A blog that discusses literature for young people.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" by J.K. Rowling

After much anticipation J.K.Rowling's sixth installment in the Harry Potter series presents fans with a dark and puzzling book. In it not only do we see a more mature Harry start to get serious about defeating the evil Lord Voldemort, we also see him start to get serious about girls.

The storyline once again centres around Harry, Ron and Hermione and their studies at Hogwarts School of Wizardry; but in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince we see the Principal, Dumbledore take a much more active interest in Harry's education. After inviting Harry to his office for private tuition, Dumbledore begins showing him a series of memories that help piece together the events and influences in Voldemort's life. This ultimately takes them on a dangerous mission, with dramatic consequences.

Already being a HP fan, I found it very easy to enjoy this book. I like the style and language of Rowling's writing as well as her interesting range of characters. In this sixth book, I particularly enjoyed the romantic themes that tied together some of her best-known and well-loved young characters. This 'sexual awakening' of the characters adds another dimension to Rowling's already enjoyable stories.

However, despite sales of more than 300 million copies, not all critics have been kind. In his review in The Observer, John Mullan seems to infer that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is, on it's own, an unsatisfying read and serves simply as a vehicle to ensure massive sales of the final book. He states,

"Concluding inconclusively, with puzzles unresolved and prophecies unfulfilled, there may be plenty to guarantee the mega-sales of number seven."

To read John Mullan's article in full, click here.

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