'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' by Joanne K. Rowling

About the Author

Joanne Kathleen Rowling was born on July 31, 1965, in Chipping Sodbury, near Bristol, England. A single mother living in Edinburgh, Scotland, she became an international literary sensation in 1999, when the first three volumes of her Harry Potter children's book series took over the top three slots of the New York Times best-seller list after achieving similar success in her native United Kingdom.
A graduate of Exeter University, Jo moved to Portugal in 1990 to teach English. There, she met and married a Portuguese journalist. The couple's daughter, Jessica, was born in 1993. After her marriage ended in divorce, Rowling moved to Edinburgh with her daughter to live near her younger sister. While struggling to support Jessica and herself, Rowling worked on a book, the idea for which had reportedly occurred to her while she was travelling on a train from Manchester to London in 1990. Rowling, now one of Britain's richest women, plans a total of seven books in the series, each chronicling a year in the life of Harry Potter. In late December 2001, she married anaesthetist Dr. Neil Murray at the couple's home in Scotland. Her second child and first son, David Gordon Rowling Murray, was born on March 24th, 2003, at the new Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh. Shortly after announcing that the sixth book in the Harry Potter series was completed, Jo gave birth to her third child on January 23, 2005, a daughter named Mackenzie Jean Rowling Murray. Right now, J.K. Rowling is taking a short break to spend quality time with her newly born daughter, Mackenzie, along with Jessica and David. She has begun writing book seven, but not “properly”; the serious writing is to begin in January 2006 and the book is expected to be published in approximately two years’ time.

For further information on Jo, have a look at her web site: http://www.JKRowling.com

Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

Joan K. Rowling: Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince. London: Bloomsbury, 2005

Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince is the sixth and second last volume of the Harry Potter series. It is a Fantasy novel that deals with the problems of growing up and the fight between good and evil.
It’s Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and the war has really begun. People are being killed, parents keep their children at home instead of sending them to school and Professor Dumbledore’s hand is burned for mysterious reasons. Instead of being tempered and easily angered like last school year, Harry is maturing during his sixth year at Hogwarts. Professor Dumbledore finally trusts Harry enough to tell him the truth about their enemy, the Dark Lord Voldemort, and takes him on trips far into the past and deep into speculative territory. In the Potions Classroom, Harry finds an enigmatic Potions book with a lot of helpful but also dangerous comments scribbled inside, formerly owned by someone called the Half-Blood Prince. He will be truly surprised, when he finds out, who the Half-Blood Prince really is and whose murderer he will be …
The most important message, Jo (as fans call Joan K. Rowling) wants to give in her novels, is that neither our heritage, nor our powers determine who we are, but our choices. In this volume she shows the readers how similar Harry’s and Lord Voldemort’s childhoods were, yet they have become completely opposite characters.
Since this book is a part of a series, it is difficult to judge it, without having a look at the other volumes, too. A lot of questions, that came up while reading the first five volumes and remained unanswered, are finally answered now. Some things the readers thought were certain are suddenly shown in a surprisingly different light. All in all, I’d recommend this book to everyone who’s read and enjoyed the other books about Harry Potter, although the story line has a few weak spots in my point of view.

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