That Old Black Magic

In the latest Harry Potter book, J.K. Rowling gives us a darker, more complex hero--and her best novel yet

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Scholastic; 870 pages), the sinister Potions teacher Severus Snape gives Harry a lesson in Occlumency, the art of hiding one's thoughts from magical prying. "Only Muggles talk of 'mind reading,'" Snape sneers. "The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure ... The mind is a complex and many-layered thing, Potter ..." As usual, Snape is right, and in Phoenix Harry's mind becomes quite a bit more complex--and he acquires a few new layers too.

There is nothing a reviewer could write that would stop a...

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