Book 6 in the Harry Potter seriesA New York Times BestsellerIn the fifth and most recent book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the last chapter, titled The Second War Begins, started: 'In a brief statement Friday night, Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge confirmed that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has returned to this country and is active once more. It is with great regret that I must confirm that the wizard styling himself Lord -- well, you know who I mean -- is alive among us again, said Fudge.'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince takes up the story of Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at this point in the midst of the storm of this battle of good and evil. The author has already said that the Half-Blood Prince is neither Harry nor Voldemort. And most importantly, the opening chapter of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has been brewing in J. K. Rowling's mind for 13 years.No Canadian Rights for the Harry Potter SeriesHARRY POTTER and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and (c) Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter publishing rights (c) J. K. Rowling. (s05)
"With the Harry Potter Express chugging closer to its final destination, the sixth book in the series gets down to business. No more diversions about the welfare of house elves or the intricacies of Quidditch. This penultimate offering is more about tying up loose ends and fleshing out the backstory. Harry and the gang are back at Hogwarts, but the mood is grim. The wizard community is now fully aware that evil has returned, and the citizenry is afraid. Harry has been left bereft by the death of Sirius Black, and there are more killings to come. In a powerful early scene, readers learn that a pivotal figure is seemingly not to be trusted, yet throughout there are hints that he or she is a double agent. Later Harry becomes entangled with a former student known as the Half-Blood Prince, having accidentally acquired the prince's Potions textbook, but this turns out to be a mixed blessing. Rowling also devotes time to a carefully crafted telling of the story of Lord Voldemort's early life, which Harry and Dumbledore piece together by plucking other people's memories. Rowling is at the top of her game here. For those able to reach just beyond the engrossing tale, there is commentary relevant to today: how governments offer false security about perilous situations and how being in a constant state of war affects people's behavior. Harry is almost 17 now, and this is a book for older readers, who will best understand the moral implications of his choices. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2005 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Rowling's sixth book opens in the British Prime Minister's office after "a very long, tiring, and difficult week," words that cast an eerie light on actual events in London this summer. Yet from the first, the author has used the wizard world to offer insight into the goings-on in the real world, perhaps now more than ever. After the new Minister of Magic introduces himself to the Prime Minister, the scene shifts to Professor Snape's home, where Draco Malfoy's mother and aunt pay him a call, referring to a cryptic mission on which He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is sending Draco. Next, Dumbledore himself fetches Harry from the Dursleys, as the two begin a book-long quest to get to the heart of the dark wizardry impacting both the Muggle and magical worlds. Although You-Know-Who makes no appearances here, his henchmen gain momentum, and his past comes to light through multiple trips via the Pensieve; perhaps Rowling's most brilliant invention yet, the Horcrux, comes chillingly to the fore. Meanwhile, after winding up with a used copy of Advanced Potion-Making with notes from a mysterious Half-Blood Prince, Harry aces his Potions class, taught by the new Professor Slughorn; Snape is now teaching Defense Against the Dark ArtsAwhat can that mean? Readers will have to madly flip the pages to find out. Rowling spends a fair amount of time in the set-up but she accomplishes a great deal in this book, pulling together threads from all the previous titles and expertly poising readers for the planned finale. Old friends such as Lupin and Dobbin make reappearances, love interests and subsequent tensions unfold. Harry, now restored to popularity, nonetheless finds Ron and Hermione wary of his new obsession with Draco Malfoy's activities. The situation at Hogwarts mirrors world events: even Dumbledore finds it difficult to distinguish the good from those who would unleash terror at the school and society at large. If Harry grew up in the last book, here he becomes a man, learning the true impact of the last book's prophecy, and the importance of love as the antidote to fear. All ages.(July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved