The Ten Thousand Doors of January

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

by Alix E. Harrow

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Overview

"A gorgeous, aching love letter to stories, storytellers and the doors they lead us through...absolutely enchanting."—Christina Henry, bestselling author of Alice and Lost Boys

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.

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.

Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow's spellbinding debut—step inside and discover its magic.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316421997
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 09/10/2019
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 7,795
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Alix E. Harrow is an ex-historian with lots of opinions and excessive library fines, currently living in Kentucky with her husband and their semi-feral children. She won a Hugo for her short fiction, and has been nominated for the Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy awards. Find her at @AlixEHarrow on Twitter.

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The Ten Thousand Doors of January 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
ElleRudy 3 months ago
I’ve seen this book described as a love letter to storytelling—and that’s spot on. It starts out familiarly enough, a plucky young girl raised by a wealthy benefactor at the turn of the century, and while I enjoy some of those stories, they can feel a bit stale after a while. Even though it was immediately apparent Alix Harrow was an exceptional writer, I didn’t expect to be so enraptured by the world she has crafted and shared with us. There’s adventure and intrigue, there’s mystery and mysticism. There’s magic and contests of wills. There’s so much heart poured into this book that I often found myself very moved. It gave me a feeling deep inside that anything is possible. If I read this as a child I might have believed it to be secretly true, even if I knew better, similarly to how I felt about The Chronicles of Narnia. I don’t want to overhype and then have it not meet someone’s extraordinary expectations, but I can’t imagine that anyone who picked up The Ten Thousand Doors of January could be disappointed. This one’s more than just a pretty cover.
Anonymous 5 hours ago
This is my new favorite book. I have always loved stories about the underdog triumphing over evil.
Anonymous 1 days ago
A great story about love, adventure, and magic.
Anonymous 3 days ago
beautifully written, captures your imagination and draws you in to this captivating tale of adventure and Love
Anonymous 3 days ago
I read this book in less then two days...just could not put it down! Really beautiful, made me weep! Like the others who wrote reviews, I highly recommend this book and pray there will be another!
ErraticElle 6 days ago
* Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. * 4.5 stars. So creative and wonderful. Colorful and beautiful with so much room for more. This is a really good book. I enjoyed it a lot. It somehow felt to me like a combination of the magic in reading that came from The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. It is weird, it is fantastical, and it is just what I've been looking for in terms of a concept. I would have loved to give it 5 stars in all honesty, but there were two things that prevented that: 1...Hype. Dang it! I hate it when that happens. I was all worked up for something incredibly magical, blow me off my feet. And it WAS good. It was magical, but it didn't blow me away. I expected too much. I oversold it to myself and wrecked the beauty that is all wrapped up in this book. This means that I may have to put it on my bookshelf and bring it back out in a couple of years for a reread once the hype goes away. In all honesty, there's a good chance I could love it even more on the second go round. 2...Pacing. I STRUGGLED with pieces of this book. It wasn't one where I couldn't put it down. At least not until the last 1/2. The beginning moved slowly for me and I just wanted to get to the action. Again, this was probably a factor of the hype. I knew what this book was supposed to be about and I just wanted it ALL. RIGHT. NOW. Ya...that didn't happen. But I pushed on because I wanted to love it. And the second half moved great. It wrapped me up in the narrative and propelled me forward, itching for each new page. I blame myself for the lack of 5 stars, really. But let's be honest... 4.5 is still pretty dang good. So I say read this one. But do yourself a favor if you can and wait out the hype. It'll be worth the wait.
Sleepy 10 days ago
This book was every bit as good as I expected it to be, but it's really better than that, since it went in a completely different direction than I'd anticipated. The book doesn't depend on constant action, like most fantasy reads do. And at first, that bored me, and I set the book aside in favor of others. But I'm so glad I picked it up again and finished it all in one sitting. The Thousand Doors is immersive. It's a fully developed character journey from wild child, tame young lady, to a powerful self realized individual. I loved how multi faceted the characters were, and their deceptive original impressions. There's so much fantasy in here, so many fantastic worlds that we get a glimpse of. The writing is slow and poetic. Once it absorbs you, it's hard to leave it. I usually prefer faster reads, but this book requires and deserves patience. It's late 19th century setting added a lot of flavor. The mistreatment of colored people was presented in a way that strongly pointed out all white man's wrongs, but was coated in such beautiful writing that you felt the injustice of it all without it coming across as a history or ethical lecture. It was a very original and absorbing read. Again, this book focuses on character over the usual rushing fantasy action, but it does deliver heaping spoonfuls of both. I really enjoyed this journey. I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Brian Abrams 15 days ago
