Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, billed as the the eighth instalment in the wildly popular series, was out in bookstores across India at 11:30 am on Sunday. The date of the release, July 31, marks the birthday of the title character. The book is a departure from the series’ tightly woven novel form, and is actually the script of a new two-part play staged at London’s West End, set 19 years after Harry Potter defeats Dark Lord Voldemort.

The story, written by original author JK Rowling, playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany, follows Harry, now 37, an employee at the Ministry of Magic and a father of three children. It prominently features a surprising friendship between Harry’s son Albus and Scorpius, the son of his school nemesis Draco Malfoy, among other revelations. The highly anticipated play has opened to rave reviews in London, five years after the final movie in the series came out. The last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released in 2007.

According to PTI, the book had the highest preorders any hardback ever in India. "The trade orders are over 1.7 lakh copies and we were sold out last evening," said Thomas Abraham, Managing Director of Hachette India.