The Half-Blood Prince (#13/50)

We’re almost to the end! I don’t think some (esp. older) people truly understand how Harry Potter was so defining for my generation. The books came out while we were the same age as the characters so we basically grew up with them. I realize I can re-read the books, but it somehow always feels so final as I approach the end of the series.

Title – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Author – J.K. Rowling

Page count – 652

**Spoilers if you haven’t read the previous books (which, at this point, should be none of you. I mean, really.)**

This sixth installment in the series takes us through Harry’s penultimate year at Hogwarts. The “Half-Blood Prince” referenced in the title is the previous owner of a used Potions book that Harry acquires; the Prince has made some interesting notes in the margins of the book that affect Harry’s life at Hogwarts for better or worse. Harry must also deal with the aftermath of losing Sirius. Confusing feelings of romance begin to blossom for all our teenaged characters. We are taken along with Harry into the enigmatic bramble that is Voldemort’s past. And Dumbledore finally brings Harry along the (nearly) impossible path to defeating Voldemort.

We get to see more of Dumbledore’s personality in this book, and I LOVE it. He’s almost as cheeky as Harry, but smarter and more powerful, so he gets away with it. For example:

(In response to Uncle Vernon saying, “I don’t mean to be rude – ”) “…yet, sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often. Best to say nothing at all, my dear man.” (p. 46)

Here are my favorite moments of wisdom:

“Voldemort himself created his worst enemy, just as tyrants everywhere do! Have you no idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress? All of them realize that, one day, amongst their many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and strikes back!” (p. 510)

“Harry had long since learned that bangs and smoke were more often signs of ineptitude than expertise.” (p. 558)

“There is nothing to be feared from a [dead] body, Harry, any more than there is anything to be feared from the darkness…It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.” (p. 566)

Finally, a good quote to hang over the door:

“And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.” (p. 56)

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