Thank you to the publisher, Redhook Books, and Netgalley for allowing me to read an ARC of The Ten Thousand Doors of January. I am a huge fan of portal fantasy, but I knew nothing of this book other than that the title eluded to portal fantasy. I eagerly read this book and was rewarded with something unexpected in what many people think is an overdone subgenre of fantasy. It is beautifully written. Set in the early 20th Century, the historical back drop only lends to the horrors that January has to endure in a society that wants to demean and suffocate her. The book is written by January and she is ward of a wealthy society man. She discovers a book "The Ten Thousand Doors" as she reads it (and the reader reads it - yes a book within the book) she uncovers the secret past of her parents and the tools she needs to escape. There may be points of this book (or the book within the book) that you don't buy-in, but I encourage you dear reader to keep pressing on the rewards are unexpected. Would it also entice you to read this book if you knew January had a companion animal? A dog named Bad.
JessiKay22 16 days ago
If you have ever searched the back of your closet to try to find your way to Narnia, or if you've ever found yourself leaning on the wall at the train station in a last ditch effort to make it to Hogwarts--THIS IS A BOOK YOU NEED TO READ. I could go on and on about how much I loved this book, but, simply put, my writing isn't the writing you're going to fall in love with--Harrow's is. It's eloquent and breathtaking and will leave you in awe as to how she so perfectly describes the smallest detail. This is the book for lovers of books, lovers of books-within-books, lovers of language and words, lovers of strong, relatable, imperfect characters, lovers of fiercely loyal dogs, lovers of true love, lovers of adventure, and lovers of the type of wanderlust that keeps you incessantly searching for the next doorway to change. Honestly, this is one of those rare few cases when you absolutely should judge a book by its cover because this book is just as (if not more so) beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. Take my word for it and indulge your fairytale-loving, adventure-seeking inner child--read this book!
Anonymous 16 days ago
This was so well written, so compelling, and just such a great ride I can't wait for the next book from this brilliant author.
Anonymous 17 days ago
Loved every word.
LeighKramer 18 days ago
The first half of this portal fantasy debut was strong. The gorgeous prose sucked me right into this bookish story and I was fully enamored with January’s tale, as well as the book she discovered. We learn about her unusual childhood and her discovery of doors to other worlds, which her guardian prevents her from exploring. But one can’t unknow such a discovery, especially since January’s father goes off on long expeditions seeking out treasure for her guardian. It was immediately clear to me not all was at it seemed about Mr. Locke but January was very slow up on the uptake. Not even after Mr. Locke does something atrocious to her does she think, “huh, my guardian isn’t great.” She continues to rationalize his behavior, no matter the mounting evidence against him. I started to believe January was a bit of a dummy, whereas for the first half I was impressed by her intelligence and curiosity. The middle dragged and I was less invested in everything that befell January. I haven’t pinpointed the exact problem, only that the plot was less action-driven and it would have benefitted from moving things along. However, the story did a great job exploring identity and the way stories shape us, not only the stories people tell us but the stories we tell about ourselves. There’s a great deal of symbolism and names play an important role as well. January has to make sense of herself during a time (early 1900s) in which she is othered because she is mixed race, her guardian is white, and her POC father is largely absent in her life. FYI she does experience racism and the story does include the use of racial slurs (but not the N word.) A friend of mine enjoyed this on audio but I would recommend reading a print copy or ebook instead. January talks a lot about particular words and letters, sometimes capitalizing certain words to draw more attention to them, and there was delight in seeing exactly what she meant. This aspect might get lost in the audio version. While the story stumbled in places, Alix E. Harrow is an author well worth paying attention to and I look forward to seeing what she does next. CW: racism, racial slurs, death of a pet dog (off page; later found to be injured but alive), institutionalization, attempted kidnapping, murder, violence, self-harm, grief, missing loved one Disclosure: I received an advanced copy from Redhook in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 19 days ago
The writing is splendid. the characters were interesting and well fleshed out, and the plot had god twists and turns. The philosophical and metaphysical questions the book raised made it even better. Most enjoyable.
Anonymous 23 days ago
Other worlds, walking through doors, walls, cupboards, gates, all for us to explore. Shake up the status quo. I loved this book and eagerly awaiting the next one.
Christine Sandquist 23 days ago
