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

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.

I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review, and can confirm all opinions are my own.

This book blew me away. Quite possibly some of the most beautifully descriptive writing I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.

“Those of you who are more than casually familiar with books – those of you who spend your free afternoons in fusty bookshops, who offer furtive, kindly strokes along the spines of familiar titles – understand that page rifling is an essential element in the process of introducing oneself to a new book. It isn’t about reading the words, it’s about reading the smell.”

The Ten Thousand Doors of January follows January Schaller, a girl who doesn’t fit into the high society world she was raised in. At seven years old, she finds her first Door, as the years go by January starts to feel she imagined the Door, and the sea and cliffs she saw when she passed through it. That is until a book appears in an old box. As she starts the book, she realises that not only was her Door real, but there are over ten thousand of them, leading to ten thousand different worlds.

“But you still know about Doors, don’t you? Because 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.”

This book is wondrously imaginative, the writing is lyrical and flows with an ease that had me reading chapters and chapters without even realising it. The main theme in the story is love. The love between family, the love between friends, romantic love and the love of possession. It shows how love can transcend not only time, but worlds, how love can be the one thing that keeps you going, and how love can be your downfall. Every story is so well entwined, twisting and turning until you are brought to an ending you cant believe you didn’t foresee from the start.

January is a headstrong girl, raised by her fathers employer, she is shifted into the world of high society, a world which January, with her coloured skin and temperament simply do not fit in to. Her only safe havens are her dog Bad, her governess/friend Jane and Samuel, the boy who used to sneak her stories in Milk cartons. Though January is definitely self sufficient in so many ways, her story would never have come to an end without her companions help.

This book took me back to a time when I believed in faeries, when I was so sure that If I walked though my wardrobe I would end up in Narnia, when the monsters under my bed used to keep me awake at night. But what made this book so magical is its ability to make me believe again. Not to make me believe in magic the way I did as a child, but to see the magic in love, in friendship and in family.

Harrows writing style had me falling into the book like Alice into Wonderland, until I was right there alongside January on her journey to find out who she was and where she was from. Utterly immersive and wondrously imagined, her lush writing style had me so fully engrossed in the story. I experienced a rigmarole of emotions, and by the end of the book I felt like I had become January, I needed to know her outcome, happy or sad.

“It’s a profoundly strange feeling, to stumble across someone who’s desires are shaped so closely to your own, like reaching toward your reflection in a mirror and finding warm flesh under your fingertips.”

This is probably one of the easiest 5* I’ve given this year, if not ever. I would pick up anything else this author writes and she has cemented herself as a favourite author of mine based on this one book alone. Out September 2019 you should get on those pre-orders now because this is one book you wont want to miss!

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