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Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by…

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (original 2005; edition 2005)

by J.K. Rowling

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74,8057302 (4.36)7 / 1103
Title:Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Authors:J.K. Rowling
Info:Arthur A. Levine Books (2005), Hardcover
Collections:Your library

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

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Haha! Just kidding. While this book has been on the shelves for around 11 1/2 years (releases in July of 05), I know new kids are coming up and reading them. Adults that didn't when they were younger are reading them so I couldn't put a spoiler right at the beginning but like my other Harry reviews spoilers may pop up so I wouldn't continue to read if I were you. Anyway...and yes this is more summery than review. Curse me. I just finished and I need to TYPE.

The penultimate chapter of the Harry Potter saga, the Half Blood Prince seeings Harry even more upset than he was at the start of Order of the Phoenix, having lost his godfather at the end of that adventure. He is depressed, sad, and missing Sirius desperately. He also feels completely out of touch as to what is going on as no one is saying anything for fear of it getting caught in the wrong hands. Understandably. You really do not know who is on what side, not really, even if you think you know do you really?

Luckily Harry is soon sent to the Burrow after helping convince Horace Slughorn to join the staff of Hogwarts. Harry thinks he is going to be their new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher since that position has a new face every year. At the Burrow he learns that Bill and Fleur (from Goblet of Fire) are engage and to be wed the following year. Such happy news in otherwise dark times.

Harry suspects Malfoy is up to no good because, well, he is Malfoy. The young wizard runs off to Knockturn Alley and into the dark magic shop Harry had found himself in back in year two. Malfoy as usual is acting suspicious, setting off half of Harry's motivations for much of the book.

At school, they learn Slughorn is now the potions teacher and Snape has finally earned the role he so desperately wanted, Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. This is all much to our heroic trios dismay. Whatever Dumbledore and the other members of the Order may feel, they don't trust him, Harry least of all.

Since Slughorn is now potions master, Harry and Ron are able to join his NEWT class, having earn the proper grade. Which begs the question...if a student failed most of their OWLs...what do they do when they go back to hogwarts? Just go to the 1 or 2 they passed? Repeat? Maybe they just don't come back? Then again Crabbe and Goyle are back so I guess they do just repeat.

Anyway, in the NEWT level potions class, Harry manages to get his hands on a copy of the text that was owned by someone called "The Half Blood Prince" (ROLL CREDITS!). Having learned nothing from his previous adventures, Harry keeps the book and uses it to his advantage, gaining high praise and favor from Slughorn. Oh and earning himself a vial of liquid luck (to touch on the movie for a minute, the liquid luck scene is easily one of my favorites in the series).

Harry also has secret, private lessons with Dumbledore. Knowing he will tell anyway, Dumbledore says Harry is free to say what happens in their meetings to Ron and Hermione (Dumbledore ain't dumb). Through the pensieve (AKA memory pool of silver goo), Harry is taken through key points in Voldemort's life, seeing his parents, his life at the orphanage, his time at school, and after he left Hogwarts. Each memory provides more and more insight into the Dark Wizard Harry feels he has to fight because of the prophecy. Even after Dumbledore explains the prophecy is irrelevant. Voldemort made it come true and that even if Harry hadn't heard what it was about, he still would've wanted to end Voldemort's life due to all the pain he has caused young Harry. Again, Dumbledore ain't dumb.

In one of the memories, we learn about Horcruxes. Well we almost do. The memory was tampered with and Dumbledore puts it on Harry to get the real memory from Slughorn, the reluctant witness.

Harry is otherwise distracted by not just school and Quidditch but by following Malfoy. Katie Bell (a teammate of his) and Ron are both cursed by dark magic. While both survive, Harry is sure Malfoy is behind it and that his intent was to kill. Since Slughorn won't provide the memory willingly, Harry focuses his attention on Malfoy, sure he is using the room of requirement to do whatever is he is doing.

Pressured heavily by Dumbledore, Harry finally does manage to get the memory from Slughorn by using the vial of 'liquid luck'. (AGAIN, love this scene in the movie) Essentially, he got Slughorn drunk at Aragog's (the big spider from Chamber of Secrets) funeral and convinced him that he needed to give up the memory.

