Author: J.K. Rowling
Written in: 2005.
Number of pages: 607 pages
The story takes place in England at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The story happens also in 2005.
A year passes by in this book.
The leading character in this book is of course Harry Potter. Harry Potter is a 17 years old wizard who begins with his sixth year at Hogwarts this year. He’s very talented and smart, but also famous. Almost everyone looks up to Harry. But for him that’s not a positive thing: most of the time he hates to be the subject of gossip and to be the person about whom people talk. He’s very modest. His best friends are Hermione and Ron. Hermione is easily the brightest witch in her year at Hogwarts. Ron has a generally positive outlook on life but struggles with feelings of having to live up to five older brothers who have made their mark on Hogwarts one way or another. These three friends with each a different personality are a very powerful trio together. In Book 6, Harry and his friends have several life-changing experiences and there are hints of blossoming romances.
Intention of the writer:
I think J.K. Rowling doesn’t want to draw attention to a certain problem, however in her books it’s always about the fight between good and evil. As in the other Harry Potter books, numerous shadowy characters inhabit Rowling's world. She changes their complexions, so that the reader is never sure of anybody (if he’s on the good side or on the bad). Some people think that this book radiates a sort of post- 9/11 'New York' angst that strangely fits into the London gloom after the recent bombings. The problems in the world of Harry Potter seem to refer to the terrorist danger. In the first chapter for example, the Prime Minister of England receives a surprise visit from Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic. Fudge explains the increasing violence and murders in England are a result of the magical war (this war has broken out between the magical community and Voldemort's Death Eaters, in plain sight of the non-magical Muggle community).
The story is chronological.
Most important event:
The most important event in the book for me is the moment when Dumbledore dies. When I read that, I couldn’t restrain crying and I was very upset. A feeling of disbelief took possession of me. The fact that Professor Snape, the person who Dumbledore trusted blindly, killed Dumbledore, makes it even more tragic and complicated. There’s an internet site which contains a theory about the dead of Dumbledore. On that site you can find clues which are pointing to two possibilities, that Dumbledore's not really dead, or at the very least, that Snape's not really a Death Eater, and he killed Dumbledore because Dumbledore ordered him to, as part of a grand plan. (http://www.dumbledoreisnotdead.com) Because I couldn’t really believe that Dumbledore was dead, I thought it was cool to see there were more people who thought about it in the same way. Though, I found the clues on the site not very convincing. Now I’m being in two minds about the dead of Dumbledore.
I feel definitely sympathy for Harry Potter. Not only because of thís book; from the moment I started to read the Harry Potter-serie, I immediately felt in love. Not of course with Harry Potter himself, but just with the books and the way it’s written. And from this it follows that I like Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling has made Harry into such a beautiful character, probably nobody can dislike him.
On the one hand I found the book very easy to read, because I was used to the style of writing (I read each book of the serie besides this one at least three times). On the other hand it was difficult: oddly enough I have a sort of tic when I read the Harry Potter books in English. Because I don’t want to misunderstood or miss something, I look up every word I don’t know precisely (even if I can pick up the meaning of the word because of the context it’s set in). It’s also not very easy to read, because the characters have different names in the Dutch translations. When I see names of characters in English, I don’t always recognize the Dutch names. Characters as “Dumbledore” (Perkamentus), “Hermione” (Hermelien) or “Weasley” (Wemel) I know in the mean time, but there are still names left which I don’t recognize at once.
The title of the book is “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”. Harry Potter is the leading character, as I told before. In the copy of “Advanced Potion-Making” that Professor Slughorn lends Harry are annotations and an inscription in the same hand saying that it is the property of the Half-Blood Prince. After research, Hermione finds out who is meant by “Half-Blood Prince”: “Half-Blood Prince” is a literal description of Snape himself, with his half-muggle status and mother’s maiden name of Prince. Prince is also a title, but the expression “half blood” is described as an insult in the wizarding world and it is not explained why he might wish to adopt such a name. Later, as Harry tries to use his own spells against him in the heat of battle, Snape confirms to Potter that indeed he is the Half-Blood Prince.
I recommend this book for sure. Of course it’s clever to read the previous five books of Harry Potter before you are going to read part 6. But you really don’t have to see that as a hard thing, even if you hate reading: you’ll love those books!!!!!!
This Harry Potter book begins slightly differently than others in the series. In a chapter that has been brewing in Rowling’s mind for thirteen years, an unsuspecting muggle Prime Minister is visited by Cornelius Fudge and is told that Lord Voldemort has returned and several muggle atrocities including a bridge collapse, a hurricane, and a few murders are in fact the work of Voldemort. To that The Prime Minister says “But for heaven’s sake-you’re wizards! You can do magic! Surely you can sort out - well -anything! The Minister of Magic replies, “The trouble is, the other side can do magic too.” Once again Harry is sent to stay with his muggle relatives: aunt Petunia, uncle Vernon, and their spoiled son, Dudley. Harry’s stay here is the shortest ever as Dumbledore comes to Privet Drive to get Harry and take him to The Burrow, the home of his best friend Ron Weasley. Once back at Hogwarts Harry learns that greasy potions teacher, Snape, has finally achieved his dream to teach “Defense Against The Dark Arts”. Dumbledore summons Harry to his office to begin a series of trips into his pensieve to learn the true nature of Lord Voldemort, and the beginnings of Tom Riddle and his family. Draco Malfoy is sneaking around the castle, and seems to be on a mission given to him by Voldemort. Harry receives Potions advice from a second hand Potions book filled with doodling by someone calling themselves “The Half Blood Prince.” Two students are mysteriously attacked and almost killed. Love is truly in the air as some rumored matches finally happen. Harry learns the reason why Voldemort did not die when his curse for baby Harry backfired. Voldemort made himself almost immortal by creating six horcruxes, which are created by the splitting of one’s soul through the act of murder. Each horcrux will have to be destroyed before Voldemort himself, the last and 7th piece of his soul, can be destroyed. Then in a shocking turn of events Death Eaters converge on Hogwarts, and Snape, revealed to be the mysterious Half Blood Prince and who Dumbledore has always trusted to be on the good side, kills Hogwarts’ beloved headmaster. Harry vows to not return to Hogwarts. Now alone, he must search for the final horcruxes in order to have a chance to kill Voldemort.