her considerable capacity for invoking emotion in her writing – from Cedric’s sudden death through Harry’s numb shock after the events at the graveyard, Sirirus’s tense fear, Dumbledore’s restrained power, Molly’s devastating hug and Harry’s overflowing grief in her arms, to the literary gem that is Dumbledore’s speech at the Leaving Feast – it all adds up to a profoundly moving depiction of loss, one of the best I’ve read in any children’s or Young Adult book.
Cried again at Dumbledore’s speech about Cedric. I think this is my 4th full rereading.