“Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince”: The Best Harry Potter Book

Maxine Darrah and Stella Guest

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling is the best book in the popular series. This book includes Voldemort’s hugely important backstory, budding relationships, and heart-wrenching deaths.

The book begins with a huge risk for Rowling, departing from main character Harry Potter’s point of view, which results in a chapter called “Spinner’s End”. In this shocking chapter, readers bear witness to Snape’s apparent faithfulness to the “Dark Lord.” This risk pays off and deepens the reader’s understanding and provides a whole new light to the book. The sixth book had the most compelling mystery, because it was the first to build it off pre-existing characters. All the other mysteries surrounded characters brought into the series who usually only lasted one book. In comparison, readers were more invested in the sixth book’s mystery about two characters that had been prominent since the beginning: Harry’s enemy, Severus Snape, now the Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor, and Harry’s childhood bully, Draco Malfoy. Of the seven, this book also ended on the biggest cliffhanger. In all the others the reader knew Harry would return to Hogwarts, but his safety net of school and Dumbledore being snatched away left the most curiosity to read the next book and find answers to burning questions.

The perfect timing of Snape’s reveal of being the half-blood prince after appearing to have double-crossed both Harry and Dumbledore was one of the best in the series. All year Harry had been helped by the half-blood prince and defended him, only to find out it was Snape, a man he loathed. Draco also became more multidimensional in this book: no longer was he just Harry’s schoolboy bully, but a pitiful boy punished with a man’s job. Most importantly, though, we finally delved into Voldemort’s backstory and saw him morph from his tragic childhood to his most evil form by splitting his soul into seven after significant murders and storing them in inanimate objects—Horcruxes—bringing him closer to immortality. Together, Harry and Dumbledore explore his history while also strengthening their relationship. This ends abruptly though when Dumbledore dies, cementing the hero and mentor trope and finishing what all the other books had been leading up to, sending Harry off to finish his journey alone. Even though we were sobbing during his death, it was a necessary milestone, marking the true end of Harry’s childhood, one of the most important plots in the entire series.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is our favorite due to its incredibly complex and unique plotlines of character development and relationships

Overall, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is our favorite book in the series due to its incredibly complex and unique plotlines of character development and relationships. Even in the penultimate book, there is still a wealth of new information, including Voldemort’s backstory, the most important plotline, and fully-fleshed relationships—such as our favorite, Harry and Ginny. It has the most intriguing mystery, most thought-provoking ending, and a perfect balance of humor and darkness. This is the book that captivated us most and solidified our love for the series, and for that reason—and so many more—it is the best in the series.

This piece also appears in our March 2022 print edition.