Book review

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (2005)

Part six of the Harry Potter sequence

Another epic account of the life and times of Harry Potter. If you're mad keen to have another good look round Hogwarts this is the book for you. Harry, Ron and Hermione have taken delivery of their OWL results during the summer holidays and are now progressing with their NEWTs. There's plenty of work to be done, mainly by Hermione:

'We got so much homework for Runes,' she said anxiously, when Harry and Ron joined her. 'A fifteen-inch essay, two translations and I've got to read these by Wednesday!'
'Shame,' yawned Ron.
'You wait,' she said resentfully. 'I bet Snape gives us loads.'

There's also plenty of quidditch to be played, and guess who's quidditch captain...

Pleased though he was with his choices, Harry had also shouted himself hoarse at the many complainers and was now enduring a similar battle with the rejected Beaters.
'That's my final decision and if you don't get out of the way for the Keepers I'll hex you,' he bellowed.

And plenty of thought is given to who's going out with who...although, naturally, everyone seems to be going out with the wrong person.

If you're keen to follow the real plot, Harry's having special lessons with Professor Dumbledore during which they trace the path taken by Voldemort from the moment when he first joined Hogwarts as Tom Riddle. I rather enjoyed this thread of the story. Suddenly, You-Know-Who becomes nearly human.

But the best help that Harry gets this year is from the Half-Blood Prince. Harry takes over an old copy of Advanced Potion-Making that used to belong to the Half-Blood Prince. And if you're wondering who the Half-Blood Prince is, well, join the club:

'Was this spell, by any chance, another one from that potion book of yours?' she asked.
Harry frowned at her.
'Always jump to the worst conclusion, don't you?'
'Was it?'
'Well...yeah, it was, but so what?'
'So you just decided to try out an unknown, handwritten incantation and see what would happen?'
'Why does it matter if it's handwritten?' said Harry, preferring not to answer the rest of the question.
'Because it's probably not Ministry of Magic-approved,' said Hermione. 'And also,' she added, as Harry and Ron rolled their eyes, 'because I'm starting to think this Prince character was a bit dodgy.'

She's right, of course, as usual.

What can I read next?

It's a series, as if you didn't know. This is the order:

  • 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

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