I loved Half Blood Prince. This one is running neck and neck with Goblet of Fire for my favorite of the series. I absolutely loved getting all of the backstory, learning about Voldemort, and watching as Harry and Dumbledore experience their last, yet most important moments together.
I’ll admit I never fully trusted Snape. As Harry pointed out in the Order of the Phoenix, Snape always refers to Voldemort at The Dark Lord just as the Death Eaters do. I had always noticed that, but just assumed it was out of habit from his past. However, after he made the Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa, I literally gasped and cursed Snape. I hate thinking that Dumbledore had questionable judgment on this, that this snake managed to pull a fast one on him.
There was a lot happening in this story. I knew Harry was right that Malfoy was up to something, I just never quite expected it to be something of that magnitude. It did make me pity him at the end, where he clearly struggled so openly with completing his task of killing Dumbledore. As much as he may have professed his dislike of Dumbledore and how he came across as wanting to serve Voldemort, I think once it came down to it, he realized what a huge mistake he had made.
The love connections helped add a bit of lightheartedness to such an overall dark book. There’s been a slow, subtle build up of Ron and Hermione and it became 100% evident to everyone who may not have noticed before this book. I love the idea of them together – they know just how to push each others buttons yet always make up in the long run. Harry and Ginny came out of nowhere for me. I know Ginny was infatuated with him when she was younger, but when Harry felt the jealousy of her kissing Dean, I was happily surprised. I like that we get to journey with them not just through their wizarding adventures, but in their romantic lives as well (What can I say, I’m a serious lover of love).
I also found Harry’s lessons with Dumbledore to be fascinating. It was interesting to learn more about Voldemort’s past to see how he was shaped into being the monster he is today. I wasn’t shocked at all that he was an heir to Slytherin, but his series of misfortunes was a bit sad. I can’t say I’m surprised he was so easily drawn to dark magic given his beginnings and ancestry – it seemed almost like a natural progression for him. All of the memories were useful and almost a bit frightening that someone so young could be so evil, but none so much as the one Harry got from Slughorn. That entire chapter with the help of Felix Felicis was one of my favorites and I just knew Harry would be able to successfully obtain it from him.
However, no chapter will ever impact me the way The Phoenix Lament did. I knew Dumbledore would die soon, but it hurt none the less. Initially, his death shocked me despite knowing it was coming. I was honestly expecting Malfoy to fail and I had all but forgotten the Unbreakable Vow until Snape came out. I was hoping with all of my heart that Harry would break out of the spell cast by Dumbledore and help to save him. Snape was so heartless and sneering at Dumbledore and then he just said those terrible words and ended it all. I felt so distraught when he died, but Harry’s deep sadness just completely broke my heart. I’ve never cried so much in one book than I did this chapter. It still causes my heart to ache thinking about it – Dumbledore was my favorite character of the book and losing him felt like losing a good friend or a father figure. I still haven’t brought myself to begin the last book because my heart isn’t quite ready for a world without him in it.
The Half Blood Prince provided an interesting twist to the whole story. I was assuming it was Snape’s book, although I was unaware of his ancestry at the time. The book felt a bit dark to me, especially with the curses written in it, but given how masterful the student was that had the book, I knew it had to be Snape. Naturally, my favorite potion from the entire book was Felix Felicis and is what inspired my recipe.
When I read about Felix Felicis, I immediately thought about how I’d like to drink that one day, which led me to creating this Felix Felicis cocktail. Although it is alcoholic, it can be modified if you don’t drink and still have the same bubbly, luck-inducing affects.
- 187 mL bottle of champagne or Prosecco (canal so use sparkling cider)
- 3/4 cup Not Your Father’s Hard Ginger Ale (regular ginger ale can be used)
- Splash of triple sec (or can use a splash of orange juice)
- Orange rind twist
This recipe is enough for 2 flutes of drink. Simply combine the ingredients in a pitcher and pour into glasses. The drink has a slight hint of orange flavor, is the perfect amount of sweet, and made me feel a little bit luckier (or that could’ve been the alcohol talking). I plan to make this for New Year’s Eve because who wouldn’t want a little extra luck while welcoming in the New Year.
What did you think of The Half Blood Prince?