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The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter [Paperback]

Allan Zola Kronzek , Elizabeth Kronzek
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.99
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Book Description

Oct. 19 2010 0307885135 978-0307885135 3rd
The New York Times bestseller, now fully updated to include the complete seven-volume series.

Who was the real Nicholas Flamel? How did the Sorcerer’s Stone get its power? Did J. K. Rowling dream up the terrifying basilisk, the seductive veela, or the vicious grindylow? And if she didn’t, who did?

Millions of readers around the world have been enchanted by the magical world of wizardry, spells, and mythical beasts inhabited by Harry Potter and his friends. But what most readers don’t know is that there is a centuries-old trove of true history, folklore, and mythology behind Harry’s fantastic universe. Now, with The Sorcerer’s Companion, those without access to the Hogwarts Library can school themselves in the fascinating reality behind J. K. Rowling’s world of magic.

Newly updated to include Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Sorcerer’s Companion allows curious readers to look up anything magical from the Harry Potter books and discover a wealth of entertaining, unexpected information. Wands and wizards, boggarts and broomsticks, hippogriffs and herbology, all have astonishing histories rooted in legend, literature, or real-life events dating back hundreds or even thousands of years. Magic wands, like those sold in Rowling’s Diagon Alley, were once fashioned by Druid sorcerers out of their sacred yew trees. Love potions were first concocted in ancient Greece and Egypt. And books of spells and curses were highly popular during the Middle Ages. From Amulets to Zombies, you’ll also learn:
• how to read tea leaves
• where to find a basilisk today
• how King Frederick II of Denmark financed a war with a unicorn horn
• who the real Merlin was
• how to safely harvest mandrake root
• who wore the first invisibility cloak
• how to get rid of a goblin
• why owls were feared in the ancient world
• what really lies beyond the Veil
• the origins of our modern-day “bogeyman,” and more.

A spellbinding tour of Harry’s captivating world, The Sorcerer’s Companion is a must for every Potter aficionado’s bookshelf.

The Sorcerer's Companion has not been prepared, approved, or licensed by any person or entity that created, published, or produced the Harry Potter books or related properties.

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Frequently Bought Together

The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter + The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter: A Treasury of Myths, Legends, and Fascinating Facts + Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Price For All Three: CDN$ 38.18

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Product Details

Product Description


“A potent blend of fact, fiction and folklore. . . . Thorough research and period prints combine to create a memorable book.”—Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Allan Zola Kronzek is a professional magician and educator who lectures on the history of magic and conjuring. A frequent visiting artist at elementary and middle schools, he is the author of A Book of Magic for Young Magicians: The Secrets of Alkazar. Elizabeth Kronzek, his daughter, is a writer, editor, and historian. She holds a master’s degree in Renaissance history from Princeton University.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just the facts mam Oct. 23 2013
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
This book covers many myths and magical beings associated with the Harry Potter saga. In general, it is laid out in alphabetical order and tackles everything from "Amulet" to "Zombie".

I know we already know about werewolves and zombies from old movies like "My Mom's a Werewolf" and "Weekend at Bernie's II". However, some creatures never make it to the big screen. Therefore, I went in search of ones that I had read about in other literature to see how accurate the book is. One sure test was on Veela. They had that nailed to a tee. Then what about a source to prove it was just not off the top of compiler's head. Sure enough, there is a page-by page index and references to the source of information.
The book has sketches where appropriate and a fair bibliography.

Harry is more interesting if you know the background to what he is up against.

My Mom's a Werewolf
Weekend at Bernie's II
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Dad123
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Expected something written for kids and more like the Harry Potter series. Very dark material for children. Not impressed it would be sold under this type of reading material.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource Aug. 14 2011
By Colin Platt - Published on
While the target audience of this book are clearly the legion of Harry Potter fans, this is actually a fascinating book for anyone interested in the history of human superstitions. From Egyptian beliefs around cats and beetles (scarabs) to medieval beliefs in witches and how they used cauldrons, from the spread of Banshees from a purely Irish belief to their appearance in other parts of Britain and the US, with the spread of the Irish to the 'origin' of Yetis this is a book that is filled with short, easy to read reviews of many topics of the superstitions and beliefs of humans around the world over the last few millennia.

