Finally! The sixth Harry Potter book is scheduled for release on July 16, 2005. On her website (http://www.jkrowling.com
) J. K. Rowling writes, "I have a great feeling of release in being able to talk freely about the fact that the book is finished; it has been a weighty secret to carry around, as you can imagine."
The new book, as all fans have long been aware, will be called Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
There had been rumors of other titles, including Harry Potter and the Pillar of Storgé,
leading Rowling to reply "I am trying very hard not to feel offended that anyone thought this was possible. 'Storgé', for crying out loud. Come on, people, get a grip."
As a few devoted fans knew, this was a title Rowling had considered using for the second book in the series long ago. Rowling explains on her site that she had planned to put the information the title refers to in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,
but that, while writing the first draft, she realized that it really belonged in book six. She has not explained who the Half Blood Prince is, except to say that it is neither Harry Potter nor his nemesis,
Elsewhere on her site, Rowling says that the opening chapter of the new book has been "about thirteen years in the brewing." She wrote a similar chapter for an early draft of the first book, then tried it again for the third and fifth books, but it didn't fit anywhere until now. At 672 pages, this is the third-longest book in the series, considerably shorter than the 870-page Order of the Phoenix.