his book ripped me apart and wrote me back together again. Alix E. Harrow’s debut novel is truly a work of art. I laughed, I cried, and I sat on the edge of my seat in suspense. January’s voice comes through each and every word – first like a gentle rain when her life is filled with upper class stability, and later like a typhoon when she must break away from the chains and preconceived notions holding her back. She wants so badly to be free, but can’t quite tear away without a push. January Scaller is a young girl growing up in the early 1900s. She’s leashed and tamed by a man who thinks of her as just another curio in his collection – but when her father goes missing, she’s forced to confront both her abilities and her past. This is a coming of age novel, a novel about exploring both this world and others, and a novel about lost souls seeking one another out through the ten thousand Doors between worlds. This is certainly a book about journeys as much as it is about destinations, for on her way, January discovers both a first and a true love (though she is perhaps a bit late in recognizing it), the challenges of fending for herself, and what it’s like not to be alone. The romance is a beautiful one – it is slow, it is delicate, and has that brush of the ephemeral that only a young love can have. January has lived a life where everyone she loves is ripped away from her, and the reader, too, must fear a little that this one will not last. Seeing the love and the sheer hope Harrow infused into each and every word melted my heart. At every turn, this book was plucking at my heartstrings. What is the nature of love, you might ask, and what is required of you when you love someone? That, too, is questioned – and is perhaps something that can only be answered when a test to that love arises. In all the Doors that hide vampires, were-leopards, or frozen wastelands… there is one that will lead to home. Sometimes, even a closed door can be opened once more.
inkstainsanddust 24 days ago
The Ten Thousand Doors of January By Alix E. Harrow 3.5/5 January Scaller is a perfectly unique specimen of a girl. Her dark bronze skin as much as her name set her apart—but it is more than that. January lives with Mr. Locke, her father’s employer and patron, a wealthy white man living in Vermont. Her father is an adventurer and acquires rare collectibles for Locke. And everything would be this simple if not for the discovery of a door that opened to a new world. January, a lover of words, wrote it open one day, and was prompt punished—the door, destroyed. Since then, January has tried hard to conform to Mr. Locke’s rules to become a proper young lady. But when she finds a book describing the doors, and puts together the missing pieces of her life, she discovers that things are not what they seem, and no door is ever shut to her. This book is a tale of self discovery, reunion, family, and love. Bring tissues because it is SAD and TRAGIC but also so hopeful and uplifting you won’t be sure whether you are crying in anguish or happiness! This reads like literary fiction so it took me a long time! It also has a fairly slow start so I wasn’t really into it until about half way through when the pace picked up. It has parts that alternate between the present story and a chapter of the book she finds, which is cool but I’m not a huge fan of that style of book. I feel it takes you out of the story and you have to reorient yourself every time. But the later chapters that were more like storytelling than academic information were easier to adjust to. I very much enjoyed this book, but I do have my reservations about the pace and these chapter switches. Additionally, it definitely did not read like a ya fantasy book until the last forty percent or so, but the prose is beautiful. I found myself getting a bit bogged down in the prose that was waxing poetic about words, but overall it is very well written and tells a beautiful story. This book is great for those readers who like coming of age stories, almost poetic prose, and who maybe aren’t ready for high fantasy but want to dip their toes in! E-Arc provided by the publisher through Netgalley for my honest review
MadScibrarian 24 days ago
All signs point this to being at least a 4 star book for me. It's a historical fantasy with magical portals to another world and led by a strong female character. For some reason though, I just couldn't get into it as much as I really wanted to. I can't really pinpoint exactly where it failed at speaking to me. I will say that I first started reading this expecting many magical portals to many magical worlds, but that is definitely not the case, which led me to setting it aside for a bit. Then, I read some reviews of people who finished the book and they spelled out the fact that the book isn't delivering the ten thousand worlds promised in the title, but is still an enjoyable read. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is actually a book that the main character is reading in the novel, and when she does read it, the next chapter is the part of the book that she is reading. Thus, it's a story within a story, which can also be an interesting read. The novel also has a slow start, and I set it aside rather near the beginning. I think you need to be past the halfway point for much to pick up. Still, while reading this I found myself looking at the remaining pages and wondering just when will I finish it? I just didn't get absorbed into the story. I think it's partially due to the characters, as I never became attached to them. They aren't awful characters or anything; I just couldn't connect. The overall plot is pretty predictable, and there is a twist within the second story that I'm sure you'll see coming from a mile away. With no love for the characters and no surprises in store, there just isn't anything for me to rate this any higher than a three. There is also a slight touch of romance that has zero development whatsoever. I think it was mostly to be implied given the history of the two characters, but as someone who enjoys romance I care much more about its outcome if it developed on page. The writing is still very lyrical and beautiful. I think it is a great debut and look forward to what types of books Mrs. Harrow will write next. I really like the idea of the novel here and just think it slightly missed the mark for me personally. I would like to add that 3 stars means I "liked it", I am just disappointed that I did not like it more.
NovelKim 24 days ago
