Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
(Book 6)

84%

34 Critic Reviews

Longtime fans who fixate on anyone but Harry himself may be disappointed that their favorite character doesn't get more face time, but in the end, the only way Half-Blood Prince really disappoints is in how quickly it reads and how fast it's over.
-AV Club

Synopsis

Book 6 in the Harry Potter series

A New York Times Bestseller

In 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 Series

HARRY POTTER and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter publishing rights © J. K. Rowling. (s05)

 

About J.K. Rowling

See more books from this Author
J. K. (Joanne Kathleen) Rowling was born in Gloucestershire, U. K. on July 31, 1965. She also writes fiction novels under the name of Robert Galbraith. Rowling attended Tutshill Primary and then went on to Wyedean Comprehensive where she was made Head Girl in her final year. She received a degree in French from Exeter University. She later took some teaching classes at Moray House Teacher Training College and a teacher-training course in Manchester, England. This extensive education created a perfect foundation to spark the Harry Potter series that Rowling is renowned for. After college, Rowling moved to London to work for Amnesty International, where she researched human rights abuses in Francophone Africa, and worked as a bilingual secretary. In 1992, Rowling quit office work to move to Portugal and teach English as a Second Language. There she met and married her husband, a Portuguese TV journalist. But the marriage dissolved soon after the birth of their daughter. It was after her stint teaching in Portugal that Rowling began to write the premise for Harry Potter. She returned to Britain and settled in Edinburgh to be near her sister, and attempted to at least finish her book, before looking for another teaching job. Rowling was working as a French teacher when her book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published in June of 1997 and was an overnight sensation. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone won the British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year, was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Award, and received a Commended citation in the Carnegie Medal awards. She also received 8,000 pounds from the Scottish Arts Council, which contributed to the finishing touches on The Chamber of Secrets. Rowling continued on to win the Smarties Book Prize three years in a row, the only author ever to do so. At the Bologna Book Fair, Arthur Levine from Scholastic Books, bought the American rights to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone for the unprecedented amount of $105,000.00. The book was retitled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for it's American release, and proceeded to top the Best Seller's lists for children's and adult books. The American edition won Best of the Year in the School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Parenting Magazine and the Cooperative Children's Book Center. It was also noted as an ALA Notable Children's Book as well as Number One on the Top Ten of ALA's Best Books for Young Adults. The Harry Potter Series consists of seven books, one for each year of the main character's attendance at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. All of the books in the series have been made into successful movies. She has also written Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Rowling's first novel for an adult audience,The Casual Vacancy, was published by Little Brown in September 2012. She published two bestselling fiction novels under the name of Robert Galbraith: The Cuckoo's Calling and The Silkworm. Newbery Medal winner Nancy Willard has written numerous beloved books for children and adults, including poetry, picture books, and novels. She teaches writing and literature at Vassar College. Mary GrandPre is the acclaimed illustrator of many children's books, including Plum, by Tony Mitton; The Thread of Life, by Domenico Vittorini; and the bestselling Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling.
 
Published December 8, 2015 by Pottermore from J.K. Rowling. 691 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult, Children's Books, Action & Adventure, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
All: 34 | Positive: 32 | Negative: 2

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Feb 14 2016

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.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Liesl Schillinger on Jul 31 2005

...Rowling has succeeded in delivering another spellbinding fantasy set in her consummately well-imagined alternate reality.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Jul 16 2005

...this is a coming-of-age story that chronicles the hero's evolution not only by showing his maturation through a series of grueling tests, but also by detailing the growing emotional wisdom he gains from understanding more and more about the past.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Yankee on Sep 16 2015

The ending is very exciting and unexpected; key to the last book of the Harry Potter series. I thoroughly recommend it!

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by John Mullan on Jul 22 2005

The odd glumness of this novel is partly a consequence of its loss of a satisfying plot, its lack of shape...We must not think that she is making her stories up on the hoof, even though the idea of there being seven books, one for each of Harry's years at Hogwarts, must have come to her only belatedly.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by John Mullan on Jul 22 2005

The odd glumness of this novel is partly a consequence of its loss of a satisfying plot, its lack of shape. There is, I think, a clear reason for this, evident from the amount that we have been hearing about Rowling's plans for her characters.

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Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by John Owen on Jul 16 2005

If you have been waiting for this for months, rest assured: this is the series’ The Empire Strikes Back. The stakes are even higher and the surprises bigger than you imagine, and despite the usual problems of editing and focus, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince delivers the goods...

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by John Owen on Jul 16 2005

If you have been waiting for this for months, rest assured: this is the series’ The Empire Strikes Back. The stakes are even higher and the surprises bigger than you imagine, and despite the usual problems of editing and focus, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince delivers the goods.

Read Full Review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blo... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

AV Club

Good
Reviewed by Tasha Robinson on Aug 02 2005

Longtime fans who fixate on anyone but Harry himself may be disappointed that their favorite character doesn't get more face time, but in the end, the only way Half-Blood Prince really disappoints is in how quickly it reads and how fast it's over.

Read Full Review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blo... | See more reviews from AV Club

AV Club

Good
Reviewed by Tasha Robinson on Aug 02 2005

Longtime fans who fixate on anyone but Harry himself may be disappointed that their favorite character doesn't get more face time, but in the end, the only way Half-Blood Prince really disappoints is in how quickly it reads and how fast it's over.

Read Full Review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blo... | See more reviews from AV Club

Entertainment Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Christopher Paolini on Jul 20 2005

It's heartening, both as an author and a reader, to see that J.K. Rowling is brave enough to experiment with her beloved series, and that she has remained true to the emotional and physical development of her characters.

