LONDON (Reuters) - Treasure, a mysterious locket and “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” are images on the covers of the final Harry Potter novel by author JK Rowling.
Bloomsbury Publishing and U.S. publisher Scholastic posted the covers on their Web sites this week showing the child and adult editions of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, which are due to hit bookstores on July 21.
The Bloomsbury children’s cover, drawn by Jason Cockcroft, depicts the fictional boy wizard and his friends Ron and Hermione in their cloaks, looking shocked and surrounded by what seems to be a magnificent treasure. The Bloomsbury editions will sell in Britain and elsewhere outside the United States.
The adult version of the Bloomsbury book cover is a photograph of a silver pendant inlaid with a snake-like green S, which could be a reference to a locket discovered by Harry and linked to his nemesis Voldemort.
Scholastic’s U.S. edition was created by Mary GrandPré, the acclaimed illustrator of all six previous U.S. editions of the Harry Potter books.
“The front cover of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows features a dramatic sky of oranges and golds. It depicts 17-year-old Harry with arm outstretched, reaching upward. The structures around Harry show evident destruction and in the shadows behind him, we see outlines of other people,” said David Saylor, Scholastic’s Vice President and Creative Director on the company’s Web site.
For the first time the cover is a wrap-around.
“On the back cover spidery hands are outstretched toward Harry,” he said. “Only when the book is opened does one see a powerful image of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, his glowing red eyes peering out from his hood,” Saylor said.
Rowling has been credited with re-introducing the joy of reading to a generation of children growing up with personal computers, the internet and video games.
Adding to Harry hype this summer will be Warner Brothers’ release of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” the fifth Hollywood film based on the books.
Speculation has been rife that Rowling, who became the world’s first billion-dollar author on the back of the success of the Harry Potter books and movies, may kill Harry off at the end of book seven.
She said last year that at least two characters would die in the final book, and that she understood authors’ desire to kill off the main character of a successful series.
U.S. authors John Irving and Stephen King were sufficiently concerned about the fictional hero’s fate to urge Rowling to spare him.