If you are interested in fantasy fiction, you almost certainly have heard about Harry Potter book series by J.K. Rowling, that is, if you have not already read all the books in a matter of days. But if you are new to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, then you will definitely like this reading guide we prepared for you. Without further ado, here is the complete list of Harry Potter books in order with their short summaries.
Table of Contents
How many Harry Potter Books are There?
Before we start the list of Harry Potter books in order of publication, we should answer this one simple question many are curious about: “How many Harry Potter books are there?”
Seven. The original Harry Potter book series is comprised of seven individual books. There are also some complementary books and short stories you might want to read later if you want a complete Harry Potter experience.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone/ Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was originally published in the UK under the alternative name, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It was not only the first Harry Potter book in a series of more to follow, but also the author’s debut novel.
The book begins with a brief insight into the young protagonist and titular character’s life. Harry is an eleven-year-old orphan who lives with his aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, and their obnoxious son Dudley.
Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia are the most detestable guardians a little boy could possibly get. All they have given Harry is a small cupboard to live in; he doesn’t even have a proper bedroom, let alone a place in their hearts. Despite being blood relatives, the trio has made life miserable for Harry.
But it’s all about to change.
Harry learns about the wizarding world – a world of magic and fantasy that has always existed alongside the ‘muggle’ world but is hidden from the eyes of ordinary people. However, he is even more surprised to see that every person in the wizarding world knows him already, recognizing him as ‘The Boy Who Lived.’
What follows is an exciting adventure where Harry attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, meets the enigmatic Dumbledore, makes new friends, masters basic magic spells, discovers the Sorcerer’s Stone, and eventually finds himself face-to-face with ‘He Who Must Not Be Named.’
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
After completing his first year at Hogwarts, Harry is back at the Dursleys’ for summer break. He is visited by an unexpected guest, Dobby, a house-elf who tries to prevent Harry from going back to Hogwarts for the sake of his own safety.
Ignoring Dobby’s warnings, Harry returns to Hogwarts for his second year at the school of magic, where things soon start getting out of control. Someone has reopened the Chamber of Secrets – an otherwise hidden place that houses a deadly creature.
Several students are attacked by the snake-like monster. Harry’s best friend Hermione also becomes the target of the evil spells whereas Ron’s sister, Ginny is missing from Hogwarts altogether.
Will Harry be able to save his friends and fellow wizards? Is he the culprit behind unleashing the serpentine? (after all, he can communicate with snakes since he knows how to speak their language, Parseltongue) Where does the enchanted diary that Harry found earlier fit into all these events? What happens when Harry finds himself cornered by the monster?
Read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to find out!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
Focusing on the events of Harry’s third year at Hogwarts, the third book in the series delves deep into the dark secrets of the wizarding world.
A mass-murderer, Sirius Black, notorious for being a loyal follower of the Dark Lord, has somehow escaped from Azkaban – a fortress where dangerous criminal wizards are held captive.
In order to protect the students from the infamous inmate, dementors (soul-sucking creatures) have been stationed around Hogwarts to guard the school premises.
Harry finds himself in the middle of all the chaos. Not only is he greatly troubled by the presence of dementors (owing to his past) but he also learns that Sirius is indirectly responsible for his parent’s death. Accused of killing thirteen people, Sirius is now allegedly looking for Harry to finish off what he started.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban will keep you hooked till the end, as the narrative instills a feeling that the truth is not always what it seems like.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth book in our list of Harry Potter books in chronological order. The book combines the elements of magic with the spirit of sportsmanship.
The Triwizard Tournament is being hosted at Hogwarts this year. As the name suggests, the Tournament consists of a total of three witches and wizards from three different magical institutes who compete with each other for the highly revered Triwizard Cup.
In an unexpected turn of events, the Goblet of Fire selects four, instead of three participants this time – and the fourth wizard is none other than, well, you guessed it, Harry Potter!
The Tournament comprises of three extremely challenging tasks that will make even the most experienced witches and wizards think twice before undertaking. However, Harry is not one to give up or cower away from challenges. Despite being younger than all the other participants, he is determined to complete all the tasks successfully.
But all the cheers and applause from the audience soon die away as Harry and Cedric, the other participant from Hogwarts are magically transported to a graveyard where perilous beings await.
How does a tournament of friendly games turn into a battle of life and death?
Find the answer in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is an epic tale of terror, in which an ominous power is determined to kill Harry and ruin the lives of people whom he’s come to love so much.
Many inhabitants of the wizarding world are in denial of the return of the Dark Lord. But Harry trusts his instincts more than what the Ministry of Magic has to say. He knows that Lord Voldemort is back from the dead and will not stop at any cost to find and kill ‘the boy who lived’ despite being subjected to his lethal spell.
Luckily, Harry is not alone. Assisted by Ron, Hermione, and other close friends, he forms ‘Dumbledore’s Army.’ The group of young but fierce warriors trains rigorously to fight the Dark Lord.
Were their preparations enough to face Voldemort and survive his savage assaults? Find out in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005)
As the name suggests, this book is majorly based on ‘the half-blood prince’ and his annotated potions textbook that Harry happens to find and benefit from.
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the wizarding world has been gripped by fear and commotion. Secrets unravel and suspicion spreads throughout the land, wreaking havoc in their wake.
Hogwarts itself is marked unsafe. At the same time, Harry is taking private lessons in which Dumbledore takes him on a journey back in time. He believes the more that Harry knows about Voldemort and their interconnected past, the better prepared he will be to fight him when the time comes.
All in all, you will be glued to the pages of this book as a fierce battle ensues, threatening to turn Harry’s life upside down and destroy the wizarding world at large.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007)
Here comes the final book in our list of Harry Potter books in order: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. No words can do justice to briefly describing the end of the Harry Potter saga. You have to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to find out for yourself!
Nonetheless, we will try to give you a rough idea of what it’s about.
In the last book in the series, the trio of best friends sets out to destroy the Horcruxes – i.e. objects in which the Dark Lord has hidden fragments of his soul in an attempt to attain immortality.
So far, Harry was under the protection of the sacrificial charm of his mother’s death. But since it has broken already, it’s time to come out of hiding and face the Dark Lord who has taken over the world of witches and wizards.
Pick up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for a nail-biting, hair-raising reading experience where the forces of good and bad clash together with every turn of page.
This brings us to the end of our post about Harry Potter books in order, we hope you liked our reading guide! Check out our books section from the top menu to discover and read about many more book series we reviewed!