By Katie Herbst

Image: Scholastic, Inc.

Image: Scholastic, Inc.

It was a fun, Potter-packed summer as both the fifth movie and the seventh book in the well-known series were released. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the final novel in the beloved epic.

J.K. Rowling deserves credit for letting her readers down easy. She has some important characters die, but not enough to make us shed too many tears. She added an entertaining epilogue that hints at our favorite characters’ futures. She also increased the contrast between Harry and Ron, with Ron becoming more cheerful and fun-loving to help lighten this book, since it is the darkest of all seven.

The plot follows Harry and friends outside Hogwarts’ walls. Voldemort has virtually taken over the wizarding world, forcing Harry to choose between hiding from each and every person he meets, or fighting the nearly invincible demon face to face. It is survival not of the fittest, but the wisest, as we watch Harry’s hunt for horcruxes unfold.

A death is unavoidable in the battle, so the only question is: Who will perish, Harry or “you-know-who”? It’s the ultimate battle of good versus evil, and Rowling provides an unforgettable ending to it and to her acclaimed series of wizardry and bravery.

[Katie Herbst is a 10th grade student in Tennessee.]