The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – Book Review

Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January (review copy)

Author: Alix E. Harrow

Genre/Themes: Fantasy, Books about Books, Historical Style Fiction meets Magical Realism, Adventure, Quest, Love

Blurb from NetGalley


In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored and utterly out of place.

But her quiet existence is shattered when she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page reveals more impossible truths about the world, and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

My Review

This was a beautiful read. I was thoroughly enchanted by it.

The story follows a girl called January… I loved this name for her because of its origins with the god Janus and how he looked both forwards and backwards, bridging doorways.

January’s father travels constantly. He works for a man named Mr. Locke and is tasked with locating all manner of unusual objects and trinkets for this wealthy man. January is therefore left at home in Locke house where she is akin to Mr. Locke’s ward… But her life doesn’t feel as if it’s her own. She feels like a fish out of water so to speak. Until one day she discovers a book about Doors between worlds… And her world is never the same again.

I so enjoyed this story.

It was simply charming.

I do love books within books and this really had a great plot with how the “book within the book” ultimately connected with January’s own story.

The plot had everything I love; adventure, a quest, a love story for the ages, magic, secret societies, good guys, bad guys, a trusty canine companion… I was basically in heaven!

January herself was a wonderful character. I loved how this book portrayed her as ultimately being quite spunky but at the beginning having her be rather more subdued echoing how she was being treated as Mr Locke’s ward. Her character arc was very interesting to read about in how it explored how societal views on racial differences, pertaining to skin colour and wealth, affected January at the different stages of her quest in the novel.

I also enjoyed how this book didn’t shy away from upturning gender stereotypes and made the main female characters feel like incredibly authentic women who could be both soft and strong. These topics really added a sense of gravitas to the whole proceedings.

This is the type of book that makes you long for the story to be real. I long to believe that there are doors between our world and elsewhere. That these doors can transport us to places that we couldn’t even possibly imagine. Places that are exquisitely beautiful and yet ordinary at the same time. Places where people live lives entirely different to our own… And yet are entirely the same in that they share our need for love, family, companionship…

The Ten Thousand Doors of January‘ is a book for people who are still children at heart. People who want to believe in fairytale and magic. It’s a book that really calls to mind that way that you feel about reading when you are a little kid; when imagination and story know no limits. I don’t mean to say that the book or the story are any way childish but reading it just evokes that childish gleefulness of getting completely lost within the pages of your book.

I highly recommend it to lovers of historical fiction who like a little bit of magical realism sprinkled in with the storyline.

An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher, Orbit/Little Brown Book Group UK, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

PUBLICATION DATE: September 12th, 2019

Other Works by Alix E. Harrow I’ve Reviewed

My Socials

21 thoughts on “The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – Book Review

  1. I actually got this book given to me at BookCon and it was part of those I gave away due to lack of suitcase weight. Now I’m regretting it ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds so enchanting! I’ve heard so many good things about it – plus the cover 😍 I love the concept of a book within a book. Plus, strong, kind female characters are something I’m always a fan of ❤️✨


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