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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

J. K. Rowling

Key Facts

Main ideas Key Facts

full title · Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

author · J. K. Rowling

type of work · Children’s novel

genre · Fantasy, coming-of-age narrative

language · English

time and place written · Scotland, 2004

date of first publication · July 16, 2005

publisher · Scholastic Inc.

narrator · Third-person, very close to Harry Potter

point of view · Third-person subjective, with insights into Harry’s private thoughts

tone · Ominous, suspenseful, clever

tense · Past

setting (time) · Present day

setting (place) · Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, United Kingdom

protagonist · Harry Potter

major conflict · Harry and Dumbledore must collect six Horcruxes belonging to the evil Lord Voldemort to render him mortal again.

rising action · Katie Bell is cursed and Ron is poisoned, both by objects intended for someone else. Harry tries to establish the guilt of Draco and Snape.

climax · Snape, Professor of Potions, murders Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts.

falling action · Dumbledore is buried, and Hogwarts may or may not reopen the following year.

themes · The importance of friendship, the power of self-sacrifice, trust

motifs · Watching, names, duplicity

symbols · The Half-Blood Prince’s Potions Book, Merope’s locket, Dumbledore’s Pensieve

foreshadowing · Harry overhears a suspicious conversation between Snape and Draco Malfoy. Harry is paralyzed while invisible in Draco’s train car, just as he is when Dumbledore is killed.