Synopsis from Amazon.co.uk
Over the summer, gossip has turned Harry’s tragic and heroic encounter with Voldemort at the Triwizard Tournament into an excuse to ridicule and discount the teenager. Even Professor Dumbledore, headmaster of the school, has come under scrutiny from the Ministry of Magic, which refuses to officially acknowledge the terrifying truth: that Voldemort is back. Enter a particularly loathsome new character: the toad-like and simpering Dolores Umbridge, senior undersecretary to the minister of Magic, who takes over the vacant position of defence against dark arts teacher–and in no time manages to become the high inquisitor of Hogwarts. Life isn’t getting any easier for Harry Potter. With an overwhelming course load as the fifth years prepare for their examinations, devastating changes in the Gryffindor Quidditch team line-up, vivid dreams about long hallways and closed doors, and increasing pain in his lightning-shaped scar, Harry’s resilience is sorely tested.
I think this has now become my least favourite of the series. It dragged on for what seemed forever, and it was only in the last 125 pages that the book became more engaging. I think Rowling could have cut out most of the long Umbridge passages and the book wouldn’t have lost anything at all. I also disliked how Harry suddenly changed so much between the end of Goblet of Fire, and the beginning of this book, and I just found all the angry shouting quite annoying. I also hated the big twist at the ending, and wish that hadn’t happened. I did enjoy some things about this book though, like Fred and George, the battles and Dumbledore’s revelation at the end of the book. I just can’t help but think there was no need for this book to be so long, and I think that would be a negative for a lot of readers.