Book Reviews

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

The 11 year old Harry from the first novel of this series seems far removed from the one found within the pages of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Now at age 16, Harry is almost a fully grown wizard, who has endured more than any child, wizard or not, should have to, and still manages to function properly! In this book, readers watch as the previous events from past novels come together and knit perfectly to reveal more of the story behind Lord Voldemort, and give us insight into what Harry needs to do to rid the world of Voldemort’s evil presence once and for all. Fortunately Harry isn’t alone in his mission, his friend Ron and Hermione right by his side, fighting right along with him.

Albus Dumbledore appears much more frequently in this book compared to other tittles in this series. Now that Harry has almost come of age, its seems he is now preparing him for the inevitable battle with the evil. He starts by giving Harry knowledge of the Dark Lord’s youth and past endeavours. Then, with Harry’s help, (and a little from professor Slughorn), is able to demystify the secret to Voldemort’s ability to have almost become immortal. Dumbledore also makes sure that Harry understands fully regarding the prophecy and how he Harry, has the ability and the power inside himself to defeat Voldemort. By explaining how the prophecy is only as real as the ones who believe them, and therefore it is Voldemort himself who had caused the prophecy to come true, Harry sees him in a whole different perspective. Armed with the knowledge of the past and present, Harry in a much better position to destroy Voldemort in the future. 

Meanwhile other storylines unfold! Although the main story bases itself a round Lord Voldemort, there are still other strands of the story that follow Harry and his friends giving the book a lighter side as well. Now that the trio are much older, it isn’t a surprise that they have matured enough to find interest in the opposite sex! Ron ends up kissing Lavender Brown during the heat of the moment after an unexpected win in Quidditch. Harry is just as surprised as Ron by the match, however poor Hermoine finds it all very distressing, since she herself has developed her own special feelings for Ron. After all she had considered as king him as her guest to slug horn’s Christmas party. Thankfully Harry is there to console her. Even though he has also discovered he has developed certain feelings for an already taken Ginny Weasley.

Regardless of this, the sadness is hard not to embrace as it is well known that it is not just the famed Aragog of Hagrid’s who dies amongst these pages. Albus Dumbledore also shows us a much more real side of himself as he takes time to give Harry his lessons. I believe the saddest and most difficult part to digest is when Harry and Dumbledore retrieve the Horcrux at the bottom of a stone basin. Its here that we see the mighty Dumbledore that we are all so used to, being zapped of strength and poisoned by the very potion he continues to drink. Readers watch as he becomes as weak as a kitten before being murdered by the one man Dumbledore believed to have been remorseful and therefore reformed into a better person, Severus Snape. Faux’s lament and the sentiments of the magical creatures who dwell in and around the grounds of Hogwarts, such as the Fire arrows sent by the centaurs, was most definitely a tear jerker.

But even though all seems lost now without Dumbledore, There is still much hope in Harry Potter himself. After all, it was something Dumbledore made a point of ensuring Harry understood completely. Overall, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince another great classic created by the amazing talents of J. K. Rowling. The story is captivating to a vast variety of age groups, as even the most jaded reader can find interest in the Harry Potter story. I recommend this novel to anyone with anything that resembles a spark of imagination and therefore completely deserves a 10/10 star rating.

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