Final Harry Potter book to be released in July

Posted: Friday, February 02, 2007

NEW YORK - Hold on to your broomsticks. The fate of the world's most famous wizard will soon be revealed.

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The seventh and final book in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series - "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" - will become available to spellbound readers on July 21.

Fans of the schoolboy sorcerer will get a double dose of delight, since the fifth film - "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" - hits cinemas just eight days earlier, on July 13.

The seventh book is expected to be hotter than a bubbling cauldron. Rowling has revealed she will kill off at least two characters. Fans fear that Harry himself may be one of those to perish.

"The Deathly Hallows" is already the best seller on Amazon.com, where wizard-watchers are snagging preorders for $18.89, 46 percent off the retail price.

The first six books, published by Scholastic in the U.S., have sold 325 million copies around the world.

Fans first met Harry 10 years ago as the bespectacled orphan began his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He's been battling the evil Lord Voldemort ever since, with the help of magical spells and best pals Ron and Hermione.

Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry on screen, has been doing some growing up of his own. The 17-year-old actor is ditching his invisibility cloak - along with the rest of his clothes - to appear naked on a London stage in a revival of "Equus" opening Feb. 27.



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