About the book
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is the 6th installment to the series of Harry Potter. This book was published July 15th 2005 by Scholastic. The book contains 652 pages in the US version that are shared between 29 chapters.
The story takes on a darker feel that is also follow several mysteries has Harry ,Ron and Hermione try to discover who the Half Blood Prince is. At the same time, Harry and Dumbledore try to unlock the secrets to Dumbledore’s work over the last year involving Lord Voldemort, his rise to power and how we were able to continue causing issues in their world.
The story really takes the feel of growing urgency that was created in Order of the Phoenix and amplifies it. When comparing the style of this book back to the beginning of the series we get two different reading experiences. Let’s take a look at what contributes to this.
Severus Snape, a member of the Order of the Phoenix, meets with Narcissa Malfoy, Draco’s mother, and her sister Bellatrix Lestrange, Lord Voldemort’s supporter. Narcissa expresses concern that her son might not survive a mission given to him by Voldemort. Snape makes an Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa, swearing to assist Draco.
Dumbledore picks Harry up to escort him to the Burrow, home of Harry’s best friend Ron Weasley. They detour to the home of Horace Slughorn, former Potions teacher at Hogwarts, and Harry unwittingly helps persuade Slughorn to return to teaching.
On the Hogwarts Express, Harry suspects Draco has become a Death Eater. Harry eavesdrops on Draco, who brags to his friends about a mission Voldemort has assigned him. Draco catches Harry, petrifying him and breaking his nose. Nymphadora Tonks finds Harry and escorts him to Hogwarts, where Dumbledore announces that Snape will teach Defence Against the Dark Arts, while Slughorn will teach Potions. Finding an old textbook that once belonged to “The Half-Blood Prince”, an individual who wrote numerous spells and tips in the book, Harry excels at the Potions class, winning a bottle of Felix Felicis, or “Liquid Luck”. Hermione, however, distrusts the book.
Ron and Hermione grow closer, but after learning from his sister Ginny of Hermione’s history with Viktor Krum, Ron goes out with Lavender Brown, making Hermione jealous. Harry develops feelings for Ginny, and the two later start a relationship with Ron’s approval after a Gryffindor Quidditch victory. Draco grows unhinged throughout the year, acting in increasingly shady ways.
Meanwhile, to help Harry in his foretold battle with Voldemort, Dumbledore and Harry use the Pensieve to examine memories of people from Voldemort’s past. One of the memories involves Slughorn conversing with a young Tom Riddle, but it has been tampered with, so Dumbledore asks Harry to obtain the real memory from Slughorn. Harry uses Felix Felicis to retrieve the memory, in which Slughorn tells Riddle about the process of splitting one’s soul and hiding it in Horcruxes, making the user virtually immortal. Voldemort created six Horcruxes, which must be destroyed in order to destroy Voldemort himself. Two Horcruxes, Riddle’s diary from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and a ring belonging to Voldemort’s grandfather, have already been destroyed; four others remain.
Near the end of the year, Harry and Dumbledore journey to a cave to retrieve a Horcrux, Slytherin’s locket. They find the locket in a potion-filled basin in the middle of a lake. To reach the locket, Dumbledore drinks the potion, severely weakening him.
After fighting off Inferi hidden in the lake, Harry and Dumbledore take the locket and return to Hogwarts, and find the Dark Mark over a school tower. They ascend the tower and are ambushed by Draco, who reveals that his mission is to kill Dumbledore, and has helped Death Eaters get inside Hogwarts. However, Draco cannot go through with it. Snape arrives and kills Dumbledore instead. Harry ignores the battle raging in Hogwarts to pursue Snape, but is defeated by him. Snape reveals that he is the Half-Blood Prince before escaping.
After Dumbledore’s funeral, Harry breaks up with Ginny, as their relationship puts her in danger. He discovers that the locket is a fake, containing a note from someone named “R. A. B.”. Harry announces his intentions to search for Horcruxes the following year rather than return to Hogwarts. Ron and Hermione vow to join him.
This is my absolute favourite book of the entire series. It’s so dark in places, in fact quite creepy, but the flashbacks to the past in which we learn so much about Voldemort or should I say Tom Riddle are absolute absorbing. Everything seems to be at risk here and you just don’t know what will happen next, nothing and no one seems to be safe anymore. There is also a touch of romance, and not just for Harry, which helps to lighten things, but the tension in this book is palpable and it really isn’t one you can put down. It’s a hefty book but I managed it over a weekend and was left wanting more. There are so many plot lines in this one and the thumping pace does not let up from first page to last. As for new twists and turns and complete revelations, well there are more than you can shake a stick at. Excellent book, in fact you may just start reading it!
Categories: Book Reviews