J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter book series, announced today via her Pottermore website that the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will also be released as a book, both in print and e-book formats. The two-part play, opening in July at the Palace Theatre in London, is the official eighth chapter in the series. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will pick up where the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows left off, 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts. The play will be in two parts, due to its “epic nature,” Rowling said.

Harry-Potter-and-the-Cursed-ChildThe book will be released as a Special Rehearsed Edition of the script, a “version of the play script at the time of the play’s preview performances.” Scholastic is publishing the book, which will later be replaced by a Definitive Collector’s Edition, a copy of the script after all changes have been made, as many plays tweak here and there after the previews. Amazon.com has the book available for pre-order through Pottermore, but Amazon has the length listed as 32 pages. Further research indicates the book is actually 320 pages, so don’t be taken aback at the price tag vs. the content.

The play’s website has the synopsis as follows:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

The Special Rehearsed Edition script book of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is scheduled to be released digitally and in print after the world premiere of the play July 30, 2016 which also happens to be Harry’s birthday. The Definitive Collector’s Edition is scheduled for publication in October.

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