My pet peeve of the first three books, that we don't get much sense of what is going on behind the scenes in the Ministry of Magic, is well answered here as we get a lot of insight into the past and present bureaucratic infighting. One other point of irritation when I first read it - that it is much longer than any of the first three books in the series - has been undermined by the last three books being of similar or greater length. And by bringing Voldemort back to physical life, and in various other ways, the scene is established for the conflicts of the second half of the series. I think I would recommend the two people in the English-speaking world who haven't tried Rowling and aren't sure if they would like Harry Potter to start here.
< Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone | Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets | Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban | Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire | Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix | Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince | Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows | The Tales of Beedle the Bard >