A word of warning that has been noted by others: If you think that this is a direct tie in with the Harry Potter series, you may be disappointed. While all the creatures, processes and theories that I can think of in Hogwarts are referred to, and clearly the Harry Potter series is the underlying reason to pull this particular set of examples together, this is definitely NOT an investigation into the underlying motives and themes of the various books.

If you want an overview of the various sources of the mythologies and traditions referred to in the Harry Potter series, this is an excellent reference book. If you are looking for critical analysis of WHY certain things fit correctly into the world of Harry Potter, this is not the book for you.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delivers On Its Promise April 30 2011
By A reader from California - Published on
A really fun and interesting read, and delivers on its promise to go into more detail about many of the creatures/beliefs in the HP books. As others have mentioned, the HP books are a jumping off point for more detailed descriptions on items such as palmistry, divination, etc.

I found it fascinating that so much described in the HP books was either real or had roots in actual beliefs: for example, Nicholas Flamel was a real person; mandrakes actually existed in medieval folklore; even the idea behind horcruxes was a belief throughout the ages.

I was surprised to learn that Rowling did not actually make up a lot of the stuff in the books. On the other hand, she more than makes up for it in the HP books by bringing in a phenomenal amount of creatures and belief systems that are either real (like Flamel) or have roots in hundreds of years of legend and folklore. Its incredible to learn that she knew about, and was able to integrate, such a vast amount of information into the HP books.

It was very helpful to have references at the end of each chapter in this book letting us know in which HP book and on what page we could find references to that particular item. I found myself going back to the HP books many times to look up the items referenced in the Sorcerer's Companion.

There is a lot of detail in this book, but you can read as much or as little as you want. I read many of the chapters all the way through, but skimmed some others.

My favorite chapter was at the end, which lists the derivation and meaning of many of the HP characters' names. That was fascinating--it confirms how clever and creative Rowling is.

Overall, highly recommended and fun for all HP fans.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good read Feb. 27 2014
By Heather J. Hernandez - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good book to read to learn a bit about real things in the Harry Potter world. Easy reading and I feel like I actually learn something, too.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! July 21 2011
By BookBaby22 - Published on
Quick Review: If you're in a English class that deals with fantasy books and tales BUY THIS BOOK. Its GREAT for references and research, at the very least to get you started and going in the right direction. Also great for just about any HP fan.

Long Review: I have owned this book for about three years (I think I have an older edition, but I doubt its changed THAT much.) This book is simply fascinating! I still read through it from time to time when I am bored or when I'm re-reading the Harry Potter books. I have also used this when reading other fairy tales or fantasy books, because like the description says, a lot of the info is universal, not exclusively Harry Potter Related.
The book overflows with verifiable history, and it has helped me on a handful of essays in both High School and College English classes. I also lent it to a friend who was taking a class specifically on "Greatest Fantasy Writers of Our Age." It was basically a class on Tolkien and J.K.Rowling, no joke. (Btw, who else is jealous of her getting to take that class. Lol!)
Anyway, the only thing I can even THINK of that is negative for this book is that there is not enough entries! I'd love if this book was about 1000 pages longer. I'd love to have a section on ALL the plants and herbs mentioned in the book, different types of wand wood and their significance, how wands are 'made' in different legends, etc.
This book is one of my favorites in my whole library. I really hope that she expands it to a HUGE series of books!
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big hit with a Harry Potter fan! Oct. 4 2011
By M. Ament - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My 8 YO daughter loved this book. We recently gave it to her and she wagged it around for 2 solid days, reading details about Harry Potter's world. It includes info from the 1400s when people really believed in magic and magical creatures.
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