Book 17 – The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Book – The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Author – JK Rowling
Year – 2008
Genre – Fantasy/Short Stories
Pages – 109

I started my ‘challenge’ way back in 2009, the year in which I read a total of ninety-six books.  It was only the year after that I started this blog, but in that time I have now read over two-hundred and fifty books.  And I have now finally reached my first repeat!

The Tales of Beedle the Bard was one of the first books that I read back in 2009, but as I have grown to love my little blog here, I have adopted a slightly completist view, and having this book left off of the nearly complete list of JK Rowling books felt a bit wrong.  So added to the fact that I think it is a wonderful little book, it seemed a great idea to give it another read.

I think that most people will have now read the full series of the Harry Potter books, finishing off with Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsI shan’t however ruin the book for those who haven’t yet done so, but I don’t think it spoils anything to mention that at one point in the book we are introduced to a book of fairy tales that circulates in the wizarding world.  After the publication of the final book in the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling decided to make a limited run of seven copies of this fictional book in full.  Six of these she gave to friends and colleagues who had been involved in putting together the series with her, and the seventh she auctioned off to the highest bidder for charity – and rather than the £50,000 it was estimated to make, it pulled in £1.95 million.

With Pottermania running rife, it made sense to release the book to the general public, and that is exactly what they did.  The book itself is made up of five fairy tales, each with the twist that instead of the witch or wizard being a bad guy, they instead become the hero.  The stories are much what you’d expect, with a tale crafted around a basic moral premise, but instead with wizarding morals – such as magic cannot help you to find love, or cheat death – and are a lot of fun, but it is the bits in between that really make the book.

Each story has a follow up written from the point of view of Dumbledore.  It looks at themes from the stories and the effect that they have had on the wizarding world, and gives you and expansion of the Harry Potter universe.  For those of us who are huge fans, and will hang on every new bit of information about the series, this is brilliant, and makes me want more.  There were rumours a few years back that Rowling was writing a Harry Potter Encyclopaedia containing more expanded stories such as this, but that seems to have been sadly cancelled.  I do believe there is more life in the Harry Potter books however, and I hope that at some point she will return to them and give us more like this.


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