So the latest Harry Potter hit the shelves on 16th July. I managed to get the copy yesterday and breezed my way through the book. As usual high expectations had been set around the book, with JK Rowling claiming the death of another lovable character and the new Pope
claiming that Harry Potter was against christianity!! (Donno what happened to all the other macro elements working against religion!!) But since it's debut, the euphoria seems to have died down a bit, and that is for a good reason!!
Now that Sirius Black is dead, Harry starts another annual vacation at the Dursleys. But this time, the fun at Dursley's is cut short by a surprise visitor, Albus Dumbledore. So Dumbledore takes Harry onto the Weasley's residence and the usual fun with Ron, Hermione and the others at Weasley household makes the vacation zoom by.
The real plot begins during the traditional trip to Diagon Alley for getting the stuff for the next year, when the trio of Ron, Hermione and Harry stumble onto a suspicious looking Draco Malfoy. He seems to be upto something, which the trio are unable to figure out.
The story then moves to the Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardary, where Harry, Ron and Hermione are in for some specializations in different aspects of witchcraft. Harry gets some unanticipated help from a book by some person nicknamed, the Half Blood Prince.
Things start to get interesting when Dumbledore suddenly invites Harry for some extra classes. The story then moves on to delve deeper into the history of Lord Voldemort and tracing his path to power and evil.
Then the unthinkable happens and the Dark Mark comes over Hogwarts!! Who is the poor victim and how did the dark mark make it over Hogwarts?? Who is the Half Blood prince? What is Malfoy upto?
Definitely I am not going to tell you that!! All I can and will say is that one more (in fact, two if you ask Hagrid) of your favorite character perishes during the course of this book. For all the details of the magic, treachery and the suspense get your copy of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince for more details.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is the depiction of the sixth year of Harry Potter at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardary. The book dwells on all the things that this series has come to depict - Magic, Mystery, Mystique, Murder alongwith loads of fun.
During the course of this novel, the kids, the series started with are coming into their teens, so romance starts to blossom. Of course, the way pairings have been formed and dropped, does indicate why J.
K. Rowling did not take to writing romantic novels.
Another aspect of this novel is that it tries to connect some of the open questions that were left from the previous novels in the series to trace the beginnings of Lord Voldemort. This way J.K. Rowling is probably setting up the last novel(?) of the series for a big-bang finish.
Also another first in this novel is the formal interaction between muggles and wizards, though it is restricted only to the Prime-Minister of England and the Minister of Magic.
Having said this, this novel is no way a classic. In fact, I would rate is just on par with Prisoner of Azkaban, behind Order of Phoenix and Goblet of Fire. The reason is because the novels keeps going back into the past of Voldemort and traces it as small episodes, so each time an episode ends, the novel drags along till it reaches the next episode.
Also, now the inconsistencies in the characters seem to be emerging. Harry has suddenly quietened a lot more after being quite irritative in the previous two installments. Draco Malfoy has a very abrupt and sudden coming of age and seems to have matured a lot as a character.
Dumbledore's judgements suddenly seem to be not so dependable any more.
New Characters introduced in this novel
Professor Slughorn : As Snape gets his Deainst the Dark Arts subject to teach, a new potions teacher is required. Dumbledore brings Professor Slughorn from retirement, to take up this position, though with considerable cajoling.
Rufus Scrimgeour : The new Minister of Magic who takes over after Cornelius Fudge is forced to step down from his position.
All in all not the best Harry Potter book, nor the worst. It sets the series for a nice little grand finale. Though, somewhere in the book Harry mentions that he might not return for the final year of education, which could mean that it would not end with the next book. So keeping the fingers crossed till the next book arrives.
A three and half star rating from my side for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.