From the moment The Cursed Child was put into my hands at 12:01 on July 31st, it felt important. I know, this sounds like a weird thing to say about a book, but Harry Potter has been an incredibly important fixture in my life for some time now, and The Cursed Child was the end of the story that had done so much for me.

It’s safe to say that I was apprehensive before cracking open The Cursed Child. I’d heard some rumours, as I’m sure most of us had, and it all sounded just a little bit too crazy. But it is also safe to say that I had nothing to be worried about. This book was a triumph.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child follows a father-son duo: Harry Potter and his son Albus. Harry is a Ministry worker, still trying to figure out how to live after his past. A task that would be much easier if the past wasn’t making a resurgence in Harry’s life. His son Albus, meanwhile, is a student at Hogwarts, though he is not as happy there as Harry was. He finds it incredibly difficult to live with the weight of the most well known name in the wizarding world on his shoulders, and he starts to resent his father for this legacy that he never asked for. But when darkness starts to seep into the Potter’s lives from unforeseen places, Albus must learn to trust Harry again in order to save both the future and the present.


Our story starts on Platform 9 3/4. Friendly faces are there, but there are also new ones, and let me say, they did not disappoint. Albus Potter starts out as a bright-eyed, nervous, First Year Hogwarts student. But as time goes on he starts to become more closed-off, resenting the Harry Potter-shaped shadow he finds himself in. However, there is one person in Albus’ life that keeps everything from looking grim, and that person is his best friend, Scorpius Malfoy.

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD_4Scorpius is extremely different from his father, favouring books over action. He is quirky and shy, and, in some respects, reminiscent of Hermione back in her Hogwarts years. In fact, when both Scorpius and Hermione answer a question at the same time, Ron responds with, “Blimey! There are two of them!” Scorpius adds a grounded feeling to this fast-paced story, countering Albus’ sometimes-impulsive decisions, and adding some much needed humour in the form of sarcastic comments. He was definitely one of my favourite characters in the book. His friendship with Albus was the glue that held this story together. They supported each other without asking questions, but were not afraid to challenge each other if necessary. They were a team, and their friendship added a light to even the darkest moments of this book.

While Albus and Scorpius were new faces that quickly wormed their way into my heart, our old Harry Potter team never left. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Draco all play important roles in this story, and we get to see each of them in a new role: the role of an adult and everything that comes along with that. It is very interesting to see how each of them have changed, and how they have not. These characters, though grown up, still felt authentic, reminiscent of the eleven-year-olds they had once been. Though Harry does take a more central role in this story, the rest of our old friends still shine, and if Albus and Scorpius are the glue of this story, the older characters are the cornerstone.


Harry’s relationship with Albus is at the centre of this story. And it is not always the easiest thing to witness. There is tension between them, and the story doesn’t shy away from these difficulties. Their relationship felt real, and added a different perspective on Harry than we’ve seen before. I really enjoyed seeing this dynamic, and the way it shaped the story.

As for the story itself, it was fast-paced and fun, and the high stakes only added to the excitement. Though there were some moments that were slightly on the cheesy side, it is important to remember that this story is built for theatre, and theatre rests on big reveals and surprising twists. The story was different than previous Harry Potter plots, but it still holds the same magical feeling and nail-biting intensity as all of the original books. It was impossible to put this book down, no matter how many times I told myself to.

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD_12It does take a little time at first to get used to the style of the book, as it is simply the script of the play. There are no added descriptions, or detailed explanations, it is 98% dialogue with a few stage directions thrown in. But soon enough I was swept up into the wizarding world once more, and it was like I had never left. The script style actually added to the experience, as you could picture the story and the settings not only as the places you’d imagined for years, but also as an elaborate stage set, with you as an audience member, along for the ride. As someone who loves theatre almost as much as Harry Potter, this experience was just amazing.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was more than I ever could’ve hoped for. Reading it felt like returning home. And so, for all of you out there that are apprehensive about reading it, I’m telling you, don’t be. You don’t have to take this story as Harry Potter canon, though I have decided that I do, but it is definitely worth the read. The story is incredibly well executed, the characters, both new and old, seem to jump right off the page and into your heart, and the magic is alive and well. This is a story of love, of grief, of guilt, and of hope. It is a story of mistakes, and realization. It is a story of magic. And it was phenomenal until the very end.


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