Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)

ISBN: 0439785960
ISBN 13: 9780439785969
By: J.K. Rowling Mary GrandPré

Check Price Now


Adventure Children Childrens Favourites Magic Re Read Sci Fi Fantasy Series Ya Young Adult

About this book

The war against Voldemort is not going well; even the Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses. And yet, as with all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate—and lose a few eyebrows in the process. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.So it's the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here at Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort—and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.

Reader's Thoughts


OK. I'm prepared to admit I've read it. As someone once said about Jeffrey Archer novels, it's rather like a packet of stale chips. You keep taking them out and eating them, hoping that the ones at the bottom are little better. But they're not. After a while, you notice that the bag is empty, and you feel rather disgusted with yourself.She claims the whole story was planned from the beginning. Yeah, right. Though, to be fair, she's in good company; Proust said something similar about A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu. He didn't come across as very credible either.


I learned that I was far too addicted to characters over plot when this became my favourite Harry Potter book on the strength of getting to see more of the Slytherins...

Jonathan Janz

Here's the thing about the Harry Potter books...They're awesome.Deep, huh? Well, deep or shallow, it's the truth. I waited a long time to read the Harry Potter books because I wanted to experience them with my own children. My son (8) and I just finished the sixth book, my first daughter (6) and I are working on the first, and my youngest child (3) is content to commandeer her siblings' wands and run around shrieking, "I have a Harry Potter stick!"In other words, we all enjoy it.I could write a great deal about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but it's a tough book to write about without giving things away. And though I loved this novel for many reasons, I find it quite difficult to separate it from the other tales. This, I think, speaks to J.K. Rowling's ability to connect the stories in a such a way that they each have their own identity while still continuing to trace a gigantic glowing arc through the sky along which the reader is able to ride from the first book to the seventh.So before I tell you a few things I loved about the novel, please know that there might be spoilers below. Not huge spoilers, mind you, but I'm always afraid of letting something slip. So...be forewarned. Don't read on if you haven't read this book yet. And if you haven't read the book, why are you reading a review of it by a writer whose skills don't yet approach J.K. Rowling's? Seriously. Get off the danged Internet and read this amazing series!Some delights and terrors and sorrows...1. Fenrir Greyback: Bet that surprised you a little. I know that this character played a relatively minor role, but on the page he was a scene-stealer, a flesh-chewer, and a perfect foil for one of my favorite character, Remus Lupin.An aside: About a year before I began reading the series, my Creative Writing class was discussing characterization. The kids began talking about the Harry Potter books. One remarked that the supporting characters were as interesting as the leads, which led another student to bring up Remus Lupin. She was halfway through her cataloging of his merits as a character when she stopped and looked up at me, as if seeing me anew. She then said, "Mr. (Insert real name here). You sort of remind me of Lupin." When I later found out he was a werewolf, I was a little bit shocked (and secretly pleased). But when I really got to know the character, I found the remark incredibly gratifying.Back to Fenrir Greyback (with whom I hope I have nothing in common)...What made Greyback so incredibly interesting to me was not only the sheer ferocity of his behavior, but the diabolical simplicity of his motives. If the Harry Potter books were likened to Lord of the Flies and Voldemort's ambition were compared with Jack's (the leader of the hunters), then Greyback would be Roger, the sadist. This powderkeg of a character lives only to rend flesh and to guzzle the steaming lifeblood of his victims. Greyback doesn't want to rule the world; he simply wants to terrorize it. I don't know what kind of a role he plays in the seventh book (if any), but his unreasoning brutality added just the right note of menace to a book that largely---and sensitively---focused on the romantic relationships of its teenagers.2. Fleur's Surprising Reaction: I admit to falling prey to a stupid prejudice here, and I feel awful about it. But I wrongly assumed Fleur Delacour was a pretty face without a soul. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire she was the object of many male desires (Ron's particularly), and though she was skilled at wizardry, she wasn't an especially affecting character. She did seem affected, however, and when she showed up again in Book Six, I, like Mrs. Weasley, rolled my eyes and dismissed her as a fluttery, vapid future supermodel.How wrong I was.One mark of a great writer, I think, is the ability to surprise the reader without cheating. That's J.K. Rowling. When something terrible befell Fleur's fiance, I was all set to mentally berate her for her superficiality. But rather than making a caricature out of Fleur---as I fear I unknowingly did---Rowling transformed her and made her deeply endearing with a couple elegant lines of dialogue.And I loved that. So here's to continual reminders to not judge people by appearances or even their seeming personalities. People can still surprise us, and we need to give them the opportunity to do so.*takes a deep breath*And lastly...3. Dumbledore: If you've read this far, you've only been assailed by minor spoilers. I don't want to spoil this plot twist, but I don't know how to talk about it without spoiling it. And the fact is, I don't want to talk about it.Rarely has a fictional character so resonated with me the way Albus Dumbledore has. In the first book he was wise, eccentric, and a constant source of comfort. As the series has developed, he has persisted in exhibiting those traits, but he has also grown more than most might think. He has revealed a penchant for trusting others too much. He has admitted how fallible he is, how prone to mistakes. He has been injured, accused of wrongdoing, and generally fed through a physical and emotional woodchipper.And he has come through it all with an open, caring heart and an enormous capacity for love. One passage in particular, I think, summarizes this amazing character for me. In a scene that chronicles how Tom Riddle became Lord Voldemort, Dumbledore attempts to gird Harry's resolve and confidence in the inevitable battle with his nemesis:"Yes, you have," said Dumbledore firmly. "You have a power that Voldemort has never had. You can---""I know!" said Harry impatiently. "I can love!" It was only with difficult that he stopped himself adding, "Big deal!""Yes, Harry, you can love," said Dumbledore, who looked as though he knew perfectly well what Harry had just refrained from saying. "Which, given everything that has happened to you, is a great and remarkable thing. You are still too young to understand how unusual you are, Harry.""So, when the prophecy says that I'll have 'power the Dark Lord knows not,' it just means---love?" asked Harry, feeling a little let down."Yes---just love," said Dumbledore.The above passage will strike some as too direct, too naive, or worst of all, too emotional.It struck me as incredibly beautiful. There are all sorts of belief systems in the world, and no two people are exactly alike in their beliefs. But what Dumbledore says here is something that, were it adopted by more people, would alter our world for the better. Harry, for all his flaws, usually acts with good intentions. He befriends Luna Lovegood (another one of my favorite characters in all of fiction), gives of himself to others, and is willing to suffer so that others won't have to experience the same pain. In other words, Harry loves.And so can Dumbledore. Which is why this book was so memorable, wonderful, and painful to me.I'm going to go now. My wife is making a delicious supper. My son and first daughter are ready to wrestle. And my three-year-old is racing around the house casting spells on the furniture with her Harry Potter stick.And for that, J.K. Rowling, I thank you.


