Book: The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Author: Alix E. Harrow
Genre(s): Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 384 (Kindle)
Published: Sept 2019 (UK)
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
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 artefacts 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.
(From Goodreads - Link)
Wow. Ok. I really, really loved this book!
Alix E. Harrow, you are brilliant! The characters, the storyline, the settings and the writing style are all amazing. I just want to read all of Harrow's work right now! Simply incredible. Okay, so deep breaths. Enough fangirling. Onto the review:
As you might have guessed, I rather like this book. It begins from the first person narrative of January Scaller, a young girl with a complicated background. January is the ward of the extremely wealthy Mr Cornelius Locke, who agrees to care for her while her father is away on adventures for the search of rare items to add to Mr Locke's collection. As January discovers, growing up in Cornelius' mansion isn't easy - and she often reveals that she finds herself alike his other possessions. More of a display piece of manners and etiquette, asked to dress up for his parties and to keep quiet in her room. One day, while wandering his mansion, January soon finds a mysterious book which is full of secrets, romance and has a strong relevance to January herself...
I can't go too much into the plot without revealing some huge spoilers, but honestly, it's such a magical read that is so difficult to put down. I particularly love the structure, as the chapters alternate between January's narrative and the chapters of the book she's reading. The transition between the two is written wonderfully and you really do feel as though you're absorbed into the story and experiencing all of this with her. The characterisation is also rather good, there's a couple of creative distinctions between different people (again, I can't go into this much more!).
I can't stress enough how much I loved this book - have I mentioned that enough? I just felt completely absorbed into January's journey and really struggled to put it down. I would have read it all in one sitting given the chance! Such a creative piece of writing that I couldn't possibly fault. A perfect stand-alone - although I wish there could be more!
I easily give this book a rating of 5 Stars, as I didn't want it to end. There's very little strong language throughout and as for trigger warnings, feel free to read on yet it does contain spoilers. The perfect autumnal read to get wrapped up warm and taken on a magical journey; a key to elsewhere.
Take care, Sophie x
- CONTAINS SPOILERS -
As a trigger warning, there is mention of SH and also other topics that those with negative mental health experiences may find distressing (you're more than welcome to message me for details).