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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) Hardcover – July 16, 2005
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A darker book than any in the series thus far with a level of sophistication belying its genre, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince moves the series into murkier waters and marks the arrival of Rowling onto the adult literary scene. While she has long been praised for her cleverness and wit, the strength of Book 6 lies in her subtle development of key characters, as well as her carefully nuanced depiction of a community at war. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, no one and nothing is safe, including preconceived notions of good and evil and of right and wrong. With each book in her increasingly remarkable series, fans have nervously watched J.K. Rowling raise the stakes; gone are the simple delights of butterbeer and enchanted candy, and days when the worst ailment could be cured by a bite of chocolate. A series that began as a colorful lark full of magic and discovery has become a dark and deadly war zone. But this should not come as a shock to loyal readers. Rowling readied fans with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by killing off popular characters and engaging the young students in battle. Still, there is an unexpected bleakness from the start of Book 6 that casts a mean shadow over Quidditch games, silly flirtations, and mountains of homework. Ready or not, the tremendous ending of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will leave stunned fans wondering what great and terrible events await in Book 7 if this sinister darkness is meant to light the way. --Daphne Durham
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Begin at the Beginning
| Harry Potter and the Sorcerer'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 |
Why We Love Harry
Favorite Moments from the Series
There are plenty of reasons to love Rowling's wildly popular series--no doubt you have several dozen of your own. Our list features favorite moments, characters, and artifacts from the first five books. Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive (what we love about Harry could fill ten books!) and does not include any of the spectacular revelatory moments that would spoil the books for those (few) who have not read them. Enjoy.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer'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
Magic, Mystery, and Mayhem: A Conversation with J.K. Rowling
"I am an extraordinarily lucky person, doing what I love best in the world. Im sure that I will always be a writer. It was wonderful enough just to be published. The greatest reward is the enthusiasm of the readers." --J.K. Rowling
Find out more about Harry's creator in our exclusive interview with J.K. Rowling.
Did You Know?
|The Little White Horse was J.K. Rowling's favorite book as a child.||a>||Jane Austen is Rowling's favorite author.||Roddy Doyle is Rowling's favorite living writer.|
A Few Words from Mary GrandPré
"When I illustrate a cover or a book, I draw upon what the author tells me; that's how I see my responsibility as an illustrator. J.K. Rowling is very descriptive in her writing--she gives an illustrator a lot to work with. Each story is packed full of rich visual descriptions of the atmosphere, the mood, the setting, and all the different creatures and people. She makes it easy for me. The images just develop as I sketch and retrace until it feels right and matches her vision." Check out more Harry Potter art from illustrator Mary GrandPré.
From School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
Half-Blood Prince is dark; I mean far darker than the last. This is the time I have always known was inevitable in the Harry Potter world, at last we are seeing chaos and war and battles break out within the walls of Hogwarts itself. Several of the chapters are particularly well-written, with great suspense and imagery; an example would be the time Harry and Dumbledore spent in the cave. Relationships blossom in this book at last, including Harry suddenly falling in `love' with Ginny Weasley, Ron dating Lavender Brown, Pansy and Draco clearly going out, and some serious hinting at a possible romance between Ron and Hermione when he gets rid of Lavender.Read more ›
Children and adults who read this book alike will be left reeling in its aftermath. As an adult I was first attracted to the Harry Potter series quite inadvertently. I had adamantly refused to read any of the three Harry Potter books published at the time until I was required to in college in my children's literature class. Almost instantly I was spellbound by Rowling's nostalgic narrative. Children of course (and quite a few adults as well) delighted in the fantasy and Harry's and friends' magical misadventures. However, I think much more alluring to adults is how Rowling's writing somehow manages to transport us in time to a much simpler, secure, and magical era in our own lives.
But in her latest achievement Rowling departed from her usual safe, magical, nostalgic atmosphere, instead embracing all too real themes prominent in the world at large. The opening chapter in her book portrays the muggle world hopelessly searching for answers to inexplicable acts of terrorism. In doing so, she has effectively raised the stakes in this book. No longer is it just the wizarding community in danger, but ours as well. It seems the ever present daily fear that magical characters live with is a very familiar echo of own terrorist fueled anxiety in this perilous new world we live in.
Gone is mystery obscuring Voldermort, who until this book, moved quietly(with a few notable exceptions) in the shadows of uncertainty and doubt.Read more ›
In my opinion, though, this book was well-worth the extra effort. After picking it up, I returned to my house and started to read it. I just finished it, and I can sincerely say that it is simply outstandingly good. Yes, the other books were awesome too, specially the 4th and the 5th, but I think that Harry's world is becoming more defined with each book, and that makes for a thoroughly engaging reading experience.
What is new in this book?. Well, after having to come to face with the fact that Lord Voldemort is alive, the wizard community is in an uproar, and quite frightened. Cornelius Fudge has been sacked as Minister of Magic, and an Auror has been named in that position. Harry, Ron and Hermione get their O.W.Ls (Ordinary Wizardry Levels), and have to decide what courses to take for their N.E.W.Ts (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests), something that will define their future careers. Plots abound, and danger is omnipresent throughout the book. There is a new teacher of Defense against the Dark Arts, and also an eccentric new Potions' teacher. Of course, there is much more, including a death that I bet will make you cry, and that hurts Harry enormously. I won't tell you who dies, only that the event involves the Half-Blood Prince, and that I think it was a sacrifice rather than a murder.
But what's the point of telling you all this if you can read the book, and enjoy it as much as I did?. Suffice it to say that this is a worthy addition to the Harry Potter series.Read more ›