I'm so sad, but this book was so great. So far, my favourite book in the series.Review up sometime... if I can get out of bed D:

Mike (the Paladin)

Again...wonderful, amazing book.My wife however (and she was 60 at the time)never got over this book and was hesitant to read the last book. I can't go on without a spoiler other than to say we get another tragedy and it really jarred her. So again I can only say these are amazing books! The very quality makes them so real to many readers. Same advice...read the book and decide if your child is old enough. But be assured the quality is here.I do recommend these books and believe that "you" will find yourself reading them over and over. I picture someone in an attic years after their childhood, coming across these books again and sitting down to get absorbed in them all over again. Review to be expanded.

John Brooks

The crown jewel of the Harry Potter series, "Half-Blood Prince" is one of the finest novels I've read in my lifetime. Having allowed us to watch Harry evolve and mature for so many years, Rowling finally lifts the veil, so to speak, humanizing the larger than life characters of not just Dumbledore and Snape, but significantly and achingly, Tom Riddle. This is love letter to one of the hardest things we all experience: the moment that your idols become your peers, your parents become your friends, and your superiors your equals, when you realize we're all in this together and that it is nobody's job to shelter you, and when, finally, you realize that people are absolutely human.Rowling's affection for her characters and her sympathy for even the most vile of her creations (the Malfoys and Voldemort himself) are at the heart of Harry Potter's lasting beauty and insight. Here, she explores her three most fascinating creations, and one wishes the story would never end. But it does, and when it does, Harry is faced with the same challenge that Rowling subjects her readers to: how much faith do you really have in what you've been told, and do you believe, at the end of the day, that good really does win out?A timeles classic. One of my favorites, ever.

