The fate of fictional boy wizard Harry Potter will finally be revealed on July 21, the publication day for the seventh and final instalment of J.K. Rowling's hugely successful book series.
In what promises to be one of the biggest publishing events in recent years, book stores will be bracing for another outbreak of Pottermania as fans across the world snap up their copies of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows".
Speculation has been rife that Rowling, who became a dollar billionaire on the back of the success of the Harry Potter books and spin-off movies, may kill Harry 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.
Two top U.S. authors, John Irving and Stephen King, were sufficiently concerned over the fictional hero's fate to urge Rowling to spare Potter.
Potter publisher Bloomsbury Publishing Plc announced the release date on Thursday, and added that it remained cautious about its outlook in light of challenging market conditions, although the announcement supported its previously stated view of a satisfactory outcome for 2007.
It's shares were trading at 225 pence at 12:40p.m. on Thursday, up around two percent from Wednesday's close. Broader shares were also higher, with the FTSE 100 up more than one percent by the same time.
Story courtesy of the Associated Press.