There was wonder in the wizarding world as the new Harry Potter script topped best seller charts within a day of the announcement of the eighth story. Pre-orders alone have propelled it to number one on both Amazon and Waterstones’ book charts, after it was made available on February 10th 2016.

After the final installment of the Harry Potter film franchise in July 2011 left fans to face their mundane Muggle lives without the anticipation of the next chapter, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child promises to revive the magic of Harry’s world. Purchasers will receive their copies of the script on July 31st – Harry Potter’s birthday. Amidst the excitement J.K. Rowling took to Twitter to repeat that the book is neither a novel nor prequel. So what can we expect?

“The play’s popularity is unanimous, as upon its announcement in June 2015, Cursed Child immediately broke West End records, selling 175, 000 tickets in 24 hours”

The play’s synopsis sets the scene with Albus, Harry’s son, taking centre stage from his father, who is now ‘an overworked employee at the Ministry of Magic…grappling with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs’. His eldest child is left ‘to struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted’, leading to both father and son learning that ‘sometimes darkness comes from expected places’. Readers can also expect to learn more about Harry’s orphan past, and the lives of his tragically murdered parents. For many, this tantalising taster provokes questions about Rowling’s previous concluding line: ‘All was well’…

The Little Brown Book Group will be publishing the script of the eagerly anticipated West End production, which is a collaborative effort from J.K. Rowling, writer Jack Thorne, whose previous work includes Skins and This Is England, and director John Tiffany. The play’s popularity is unanimous, as upon its announcement in June 2015, Cursed Child immediately broke West End records, selling 175, 000 tickets in 24 hours. The play will open on July 30th 2016 at the Palace Theatre, and is to be performed in two parts.

“For many, this tantalising taster provokes questions about Rowling’s concluding line: ‘All was well’…”

“J.K. Rowling and her team have received a huge number of appeals from fans who can’t be in London to see the play, and who would like to read the play in book format”, said David Shelley, CEO of Little Brown Book Group. The popularity of Potter is again displayed here, as the book has proved to be as equally in demand as the sell-out stage performance. This edition will comprise of an early production preview version of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script, meaning the play could be altered before the official opening. After a limited time, this preview copy will be replaced by a definitive collector’s edition.

For anyone dubious about the format, Chief Executive of Waterstones James Daunt challenges ‘the notion that plays aren’t a fabulous, and extraordinary thing to read’, and agrees that ‘the prospect of an eighth volume is extraordinarily exciting’. The Bookseller has also confirmed an e-book will be available on the Harry Potter fan site, Pottermore, leaving no Hogwarts enthusiast without access to what is sure to be the biggest publishing event of recent years.

Phoebe Williams

Image Credit: Halle Stoutzenberger via Flickr 

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