Liza H

I admit this is a re-read, as I have of course read this book before, when it first came out in 2005. I haven't read it since, however, and the way my brain retains information (ie: it doesn't) it was almost like reading it for the first time. Which is why I'm counting it here. I'm one of the many who have been following Harry in his adventures with much interest and glee, and this book held as much magic for me as all of the previous ones. I'm especially thrilled with how much these books have "grown up" along with the characters (and, presumably, most of the readers). I know a lot of people didn't like how Harry fell for Ginny, but I didn't mind it. And the insights into Tom Riddle's life was very interesting; while Voldemort will always be the stereotypical bad guy, it was great to know how and why he is the way he is. I also got a kick out of Slughorn, and one of my favorite scenes is at the Christmas party when Slughorn has his arm around Snape, talking about his "star pupil". Snape continues to be extremely interesting too - and the fact that he IS the Half-Blood Prince that Harry (and Ron!) have been "worshipping" via his old textbook speaks volumes as well (ha, I punned). I've always been a Snape-lover, and when he killed Dumbledore I was surprised (at least, I was the first time I read the book!) but I very quickly came to the conclusion that this was planned between him and Dumbledore; that Dumbledore's pleading "Severus, please" was not for his life, but for his death. Because of his withered arm and weakness from the potion he'd drunk, I'm also very convinced that Dumbledore was probably dying anyway.It was good to give this book a very close re-read, since the final book came out, and that review follows...


I wanted to like Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Really, I did. After the huge disappointment of The Order of the Phoenix, I was ready to have fun again. But the same problems that plagued the fifth book are here in the sixth; this novel is more of a chore to get through than anything else, and long passages go by in which absolutely no action takes place. In fact, the whole book is inactivity; the plot consists of - get this - Harry learning about Voldemort's past. This is nothing that couldn't have been treated in other books with several asides, or even with Voldemort's own book. But no, Rowling felt that this needed to be spread incredibly thin over hundreds and hundreds of pages. She's still not a very good writer, and she badly needs a good editor. There's no reason for one, though; at this point, Rowling could sell the phone book under the title Harry Potter and the Unlisted Number and it would probably sell millions. As for The Half-Blood Prince, 300 pages could easily be removed from its text without anybody - the author included - noticing.

Mohammed Arabey

First of all ,It's the less "action" book in the series, That's why many may get disappointed, But I see it's one important book for the character development and to wrap up the actual "Task" of how Harry should finish Voldemort. as at that book we learn more about his past also we realize secrets that the writer kept hidden-although gave some hints that proved it was there from the beginning-about what Harry's facing, The cleverness of showing the "Horcruxes" idea was there since the early stage of the books is remarkable. One of the things I adore about Harry Potter that it's set in the real world ,"Our World" ..the beginning of that book implant that concept.. that the events we're reading since book one is happening here in our real world,The Prime Minister scene/chapter is real amazing addition to the series,and it include most of the major events we witnessed happened at the Wizardry world through the previous books and how it affect our world.The characters get more complicated here at that book..as for Snape secrets reveal...shocking for some and relieve those who always mistrust him being in the good side.. Well plotted twist from J K -which won't stop twisting the plot cleverly specially in Snape's character- Also there's a depth in Draco's character that really serve the plot of this and next book.Then the guardian role of Dumbledore at Harry's life start to manifest at that book. Then the atmosphere of the life in the wizardry world -like the Diagon ally scene was darker than ever. And there's also the romance which is increase at that part due to the coming of age. You'll love the Hermione-Ron relation.In short ..... it's the best way to introduce the beginning of the end of a Saga .


***SPOILER ALERT***This book was really amazing it even made me cry. Even if I know a lot of spoilers which my friend have told me about Snape being the Half Blood Prince, Snape killed Dumbledore, Ginny and Harry being together, about the horcrux was a fake, my friend actually told me the summary of this book. I think even if I know a lot of what was going to happen I still find it painful to read it especially the part when Dumbledore was killed and Hagrid was talking to Harry and Hagrid doesn't know at that moment that Dumbledore was already dead. It was really painful for me and i cried at that point because it was like suddenly the most person that you think the greatest of them all and actually the one wizard that Voldemort feared was dead. To think that Snape killed him and that the horcrux was fake i feel really terrible that it all ended that way. I think that this ending was more depressing than when Sirius Black was killed on the Order of the Phoenix. There were so many questions that really need answers. That would make you after reading this book think, be nervous about what would possibly happen.I really felt that this was a good book and hope that the movie would not disappoint me. I saw a trailer of it wherein the burrow was burned it's not in the book though. I can't wait to buy "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows." Really Harry Potter series made me hooked that i truly recommended everyone to read this book.

