I received The Ten Thousand Doors Of January in exchange for an honest review
“Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow’s spellbinding debut–step inside and discover its magic.”
A beautiful cover and promise of an atmospheric epic complete with doors to other worlds? Count me in! I was very excited for this release and it didn’t disappoint. This is a gorgeous, magical story which lives up to its tantalising premise and its stunning cover. Imagine an atmospheric historical story about a young girl orphaned living in a grand manor, throw in a gripping origin story oh and a smattering of portals to other worlds and you’ve got something close to The Ten Thousand Doors Of January.
January Schaller is a quiet child with a love for books and fantasy. She grows up as the ward of wealthy Mr Locke, motherless and with a father she barely sees. During her childhood and early adolescence she’s almost convinced herself that this is all there is, but that all changes with the sudden disappearance of her father and the arrival of a mysterious book, The Ten Thousand Doors.
The doors in question are not the regular doors that you and I know, but rather doors which lead to new worlds unexplored, richly imagined and bought to life by Harrow’s elegant writing. I love how the author takes a mundane object such as a door and looks at it in a different way, transforming it into something new; in this story doors represent change; each contains a story and acts both as a fragile divider and an opening to new possibilities.
“There are ten thousand stories about ten thousand Doors, and we know them as well as we know our own names. They lead to Faerie, to Valhalla, Atlantis and Lemuria, Heaven and Hell, to all the directions a compass could never take you, to elsewhere.”
The entire novel is full of gorgeous, evocative prose and the power of Doors, words and stories. But if you’re after a strong plot, that’s all here too. The story starts more as a historical drama as we follow January growing up at Locke House, but in the final part, the magical elements take the lead, as the reader is whisked into an epic story of other lands, family ties, heroes and villains as January fights to learn where she comes from and discovers who her friends and enemies really are. Perfect pacing, evocative description, a gripping plot and an imaginative fantasy world all come together to make a truly awesome read. Highly recommended.