Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the sixth book in the series of books by J.K. Rowling. The story setting is in the famous Hogwarts school where Harry meets up with his old friends again. The main characters of the book are mostly the same ones from previous stories. Harry’s friends Hermione and Ron, and the Hogwarts Headmaster Dumbledore are the closest to Harry and are kept in constant focus by the author. In this book Potter starts a deep exploration into the life and secrets of the man who became the Dark Lord. Harry and his friends are searching for his flaws and secrets hoping to discover a major one that will bring Harry close to "You-Know-Whose" downfall. Throughout the book Harry is getting ready for the final battle with evil Lord Voldemort who is back in business and is trying to kill Harry to regain power and authority in magical world.
The major theme in the book is developed and brought to the reader through minor changes as it seems at first site. Harry’s new schedule at school does not emphasize attending every class, although students still have huge amounts of homework with individual specifics depending on the field of study. Potter discovers an interesting textbook that has numerous remarks and explanations by someone mysterious called Half-Blood Prince. Later in the book the reader finds out that Snape is the one who left all those interpretations in the book. Harry apart from studying the helpful textbook holds private meetings with Dumbledore. Those lessons with the Headmaster are meant to help Harry understand the prophecy written in the fifth book and also train him for the inevitable battle with the Dark Lord. Mainly the book describes the ultimate conflict between good and evil where Harry is the representation of the good and Voldemort is the evil of the world.
In order to get to know as much as possible about his hidden enemy, Dumbledore tells Harry that Voldemort has created six horcruxes, which means it is hopeless to kill him until all the horcruxes are destroyed. The two were already ruined earlier and professor and Harry wanted to destroy the third one. While trying to do so they were severely challenged by Draco, who is on the evil side but not powerful enough and not decisive enough to win, and Snape. Snape was the one who arrived to the battle scene where Dumbledore was fighting with Draco and after a few seconds of hesitation he killed the professor. This climatic episode is very dramatic for Harry and also is about to bring changes to the lives of the three friends and the rest of the school. From that point on Harry is meant to be almost on his own as now he does not have a mentor and a true wise friend who was all this time by his side. It is possible that Dumbledore predicting his own death he told Harry to rely on his friends through the upcoming difficult year and also not to fear the unknown that he would encounter soon.
The self-made "Prince" always seems to be in the background reminding of himself, although he is a negative character Harry would have never been exposed to such knowledge that he gained if not for his notes in the textbook. Clearly Snape is depicted as a major enemy in this book however in reality as it becomes obvious toward the end Snape is a mere rehearsal for a more serious problem-the Dark Lord. Harry still has to destroy the remaining horcruxes to defeat Voldermort that will probably happen in the following book.
Apart from serious matters such as destroying malicious enemy, Harry’s friends Ron and Hermione are getting into romantic relationships that are the sings of adolescence being mentioned in this book more that in any previous one. Thus there are still plenty of fun moments in the book which make it less tense and more realistic, close to the lives of Muggles- ordinary people.
The readers of the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince are definitely captured by the swirling reality that happens inside the Hogwarts’ walls, but the final act of the series is left for the last seventh part of the great story. The author is leading readers to the logical ending although it is not definite and predicting anything would be difficult as Rowling is an expert of new mysterious characters and fascinating plots.