Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA/Adult
Star Rating: 5/5 stars
Series: Yes - book 6

*SPOILER ALERT – contains SPOILERS for the previous books in the series*


harry potter and the half blood prince.jpeg

“There it was, hanging in the sky above the school: the blazing green skull with a serpent tongue, the mark the Death Eaters left behind whenever they had entered a building… whenever they had murdered…”

When DUMBLEDORE arrives at Privet Drive one summer night to collect Harry Potter, his wand hand is BLACKENED and shrivelled, but he does not reveal why. Secrets and SUSPICION are spreading through the wizarding world, and Hogwarts itself is not safe. Harry is convinced that Malfoy bears the DARK MARK: there is a Death Eater amongst them. Harry will need POWERFUL magic and true friends as he explores VOLDEMORT’S darkest secrets, and Dumbledore prepares him to face his DESTINY…


The reviews I’m finding on Goodreads are getting shorter

Yet another wonderful read, and such a heart breaking ending.

After the mammoth book read that is #5, HALF-BLOOD PRINCE feels remarkably short. It’s only 250 pages less, but the story is much tighter and faster. Everything builds towards the finale (well, maybe not the romances, but they feel both realistic and you get invested in them staying together or breaking up).

The ending is heartbreaking. Even after 20+ reads, I’m still tearing up. It was a bold move but so perfect. #7 could not happen without it, because (spoilers, but we all know you’ve read the books) Voldemort would never be able to seize power without “the only one he ever feared” gone.

I loved the way Voldemort’s history is delved into. Rather than a bunch of people sitting around talking about it, Harry learns through memories, which means scenes with action that are infinitely more engaging than Dumbledore giving Harry a lecture. It also means the information can be spread out over the book. As well as putting flesh onto the skeleton that is the idea of Voldemort and grounding him, his motivations are teased out which makes him more terrifying. Self-loathing villains are my favourite because they’re so human.

This book has two ‘prologues’. Chapters one and two follow other characters, set the scene and help build up anticipation to Harry’s arrival. They are prologues in every sense of the word. Just no name. Which is good, because I roll my eyes and decide I won’t like the coming pages because of the word ‘prologue’. Most of the time I’m right – and it is a poorly concealed attempt at world-building, exposition dumping and setting stakes because there are none in the first five chapters. In case this is your first post you’ve ever read, yes – I really hate prologues.

So yes, chapter one is a ‘what’s been happening in the world since #5’, and feels rather prologue-y. However, it does answer questions about the relationship between the muggle and magical governments and why the muggles don’t notice this war raging about them. It was well handled, but not entirely necessary.

However, chapter two was so necessary – and I think I’d have loved it even if it was labelled prologue. It put yet another spanner in the ‘do I trust Snape or not’ conundrum. This book tests your willingness to trust Dumbledore’s assessment of Snape’s character like no other, and then wrecks you just in time for all the revelations in #7.

Read my reviews of other books by J. K. Rowling:

Harry Potter (this series):


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