Jess Michaelangelo

Even though I already knew what was going to happen, no thanks to a friend who spoiled it for me, that didn't stop the tears from flowing as I read the end of this book. J.K. Rowling continued to take the series down a deeper and much darker road with this book. This particular book seems to focus quite a bit on emotions--fear, love, hatred, grief. As a reader, this book was the most gripping out of all of them. Within the first chapter or two, I was already ready to start throwing punches left and right. And that amount of emotion was there throughout the entire book--especially the ending. Now, I know that these are works of fiction, but for Harry Potter fanatics, the death of someone who has become very real to us and who is a favorite character of many, the ending was as painful as can be. I definitely have to give props to Rowling for her control over her readers' emotions in this book. We've reached very frightening times in Harry's world...I can only imagine what the next book is going to bring...


** spoiler alert ** I was first introduced to Harry Potter in a Children’s Lit class in college. I had resisted this popular phenomenon until I was forced to pick it up for a grade, and Book 1 was short enough that I could read it in the course of 2 hours. I have to admit I wasn’t impressed to any extent, nor did I dislike the experience, but I was critical on grounds of its being derivative, even if reading the first led to reading the second. After all, if I was bored and looking for something light, I could do worse than a fantasy about a child wizard who fights evil with his friends. But it was really the third book, with its increasing darkness, that took me in and made me a fan. With a movie coming out for Order of Phoenix and Deathly Hallows on the horizon, I decided I would reread Half-Blood Prince. I figured it would take four sittings, of course, with its 600 pages, but time does fly when reading this one, and I’ve come to the conclusion that this is my favorite so far. What I wouldn’t have been willing to admit in college that I’m perfectly comfortable saying now is that J.K. Rowling is a fantastic storyteller; she writes with great clarity, wit, and humor; and she’s created a cast of loveable characters with whom most people, due to the common experience of growing up, can relate closely. That said, the reason for my preference for the 6th book is that it’s the most emotionally rich in the series. Here we get the backstory of Voldemort (*spoiler alert*) through a series of flashbacks (coming in HP by way of magically extracted memories), and in this way, we come to understand the villain’s similarities and differences with our hero. After all, the villain has to have reasons for committing heinous acts, and until now, we don’t know what these are.Voldemort is from a once-powerful wizard family reduced to poverty that lives in a dilapidated hovel on the edge of a small town, wary of outsiders, and their main point of pride is their pure blood, the lineage having cross-bred for generations so as not to pollute the line. Voldemort’s mother lives with her father and brother and yearns for the love of a nonmagical man (“muggle” in this world) and when her father and brother are arrested, she uses the opportunity to bewitch her beloved and run off. She ends up pregnant, the man deserts her, and she dies while giving birth to her half-wizard, half-muggle son, thus making him an orphan (like Harry).(Faulkner anyone?)But whereas Harry comes to Hogwarts and befriends Ron and Hermione creating unity and strength through positive emotions, Voldemort, when growing in the orphanage shuns other children, torturing them at times (without the awareness of adults) and stealing their possessions. What fuels him is his hatred of his beginnings, his mother’s weakness at having died like a common person despite being a witch, and the “muggle” blood inherited from his father. Over the course of his time at Hogwarts, Voldemort, charming as only evil can be, learns to win over people as a means to an end and disguise his insidious purposes, but he never befriends anyone. He moves, through his hatred, further away from many of the emotions that drive Harry, namely the desire to protect the people he loves and avenge his parents’ death.With Dumbledore’s help in exploring Voldemort’s past, Harry begins to understand that he’s come to be where he is through the choices he’s made, that his greatest strengths are an alliance with his friends, and that this might hold the key to destroying his enemy, a fact that’s made all the more poignant when Dumbledore, in an all-out assault on Hogwarts by Voldemort’s Death Eaters, is killed at the end. The stakes are higher than before, the action and pace increase as the conclusion draws near, and things are looking darker than ever, which is the setup that any fan wants when the end is looming and it leaves us with the question: How will our hero prevail?

