The 10,000 Doors of January by Alix E Harrow
Book of the Year 2019 (see all)
It is a rare thing to relate to a book’s character in such a way that similar situations evoke empathy across your lives. Enough parallels can be drawn to feel almost as if the book is catered specifically toward you in some existential way. I have not read much portal fantasy, but I have always felt a feeling of smothered repression through my youth that has tamped down my will to explore. Instead, my portals to elsewhere revealed themselves in books and stories at an early age, and they’ve been with me ever since. Alix Harrow captures this feeling of finding oneself through the stories we share in her stunning and unforgettable debut novel The 10,000 Doors of January. It is a beautifully written and lovingly crafted adventure about the strength of love, the importance of stories, and the timeless power of words.
I’ll be brief with the plot synopsis; the less you know ahead of time, the better. The book is set at the turn of the 20th century. January Scaller is young ward to an unfathomably rich benefactor; her father travels the world working for him. As January approaches the end of her youth, she thinks about her early carefree days and wonders if she’ll ever reclaim that feeling of freedom and wanderlust. And then a book comes into her life that might change everything.
Harrow’s gift of prose is immediately apparent within the first few pages of the story. The writing is accessible and wise, thoughtful and humorous. Stories within stories allow for opportunities to dance around different character voices and the cast feels genuine and lifelike after only a short time of knowing them.
Trigger warning: towards the end of the story, there is a promise that January makes to a long-time companion in a letter. “So will I,” it ends, and you, too will sob uncontrollably while repeating that phrase to yourself over a tissue box.
At the risk of sounding redundant, this is a remarkable novel that I plan to revisit again. This is a rare fantasy book that I can recommend with confidence to my friends and family who don’t normally read the genre. Read this book before the inevitable Hollywood film is made. It deserves to be fully experienced from within.
This The 10,000 Doors of January book review was written by Adam Weller
Have you read The 10,000 Doors of January?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The 10,000 Doors of January reader reviews
Cyn from USA
This book is as beautiful as they say. I have added it into my collection. I could not put it down. It so amazingly came to life with each word. I completely escaped into this story. I felt as if I was that small child walking through the Wardrobe into Narnia once more. From the first page the story just pulled me in. It is a must read!
10/10 from 2 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a reader review for The 10,000 Doors of January by Alix E Harrow; it really helps other readers find that perfect next read. Kindly enter your name, country and review below and click the 'Submit your review' button to send.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Unspoken Name
A K Larkwood
A. K. Larkwood's The Unspoken Name is a stunning debut fantasy about an orc priestess turned wizard's assassin.What if you knew how and when you wi...
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
When Colin and Susan are pursued by eerie creatures across Alderley Edge, they are saved by the Wizard. He takes them into the caves of Fundindelve, where he watches over t...
Unites Arthur, a little boy abandoned many years ago in a grim hospital in northern England, with Esther, a radiantly intelligent young girl who is suffering from cerebral ...
The Dark is Rising Sequence
On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is ...
Three Hearts and Three Lions
The gathering forces of the Dark Powers threaten the world of man. The legions of Faery, aided by trolls, demons and the Wild Hunt itself, are poised to overthrow the Realm...
His name is West. Her name is Cally. They speak different languages and come from different countries thousands of miles apart, but they do not know that. What they do know...
The Abhorsen Chronicles
Who will guard the living when the dead arise? Sabriel is sent as a child across the Wall to the safety of a school in Ancelstierre. Away from magic; away from the Dead. Af...
The Chrestomanci Series
Diana Wynne Jones
Orphans Eric Chant (nicknamed Cat) and his sister Gwendolen, a gifted witch, are whisked away to live in a castle with Chrestromanci, a much-revered man of magic, wealth an...
It has lain lost and forgotten for fifteen hundred years in the ancient heartland of England – a scrap of glass and metal melded by fierce fire. It is the lost core o...
Great books also published in 2019
A Brightness Long Ago
Guy Gavriel Kay
International bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay's latest work is set in a world evoking early Renaissance Italy and offers an extraordinary cast of characters whose li...
The Raven Tower
For centuries the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by a god known as the Raven. But in their hour of need, the Raven speaks nothing to its people. It is into this unres...
The 10,000 Doors of January
Alix E Harrow
In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut....
The Priory of the Orange Tree
A world divided.A queendom without an heir.An ancient enemy awakens.The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen S...
Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.Meet Dodger, his twin. Numb...
A Little Hatred
War. Politics. Revolution. The Age of Madness has arrived... The chimneys of industry rise over Adua and the world seethes with new opportunities. But old scores run deep a...
Beneath the Twisted Trees
Çeda was an elite warrior in service to the kings of Sharakhai. She has been an assassin in dark places. A weapon poised to strike from the shadows. A voice from the...
The Hod King
Thomas Senlin and his crew of outcasts have been separated, and now they must face the dangers of the labyrinthine tower on their own in this third book in the word...
Nona Grey’s story reaches its shattering conclusion in the third instalment of Book of the Ancestor.THEY CAME AGAINST HER AS A CHILD. NOW THEY FACE THE WOMAN....
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: