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I don't know where to begin. Let's begin at the beginning, shall we?

"Harry Potter
and the Half-Blood Prince" opens with an a!sing scene with the ""ther #inister," who
is act!ally the Prie #inister of $ngland, being %isited by the new #inister of #agic. I
&!st pict!red 'ony Blair the entire tie, especially when he was laenting o%er an
ipending phone call fro that "wretched" an who was the president of a powerf!l yet
!nnaed co!ntry...(.). *owling certainly has a sense of h!or+
Let's get back to the ain story. Lord ,oldeort's followers are gaining power, and
people e%erywhere -wi.ards and #!ggles alike/ are in danger. In order to help Harry
learn as !ch as possible abo!t the history of the 0ark Lord, Professor 0!bledore
enlists in the help of his pensie%e to take Harry back in tie to the days when 'o *iddle
was &!st a yo!ng an. Harry e%ent!ally ebarks on a &o!rney to help his professor find
fo!r issing Horcr!1es, which are agical ob&ects in which He-2ho-#!st-3ot-Be-
3aed has e1tracted parts of his so!l in order to sec!re iortality.
'here are any additional de%elopents in this no%el, too. 'he si1th-year st!dents all
recei%e the res!lts of their ".2.L.4. o%er the s!er, and they becoe ore foc!sed on
the intensi%e classes that will prepare the for their 3.$.2.'. e1as the following year.
Harry coes across a ysterio!s potions te1tbook that is arked as the property of the
Half-Blood Prince. 'he book contains a b!nch of shortc!ts that ake potion-aking a
bree.e for Harry, b!t the identity of its pre%io!s owner reains a ystery, and Harry
e%ent!ally gets ore than he bargained for when one of the Prince's spells goes awry.
Hogwarts st!dents recei%e a new Potions instr!ctor when Professor 4nape takes o%er as
the 0efense 5gainst the 0ark 5rts teacher...a o%e that has Harry and his best friends,
*on and Herione, absol!tely bef!ddled. 0raco #alfoy, Harry's neesis, has been
acting %ery strange all year. Harry belie%es that 0raco has &oined legions with the 0eath
$aters and is planning soe sort of attack on the school, b!t there's no real e%idence to
s!pport that theory, and Harry has a hard tie getting anyone to belie%e hi. 'here is
also roance in the air at Hogwarts...lo%e potions becoe %ery pop!lar, and new co!ples
are fored, soe of which are better pairings than others. Harry finally chooses the girl
that he was eant to be with fro day one, b!t *on akes an arse o!t of hiself for the
a&ority of the book, which is painf!l b!t also 6!ite h!oro!s -I know he'll set things
right in Book 4e%en+/.
'he no%el becoes darker and ore sober as it progresses. 'here are any ore deaths
in "Half-Blood Prince" than any of the pre%io!s Potter no%els...and that's saying a lot+
4oeone is bewitching ob&ects and la!nching attacks on Hogwarts st!dents...one of the
ost pop!lar characters becoes gra%ely ill as a res!lt of drinking a poisoned be%erage.
2hen 0!bledore and Harry set off on their cliactic 6!est at the end of the book, the
horrors they enco!nter are too gr!esoe to p!t in words. 7o!ng readers will !ltiately be
dist!rbed by what they read. -I' a 89-year-old reader, and I'll probably be ha%ing
nightares for weeks+ 4erio!sly, when it coes tie for ""rder of the Phoeni1" and
"Half-Blood Prince" to be ade into o%ies, I don't see how 2arner Brothers will
anage to a%oid "*" ratings./
:ltiately, the end of this no%el is the ost tragic and heartbreaking of any book in the
series so far. It was also the ost shocking. Personally, I had a feeling that I knew which
character was going to die...it ade sense to e that Harry wo!ld need to go into Book
4e%en as !tterly alone as possible, and *owling set it !p so that's e1actly what will
happen. Howe%er, I was absol!tely st!nned when the final death took place, and that's all
beca!se of the second chapter of the book, when 4nape eets with Bellatri1 and 3arcissa
and pledges an :nbreakable ,ow. 3ow, I ha%e always had a soft spot in y heart for
4nape. -I think it's partially beca!se I adore 5lan *ickan, b!t I see now that y logic
was incredibly st!pid...this is a book, not a o%ie+/ I always tho!ght that there was
soething %ery iportant abo!t 4nape that readers were not pri%y to, and that the
inforation wo!ld soehow redee hi. I also tho!ght that since 0!bledore was s!ch
a great wi.ard, he was right in placing so !ch tr!st in 4nape. I always tho!ght that
4nape really was a loyal eber of the "rder, and that he was p!tting hiself at great
risk by aintaining ties with the 0eath $aters.
2hen 4nape pledged the :nbreakable ,ow to 3arcissa, I had a feeling that he had
a&orly done hiself in, and that he wo!ld be totally screwed o%er in the end, especially
since it is re%ealed later in the book that people who break :nbreakable ,ows die. 2ell...I
don't want to spoil things by saying ore than I already ha%e, b!t things did not work o!t
e1actly as I had tho!ght. *egardless of what I ha%e e%er tho!ght abo!t 4nape, I ne%er
e1pected that he wo!ld beha%e the way he did at the end of the book. I was absol!tely
st!nned. B:'...it will be interesting to see what happens in Book 4e%en. 'he reason
0!bledore finally gi%es for tr!sting 4nape is incredibly flisy...perhaps there's
soething ore to it than eets the eye...aybe 4nape act!ally pro%ed hiself to be the
ost loyal eber of the "rder by carrying o!t 0!bledore's orders at the end+ I ha%e
no idea how that theory will play o!t, b!t it's &!st an idea...with (.). *owling, anything is
possible. 2e will see+
'he end of the book is !nbelie%ably sad and depressing. It ade e cry e%en tho!gh I
saw the whole thing coing. I don't think I'%e been that sad since the spider died at the
end of ";harlotte's 2eb".
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is aa.ing. It is at!re and o%ing and is by
far the best book in the series so far. 'here are a lot of open-ended 6!estions that are
leading !p to Book 4e%en...will Harry and his friends ret!rn to Hogwarts for their final
year? 2ill there e%en be a Hogwarts to go back to? How on earth will Harry anage the
ipossible task that lies ahead of hi? "ne thing's for certain...I can't wait to find o!t+