The memory does provide a bit more insight into horcruxes. You kill someone and put a bit of your soul into an object or thing. Say...a diary or your father's ring. What this means is, you can't be completely killed, not while part of your soul is trapped in an object. Voldemort wanted to live forever and he found a way. An evil and dark way. Also kind of sad. Imagine having part of your soul trapped in a spoon for all eternity.

These lessons also show Harry why the DADA's position is cursed. Voldemort wanted it. Dumbledore, not be dumb, said no. Could you imagine Voldemort teaching? He would have a ready made army of hundreds all too soon. Since saying no, Dumbledore had been unable to find anyone to hold the position for more than year. This almost brought out a bit of a continuity error from book one as the way Hagrid introduces Quirrell, it seems as though he has held that role for a while but while Quirrell had been at the school for a few years, Harry's first year at Hogwarts was his first year teaching DADA (it isn't directly said in the books but was later cleared up by Rowling and as she is the Goddess of all things Harry Potter, her word is gold).

Dumbledore finds the location of one of the horcruxes and he takes Harry on a journey to get it. It one of the more difficult parts of the book (at least for me), Harry forces a potion down Dumbledore's throat at his request in order for them to claim the horcrux. They nearly get killed by some zombie like creatures but manage to escape back to the village just outside the school where they see a dark mark in the sky so they fly back to the school.

And here the shit hits the fan. Draco, under orders of Voldemort, is supposed to kill Dumbledore but he can't (Harry even ends up feeling bad for him after this if that says anything) so what happens? Snape does it. Snape. Kills. Dumbledore.

The world shattered when they read that, when word got out to those who hadn't finished the book yet. I still remember it clearly. Everyone was cursing Snape's name (and the name of the guy who drove by people in line just after midnight and shouted "SNAPE KILLS DUMBLEDORE" out his car window). At least a first. A few theories cropped up later about what side Snape was actually one, leading to some to not quite want to see Harry kill him in the next book (except that guy in the car. Fuck that guy. Harry can kill him.) But that first night and day, everyone hated Snape just like Harry did. He wasn't on the good side after all. He was always on the side of Voldemort.

Other things that happened: Tonks wants to be with Lupin (he eventually gives in), Ron made out with Lavender Brown to piss off Hermione. Hermione pretended to like some guy who's name i can't be bothered to look up right now. And oh...Harry kissed Ginny. Right in the common room. After Gryffindor had won the Quidditch cup again. In front of Ron.

Harry isn't going back to Hogwarts. He wants to find the last 4 horcruxes to defeat Voldemort. He wants to kill Snape too for obvious reasons.

Overall, a great read. So much happens that needed to happen to bring us to the final showdown in the next book (which I'm sad to say I only read once. I know I'm horrible). Harry learns a lot more about Voldemort. Probably more than he wanted to know but what he needed to know. Sometimes knowing the motivations behind someone's behavior is helpful in knowing how to defeat him. Voldemort wanted to be the most powerful, he wanted to hurt people from a young age. Of course he would hide his soul into objects that did not belong to him. Of course he would be arrogant enough to believe that putting his soul into 6 other places would give him power beyond measure. But he is still human..sort of. Well he was at some point. Now he's a giant dickhead with a lot of power like our president. But he can be defeated. Harry knows how. He just has to learn to trust in his friends and in himself. ( )
1 vote jnoble82 | Mar 20, 2017 |
I feel like this one is still my favorite of the books. It's just such an expertly designed game of chess really. All the pieces end up placed in their proper places, ready for the finale ahead. Things really start falling into place, as well, and once it gets going, it really gets going.

I find this one so much more emotionally draining than Order of the Phoenix. I mean, the last five chapters are just a continuous set of punches to the gut in which you end up a sad, empty mess by the end of the book. I love it. ( )
  mcj545 | Mar 14, 2017 |
This book was a disappointment to me, for an unjust reason. The title was announced before I saw the actual book, and I persuaded myself that the "half-blood prince" would be Hagrid, who had been involved with the giants in the previous volume. Of course, this turned out not to be true --the "prince" turns out to be the boy who turned into Lord Voldemort. ( )
  antiquary | Mar 11, 2017 |
He still dies; it still hurts; my heart is still broken. However, to have such friends.

