The Harry Potter series is what started my love affair for books. I love it so much that I have read books 1, 2, 5, 6, and twice 7 and books 3 and 4 thrice. I acquired The Tales of Beedle the Bard back when I was still longing for more Harry Potter’s magical world. I was looking for something to re-read so I grabbed this off my shelf.
The name of this book made an appearance in book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and played a prominent part in the story. It is a story book of sorts which consist of five fairy tales from the wizarding world, all having dark and creepy elements which reminded me of Neil Gaiman’s fairy tale renditions and The Grimm’s Brother’s original tales. But each of the stories did not feel like retellings of having borrowed parts from other fairy tales. I thought they were unlike any that I have heard before. Something trily unique as making me believe that they did come from a supposed wizarding world unknown to muggles (non-magical beings). Although the gist remains similar. Good triumphs over evil.
But what made me love this book is the extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore at the end of every tale. It captured his voice, scholarly, calm, and collected, reasonable, and kind, and humorous. His notes were interpretations of each of the tale presented. It showed an insight into the history of wizarding world particularly how the strained muggle-wizard relation came to be, about the dark arts, wand lore, being an animagus. We hear a mention of familiar characters (Lucius Malfoy, Abeforth Dumbledore, etc.) and new ones (Beatrix Bloxam).
I believe the book only work its charm on Potter fans and may also appeal to fairy tale fans. And I happen to be both. As for those who aren’t, they might not enjoy it as much. But my stand on companion novels remain pretty much the same. I am willing to borrow one or be gifted with one.
All in all for a Potterhead and a fairy tale fan like me, this book was a lovely treat and provided me with another yet chance to revisit J.K. Rowling’s writing and the magical world that she created albeit for just a brief moment in this book’s few pages.