Reviewed on 17th September 2019

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow

Genre: Fantasy / Fiction / Romance
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The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow Synopsis

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.

Then she finds 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 turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow Review

A Story of Magic, Other Worlds, Doors and Adventure

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is quite simply a gorgeous, imaginative and creative book that I absolutely loved. At its heart, it pays homage to the magical power of words to transport us to other places, not only as we would expect for ourselves as readers but also for the characters themselves.

Words are power in The Ten Thousand Doors of January, but this beautiful book is also a story of magic, other worlds and above all doors and adventure.

The story begins with the childhood of the main character, January Scaller, at the beginning of the 20th century. She is an almost orphan who has been more or less adopted by a wealthy collector of antiques and artefacts from around the world.

The household she lives in is similar to the house in Noel Streafeild’s ‘Ballet Shoes’ but with much more mystery and much more money. Her father is alive but is a remote presence in her lonely life, being employed by her guardian to travel the world and discover rare treasures.

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January doesn’t fit in, but as she grows up she is drilled into propriety by her guardian, Mr Locke. He can’t quite stifle her unique connection with words though, nor does he know about the book she finds called The Ten Thousand Doors. It tells the story of Adelaide Larson and her discovery of doors that are pathways to other worlds.

The knowledge she acquires from this book encourages her to seek out the truth for herself but the truth is dangerous and there are many others who are always one step ahead.

Some of my favourite parts of the book were the excerpts from The Ten Thousand Doors. It was magical and exciting and made me as well as January believe that doors do exist; that it is possible to travel from your own reality into another.

Doors are fascinating tools in literature. They can be symbols of change and new beginnings, but are also used as portals that lead elsewhere. Alix E Harrow has used them to create worlds that I highly recommend you step in to.


Many thanks to Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers and Orbit Books for inviting us on this Blog Tour. Take a look at all our other fellow review neighbours here to find out more.

Published by: Orbit Books
ISBN: 978-031642-199-7

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