Can I have a pensive?

( )
  laura.w.douglas | Mar 9, 2017 |
Since the movie is about to come out soon, I thought I would re-read this one. It has been such a Twilight world, that I look forward to a little Hogwarts:) ( )
  annabw | Feb 21, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 697 (next | show all)
I am sure this has been said million times, but, book's Ginny is simply fantastic! Ginny grew up with Fred and George, so of course she turned out to be brave, daring and fiery (I only wish the movie could have displayed it properly...) She adds a nice touch, and it is only proper to give Harry, who is a teenager, a love interest. Otherwise it would have been unrealistic, really, for almost all of us meet our first love in school.
Con dieciséis años cumplidos, Harry inicia el sexto curso en Hogwarts en medio de terribles acontecimientos que asolan Inglaterra. Elegido capitán del equipo de Quidditch, los entrenamientos, los exámenes y las chicas ocupan todo su tiempo, pero la tranquilidad dura poco. A pesar de los férreos controles de seguridad que protegen la escuela, dos alumnos son brutalmente atacados. Dumbledore sabe que se acerca el momento, anunciado por la Profecía, en que Harry y Voldemort se enfrentarán a muerte: «El único con poder para vencer al Señor Tenebroso se acerca... Uno de los dos debe morir a manos del otro, pues ninguno de los dos podrá vivir mientras siga el otro con vida.». El anciano director solicitará la ayuda de Harry y juntos emprenderán peligrosos viajes para intentar debilitar al enemigo, para lo cual el joven mago contará con la ayuda de un viejo libro de pociones perteneciente a un misterioso príncipe, alguien que se hace llamar Príncipe Mestizo.

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rowling, J. K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Buddingh', WiebeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cockcroft, JasonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dale, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fry, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
GrandPré, MaryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kapari, JaanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kibuishi, KazuCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Masini, BeatriceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Mackenzie,
my beautiful daughter,
I dedicate
her ink-and-paper twin.
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It was nearing midnight and the Prime Minister was sitting alone in his office, reading a long memo that was slipping through his brain without leaving the slightest trace of meaning behind.
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The wizarding world has finally woken up to Voldemort’s return, and his Death Eaters are on the rampage, causing chaos, confusion and death. Harry Potter, who is now surrounded by more rumours than ever before, returns to Hogwarts for his sixth-year of magical education – but the school is no longer the haven it used to be, and spies who have been hidden for years will soon show their true colours. As suspicions escalate and workloads increase, Albus Dumbledore invites Harry to join him in piecing together the tale of Voldemort’s parentage and upbringing – a tale that will reveal his darkest secret yet.

AR Level 7.2, 29 pts
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Oh yeah, Voldemort!

Forgot about him while I

was pursuing girls.


Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0439785960, Paperback)

The deluxe edition includes a 32-page insert featuring near scale reproductions of Mary GrandPré's interior art, as well as never-before-seen full-color frontispiece art on special paper. The custom-designed slipcase is foil-stamped and inside is a full cloth case book, blind-stamped on front and back cover, foil stamped on spine. The book includes full-color endpapers with jacket art from the Trade edition and a wraparound jacket featuring exclusive, suitable-for-framing art from Mary GrandPré.

Potter News You Can Use

J.K. Rowling has revealed three chapter titles from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to be:

Chapter Two: "Spinners End" Chapter Six: "Draco's Detour" Chapter Fourteen: "Felix Felicis"

A Few Words from J.K. Rowling
"I am an extraordinarily lucky person, doing what I love best in the world. I’m 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.

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 all five books. Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive (what we love about Harry could fill five 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's first trip to the zoo with the Dursleys, when a boa constrictor winks at him. When the Dursleys' house is suddenly besieged by letters for Harry from Hogwarts. Readers learn how much the Dursleys have been keeping from Harry. Rowling does a wonderful job in displaying the lengths to which Uncle Vernon will go to deny that magic exists. Harry's first visit to Diagon Alley with Hagrid. Full of curiosities and rich with magic and marvel, Harry's first trip includes a trip to Gringotts and Ollivanders, where Harry gets his wand (holly and phoenix feather) and discovers yet another connection to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. This moment is the reader's first full introduction to Rowling's world of witchcraft and wizards.Harry's experience with the Sorting Hat.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The de-gnoming of the Weasleys' garden. Harry discovers that even wizards have chores--gnomes must be grabbed (ignoring angry protests "Gerroff me! Gerroff me!"), swung about (to make them too dizzy to come back), and tossed out of the garden--this delightful scene highlights Rowling's clever and witty genius. Harry's first experience with a Howler, sent to Ron by his mother. The Dueling Club battle between Harry and Malfoy. Gilderoy Lockhart starts the Dueling Club to help students practice spells on each other, but he is not prepared for the intensity of the animosity between Harry and Draco. Since they are still young, their minibattle is innocent enough, including tickling and dancing charms.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Ron's attempt to use a telephone to call Harry at the Dursleys'. Harry's first encounter with a Dementor on the train (and just about any other encounter with Dementors). Harry's brush with the Dementors is terrifying and prepares Potter fans for a darker, scarier book. Harry, Ron, and Hermione's behavior in Professor Trelawney's Divination class. Some of the best moments in Rowling's books occur when she reminds us that the wizards-in-training at Hogwarts are, after all, just children. Clearly, even at a school of witchcraft and wizardry, classes can be boring and seem pointless to children. The Boggart lesson in Professor Lupin's classroom. Harry, Ron, and Hermione's knock-down confrontation with Snape.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Hermione's disgust at the reception for the veela (Bulgarian National Team Mascots) at the Quidditch World Cup. Rowling's fourth book addresses issues about growing up--the dynamic between the boys and girls at Hogwarts starts to change. Nowhere is this more plain than the hilarious scene in which magical cheerleaders nearly convince Harry and Ron to jump from the stands to impress them. Viktor Krum's crush on Hermione--and Ron's objection to it. Malfoy's "Potter Stinks" badge. Hermione's creation of S.P.E.W., the intolerant bigotry of the Death Eaters, and the danger of the Triwizard Tournament. Add in the changing dynamics between girls and boys at Hogwarts, and suddenly Rowling's fourth book has a weight and seriousness not as present in early books in the series. Candy and tickle spells are left behind as the students tackle darker, more serious issues and take on larger responsibilities, including the knowledge of illegal curses.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry's outburst to his friends at No. 12 Grimmauld Place. A combination of frustration over being kept in the dark and fear that he will be expelled fuels much of Harry's anger, and it all comes out at once, directly aimed at Ron and Hermione. Rowling perfectly portrays Harry's frustration at being too old to shirk responsibility, but too young to be accepted as part of the fight that he knows is coming. Harry's detention with Professor Umbridge. Rowling shows her darker side, leading readers to believe that Hogwarts is no longer a safe haven for young wizards. Dolores represents a bureaucratic tyrant capable of real evil, and Harry is forced to endure their private battle of wills alone. Harry and Cho's painfully awkward interactions. Rowling clearly remembers what it was like to be a teenager. Harry's Occlumency lessons with Snape. Dumbledore's confession to Harry.

Begin at the Beginning

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Paperback Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Paperback Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Paperback Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


If You Like J.K. Rowling, You'll Love These Authors…

Cornelia Funke Eoin Colfer Garth Nix

New Novels to Keep You Busy

Cry of the Icemark
The Dark Hills Divide
Singer of All Songs
The Game of Sunken Places
Children of the Lamp
Dragon Rider

Authors Younger Potter Fans Should Try…

Geronimo Stilton Andy Griffiths Dav Pilkey

While You Wait
Hot New Series for Potter Fans

Charlie Bone
Guardians of Ga'hoole
Keys to the Kingdom
Underland Chronicles
Dragons of Deltora

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.

Did You Know?

The Little White Horse was J.K. Rowling's favorite book as a child. Jane Austen is Rowling's favorite author. Roddy Doyle is Rowling's favorite living writer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:23 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

Sixth-year Hogwarts student Harry Potter gains valuable insights into the boy Voldemort once was, even as his own world is transformed by maturing friendships, schoolwork assistance from an unexpected source, and devastating losses.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 21 descriptions

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