Malxox ♥

THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE IS THE BEST BOOK EVER!!! Oooooh!!! <3 Honestly I ended up watching all the movies before reading the books (ashamed :( ) but because if that I have been absolutly dying to read the Half Blood Prince. It's my favorite HP movie, ergo my favorite book! I'm a bit of an odd one I guess, liking the 6th book over the 7th, but I can't help it :) Draco's in this book more. It seems to be about him and his struggles as well as Harry. I love that because it shows that he has things going on as well and that... I think it's hard for him even being the little rich Slytherin. In the earlier books he was just a little--Draco I'm sorry D:-- shit. Ruder and meaner than in thr movies. If y'all haven't figure it out by now.... I love Draco/Tom. He's my favoriteist character&actor! :3 J.K.Rowling is just fabulous, if you haven't read the Harry Potter books... SHAME ON YOU! Go do it now!!


In the summer of 2003, the Arizona Diamondbacks went on a crazy intense winning streak, due mostly to the fact that they had something like eleven to thirteen rookies playing at any given time, all of whom were unknown quantities (and thus harder to beat). They were calling them the "Baby Backs" (future Cy Young winner Brandon Webb among them). As of June 30, 2003, the team had won eleven consecutive games, one away from beating their record. My sister, Melissa, likes baseball in an unnatural obsessive fashion (much the way I like TV) and got us tickets to the game. Naturally this concerned me due to the midnight release part of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which I was supposed to be attending that night. (Bear with me, this story does eventually relate to Half-Blood Prince.)So it's like the bottom of the 8th inning and we're losing and I'm really worried at this point that we're going to be late so I make my entire family get up and leave. My sister put up a little bit of a fight, but as we were losing by at least three runs, she eventually shut up and we left. But as we were walking back to the car, the stadium EXPLODED. And kept exploding. Fireworks went off (not a euphemism). And my sister turned to me and knifed my bowels into ribbons with just the power of her angry eyes. I tried to explain to her that you don't fuck around with Harry Potter, but not five minutes later when we'd reached the car and turned on the radio and she learned that we'd won that 12th consecutive game and that we'd been there and left, I really thought she might murder me. She hadn't read Harry Potter yet, you see. She didn't understand.Fast forward two years. She was right there with me at the midnight release of Half-Blood Prince, dressed as Draco Malfoy. We raced home together and read the book late into the night, waking up early to finish. I finished first and she was mad when I started crying and she had to wait to find out why. And of course, later in the shower, when I remembered what happened and started crying AGAIN (is there anything more pathetic than crying in the shower over a dead fictional character?), after I got out she couldn't resist making fun of me. Apparently I'd been crying so loud that she'd heard the sobs through the walls and over the sound of the running water. But FUCK, man! That shit is sad! Served her right ten minutes later when it was her turn to cry.But anyway, the point is that none of you should be in doubt: Harry Potter is way more important than baseball. And football. And soccer. And Hockey. And that is a lesson everybody should learn.


The first time I read it at camp, I was bored and taken aback by what I saw as worthless and superfluous backstory. I openly mocked the counselors and campers who cried as a result of the famous murder.I reread it this past week in anticipation of the final chapter and am embarassed to say that I came close to spilling tears on the Metro as I finished it. This book is better than I remembered, and the history IS significant. It sets up the seventh perfectly and escalates the war and plot in ways no one could have guessed.The character development is astounding, and truly makes you take notice of how little you knew until this book. Dumbledore and Voldemort are fleshed out to an extent we hadn't seen before, and if possible, makes Dumbledore even more likable. He represents all that is good and loving and warm in the world, and Tom Riddle is his total opposite in every way. Voldemort is pure evil, but he never crosses the line of becoming a caricature of the villain. His torture of small children, his charm of the teachers, his murder of his own family, his desperation to achieve immortality at the expense of innocent lives, it almost overwhelms the reader to see such a character thrive in the wizarding world. Furthermore, Slughorn was one of the best additions to the books and his likable smarm added humor and warmth to an occasionally chilling book. He wasn't loathsome like Umbridge, annoying like Lockhart, conflicted like Lupin. He knew exactly what he wanted and had no qualms using the kids to do it, and for some reason, it was highly enjoyable to watch his antics unfold.And, of course, more Ginny means more joy. She's by far one of the best characters in the entire series. Ginny represents strength and bravery arguably more than any other character in the series, and constantly looks after those that are bullied and belittled. In short, she's perfect.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *