Review: “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” by J.K. Rowling

Since the Harry Potter series started transfiguring from a fantasy series for children into a drama for young adults, it is only natural that all stories and sub-plots would become more complicated as the series progressed closer and closer to its suspenseful culmination.  Just so, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has more romance and shocking revelations than ever as J.K. Rowling creates twists and turns in her penultimate volume with the indirect involvement of the anonymous and very intelligent Half-Blood Prince.  Furthermore, although Fudge has been fired from his post, the new Minister of Magic is just as daft, acknowledging Voldemort’s manipulation of all Wizarding affairs but refusing to make the right decisions to fight back the Dark Arts in all their forms.  While Harry and Dumbledore reconcile despite Harry’s remaining grief over Sirius’ death, the next step is to discover exactly how to defeat Voldemort once and for all.

Voldemort’s big secret is the main reason for Dumbledore’s lesson plans, for Harry is now preoccupied not just with being captain of his Quidditch team or his growing feelings for Ginny but more with his painful connection to Voldemort’s soul and his increasing need to destroy Voldemort.  Snape also is in the spotlight for once, since the ambiguity of his actions and his personal secrets are a mind-tingling mystery demanding to be revealed.  The laughable but good-natured Horace Slughorn, comic relief or not, also plays a great part amid the dark, serious tones of the sixth volume’s content, especially when Harry manages to acquire Slughorn’s most important memory for the greater good.

The romantic triangles Rowling has added are a bit lethargic, but all these romantic developments are not very surprising after the previous two volumes in the series.  Of course, Dumbledore’s demise and Snape’s apparent betrayal are only two climatic and unpredicted events that show how unafraid Rowling is when commanding the acute direction the course of her series is heading towards.  There is no direct duel between Harry and Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince like there was in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but explanations for the creation of Horcruxes and several other ideas more than compensate.  How did Rowling visualize such an unimaginable yet ingenious concept for immortality prompted by evil motives?  In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the Harry Potter series continues to spiral tragically and majestically down to its finish, where everything now seems possible for a writer who can take such risks with her characters.

Original review: The penultimate volume in the ‘Harry Potter’ series is fascinating,


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