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Readers Eagerly Await Release of Latest  Book in <i>Harry Potter</i> Series


The clock is ticking as Harry Potter fans around the globe eagerly await the fifth volume in the series about the world's most famous fictional boy wizard.

After three long years, Harry Potter is once again set to weave his magic worldwide.

Even before the first copy was officially sold, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was set to become an instant best seller. It is the largest volume so far in the series, running 766 pages.

And of course, author J.K. Rowling is not giving much away. As she told British television, secrecy, as always, is part of the spell of any Harry Potter book launch.

"I do not want the kids to know what is coming, because that is part of the excitement of the story," she said. "And having sweated blood to create all my red herrings and lay all my clues, to me, this is my life. It is not my life, but it is a very important part of my life."

But the spell of secrecy was broken in a few places, even before the official release. In England, police were searching for bandits who stole a truckload of the books, 7500 copies, and in New York a newspaper The New York Daily News has published some plot details from a copy it says it bought from a health food store.

As for the young wizard, who is now a teenager in this latest installment, we can expect to see Harry in a new light.

"He is a lot, lot, lot angrier in this book," she said. "He really is quite angry a lot of the time, and I think justifiably so. Look at what he has gone through."

J.K. Rowling also hints that one of the main characters dies in the new book.

"Well, I had rewritten the death, rewritten it and that was it. It was definitive and the person was definitely dead, and I walked into the kitchen crying," she admitted.

But such is the worldwide interest in the book that one thing the author will not be crying about is the sales. J.K. Rowling is expected to be $50 million richer, after just the first day of its release.

Nearly 200 million copies of the first four Potter books have been sold in 200 countries around the world, and translated into 55 languages.

But Ms. Rowling is not taking time out for a break. Her British publisher says she has already begun work on book Number Six.

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