**WARNING: Moderate spoilers ahead**
July 31 marked the day Harry Potter fans all over the world felt couldn’t come soon enough: the release of the next installment of the beloved series.
Published nine years after “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” almost to the day, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” takes place 19 years after the end of the seventh book, and follows a different set of characters. It stars Albus Severus Potter, son of Harry and Ginny Potter, and Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy, son of Draco and Astoria Malfoy.
The youngest son of the legendary “Boy Who Lived,” Albus Potter is sullen and withdrawn. He is sorted into Slytherin when he arrives at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and consistently feels unable to live up to his father’s name. He is destined to befriend Scorpius when the two share a cabin en route to Hogwarts as first years.
Four years after they meet, the unlikely duo remain the best of friends while tensions between Albus and his father have mounted. When Harry lashes out at him, confirming Albus’ suspicions that he cannot be the son his father wanted, he and Scorpius embark on an adventurous escapade similar to the many his father experienced during his own school years. In addition to featuring such returning characters as Professor McGonagall and Severus Snape, “The Cursed Child” also introduces new faces Delphi Diggory (niece of Amos Diggory) and Craig Bowker Jr.
Unlike the other seven books, “The Cursed Child” is written not as a novel, but as a play. Divided into parts, then into acts, and then into scenes, the script is complete with character cues and descriptions of the set. Though this is sometimes difficult to relate to the dialogue, it makes candidly known the moods and suppressed emotions of the characters.
Being a script, “The Cursed Child” translates beautifully as a theatrical production. Now showing at the Palace Theatre in London, the show has been in preview since June 7. Tickets for the show are currently sold out, but are set to go on sale again on Aug. 4 for all performances through December of next year.
During my odyssey to the furthest reaches of the reinvigorated Harry Potter fandom, I found mixed reviews. While most everyone fell in love with Albus and Scorpius, responses to the plot haven’t been as positive. Many are comparing it to a work of fanfiction due to the undeniable chemistry between the two protagonists and the style of writing.
While I share their love for the magical duo, I found the story equally as captivating. Finishing the book just hours after I started it, I was hooked as soon as my eyes rested upon the familiar words “King’s Cross” in big letters across the first page.
“The Cursed Child” had all the things I loved about the first seven books, but reinvented them by adopting a fresh pair of eyes – and one that wasn’t as fond of Harry as others have been in the past. It is also important to remember that J.K. Rowling didn’t write “The Cursed Child.” She may’ve contributed to the overall story, but the writing itself was all done by Jack Thorne, and thus can explain some of the dissimilarities between the original series and the newest installment.
Simply put, “The Cursed Child” is a fun read. Even though Rowling didn’t technically write it, the story has the wit, charm, and adventure that made the first seven books among the best-selling products of all time.
Fast-paced and endearing, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” will reawaken your inner Potterhead and turn you on to a side of the wizarding world you’ve never seen before.