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Christian Science Monitor

Good
Reviewed by Yvonne Zipp on Jul 19 2009

...as always, Rowling excels at propelling the action forward, and her creativity is undiminished. Also, she raises some interesting questions about the perils of believing the best in others, and whether the possibility of redemption is always worth the cost.

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About.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Tammy Nezol on Feb 12 2016

My main complaint is that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is not for children...I do believe, however, that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is brilliant. It is by far the best of the series.

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PopMatters

Above average
Reviewed by Shandy Casteel on Aug 01 2005

Rowling may have faltered here and there, but as she shows in this latest work, she never fails to deliver.

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ABC Perth

Good
Reviewed by May on May 16 2014

The sixth Harry Potter book is worth the wait...I think that anyone who likes Harry Potter will enjoy this book, mostly people aged 10 and up.

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Ambrosia Jefferson on Jan 05 2010

Despite my reserves at this being a book I would actually call young adult I did enjoy it. The story kept my attention, and while some of the plot was blatantly obvious from the get go it still made me curious as to what exactly was going to happen.

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Fantasy Book Review

Good
Reviewed by Amanda White on May 16 2014

There are so many plot lines in this one and the thumping pace does not let up from first page to last...Excellent book, in fact I may just start reading it again!

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http://bestfantasybooks.com

Above average
Reviewed by AlyseG on Feb 08 2015

The penultimate book in the seven book series is far darker and more complex than any of the books that came before it, and by the book’s close many of the questions asked within its pages remain unanswered...this book is impossible to put down, as the mystical and mythical aspect of the Potter story slowly unfolds before you.

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SF Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Thomas Wagner on May 16 2014

Part of the reason, I think, that Rowling's series has managed to remain so consistently strong when so many other long-running multibook fantasy sagas...is that Rowling has had a definite plan, a clear blueprint for how her epic was to unfold through each volume

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https://www.commonsensemedia.org

Excellent
Reviewed by Matt Berman on Aug 23 2009

As the protagonists age, so do the books, growing darker, more violent, more complex, and much more emotional. While young kids will still want to read it...this is clearly aimed at tweens and up. But the series remains compellingly readable, breathlessly suspenseful and exciting, and now powerfully emotional.

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Hope Chest Reviews

Excellent
on May 12 2014

All in all, there was a lot going on in this penultimate book of the series. I finally got an explanation - sort of - for why Hogwarts can't keep a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher for more than a year, which is something I've been wondering since the first book.

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Good
on May 16 2005

Another epic account of the life and times of Harry Potter. If you're mad keen to have another good look round Hogwarts this is the book for you.

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Angela's Anxious Life

Good
Reviewed by ANGELA'S ANXIOUS LIFE on May 11 2013

I love Slughorn. He is one of my most favorite professors ever. I just love his style...The end of this book is just one big sad ride... I can't wait to get started on the final book.

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Giraffe Days

Good
on Nov 25 2011

Once again, I have no complaints with Rowling’s writing, and she has managed to write a story that makes me feel like a kid again – completely absorbed in the magic of the world and the characters, something I always fear I’ve grown out of.

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Once Upon A Bookcase

Good
Reviewed by Jo on Sep 10 2011

The whole idea of Voldemort's horcruxes is just genius, because it's so complicated and you realise just how hard it will be to defeat him...

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The Bawdy Book Blog

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer on Sep 17 2013

I continued to waffle between Snape being bad and Snape being good. Rowling played both sides of him SO WELL, it was incredibly hard to decipher, but I knew which team I wanted him to be on!

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Relevant

Good
Reviewed by RYAN HAMM on Jul 14 2009

The characters are fantastic as always, Rowling's writing is sharp and terrific and the story propels you to the end so quickly you'll probably return for a re-read before too long.

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http://www.feoamante.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Shirley Muramoto on May 16 2005

Overall, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE is much more mature in content and tone from the earliest Harry Potter books. Despite the appellation of being a book for "young adults," it is still a good read, and I'm definitely looking forward to the final book.

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Carina's Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Carina Olsen on Jul 23 2015

I loved reading about the Cave part near the end of the book. With Harry going off with Dumbledore. It was so exciting and creepy and I loved it so much. Heartbreaking too...loved every single moment of the book.

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https://heatherlo.wordpress.com

Good
Reviewed by Heather on Mar 30 2015

This is also the book where I fully came to appreciate Rowling’s genius in writing this story. There are things that happen in this book that were foreshadowed several books back, only we as readers had no idea what was to come...

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Whimpulsive

Excellent
Reviewed by Suzi on Sep 10 2010

Their travels through the past together in Dumbledore’s own memories as well as those from others are fascinating.

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Jayne's Books

Good
Reviewed by Melissa Wiebe on Aug 06 2015

While I had moments in which I felt that the book was hard sometimes to get through, I found the book to be a pleasurable and enjoyable read. The book is a good continuation of the series and is an excellent jumping off point for the final book in the series. Highly recommended.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk

Excellent
Reviewed by Caitlin on Jan 10 2006

A fascinating story of love, hate, betrayal and all-round laughs. Ron, Hermione, Harry and crew, especially the first three, are brilliant role models for every friendship. The best book of the year so far!

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Yearning to Read

Excellent
Reviewed by Sierra Abrams on Dec 26 2011

To say I'm hooked would be the biggest understatement of the history of the world!! Glued, stuck, plastered, never-to-be-parted-from - those don't even say enough! I'm in love!

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