January Scaller was seven years old when she found a door, a blue door, but it was to take her time to realize that when doors open, things flow between the worlds and stories happen (my spin on the author’s words). It is the earliest part of the twentieth century. January is a “willful, temerarious” young girl. She is also an oddity, an item in her guardian’s collection . Something is off about the whole arrangement between January and her guardian and her surroundings, Locke House, Vermont. Clues are parceled out but it takes a long time for things to jell. There is a strong undercurrent of maintaining the status quo by whatever means are necessary. There is an equal force of discovery and allowing whatever may come next. There is profound intolerance and racism. Open the door, step through, don’t get caught in the Threshold, they are dangerous places, “you can’t hesitate or doubt. You can’t fear the in-between” because it can lead you to a white city by the sea where all the questions are answered or no answers are to be found. But “There was no room .... for little girls who wandered off the edge of the map and told the truth about the mad, impossible things they found there.” This is a breathtaking book about the strength to look through the cracks in the world, and the ability to embrace the magic
Gwendalyn_books_ 24 days ago
Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Author: Alix E. Harrow
Publication date: September 10, 2019
Publisher: Redhook, Orbit Book Publishing 
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical http://gwendalynbooks.wordpress.com http://twitter.com/gwendalyn_books http://Instagram.com/gwendalyn_books_ https://www.goodreads.com/user/edit/profile/profile_url I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Orbit/Redhook) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. “Listen, not every story is made for telling. Sometimes just by telling a story you’re stealing it, stealing a little of the mystery away from it.” Have you ever had penchant for the whimsical Have you looked sideways at doors ever? Or held your breath as walked through a threshold? Or maybe in a moment of fancy, while staring longing at a wall hoping for for a chance of something magical. An opening, a portal... That just maybe there is something magical in the world. I have despite voices to the contrary, telling me otherwise. Are you a readers who remembers what it was once like to have the ability to imagine a wide world of endless possibilities. In Within these pages, January will discover the impossible truth of her own existence– and the harrowing dangers that lurk between the Doors and other worlds.  This fairy tale will have you stepping through the void, into fables, folklore, adventure, love and sanctuary, and the infinite power of words and love. In this completely original lyrical debut, Alix E. Harrow captivating book is a magical blend of both historical fiction and magical realism. —"I almost didn’t notice the Door at all. All Doors are like that, half-shadowed and sideways until someone looks at them in just the right way."— The Ten Thousand Doors of January is completely original storyline but written in classical childhood fairy tale style of older work. Beautiful writing that is poetic and the words are fluid in this captivating and lyrical debut. In the turn of the twentieth century, a time of change with inventions and new discoveries, We meet January, an oddly colored, wild and headstrong imaginative girl. From the first pages I fell in love with January Scaller. When we first meet January, she is seven years old and, though her father is living, she is being cared for by Mr. Locke, her fathers benefactor. Her father travels the world, seeking out exotic treasures to bring back to his employer. Throughout her childhood years, she is herded and tamed into submission, well almost.. January’s quiet existence comes to a halt when she stumbles across peculiar book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. As each page reveals more impossible truths about the world, January discovers a story that might just be the key to unlocking the secrets of her past." The Ten Thousand Doors of January, is lush and richly imaginative, a book of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the incredible power of opening doors . Alix E. Harrow effortless writing is stunning and unconsciously literary. This has to be the most stunning, captivating book of 2019 —"Life has a kind of momentum to it, I’ve found, an accumulated weight of decisions which becomes impossible to shift."—
lostinagoodbook 28 days ago
I find it hard to describe this book. So first of all, let’s take a minute to look at that cover. Just absolutely gorgeous right? This book was a slow burn for me. It seems like the more I think about it, the more I realize how much I really like it. I think this is going to be one I re-read often. Truth is, I’ve actually read it twice since I got the ARC. The second time through, I started out thinking I’d just skim it as a refresher before I wrote this review. Within a few pages I felt like I sank into it like a stone dropped into a still pond. It’s a wonderful feeling, being able to immerse yourself in a story like that. The book is beautifully written. It is a love letter to books, to writing, to language and to love itself. It features the kind of love story that is of the Ages. A love that transcends the limits of our known universe. It’s also about doors. Physical doors … supernatural doors … emotional doors. Doors that can either open us up to new possibilites, or keep us from moving forward and living life to the fullest. I love the main character of January. She is a realistic portrayal of an orphaned, deeply lonely young woman who finds herself in a fantastical setting. The language of the book is evocative and sensitive and she is someone I wish I could be friends with. I really enjoyed her, and this book. I would recommend it to anyone. Song for this book: Manchester – Kishi Bashi (omg this song is just *chef’s kiss* for this book!) Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley
CapriciousNiteOwl 29 days ago
5 Magical Stars! I don’t usually ready YA Fantasy book, but I could not resist the synopsis of this book (all those doors that open to other worlds...I mean who can resist that?!) and that cover - BEAUTIFUL!!! This was truly an amazing, spellbound, and magical journey. Beautifully written story of love, courage, and strong family ties, it left me emotional and surprisingly satisfied. I loved the ending so much; when I turned the last page, I was smiling which is the best part of finishing a book, that feeling of awe and contentment. This novel is one of my favorite books of all time, and I will be re-reading it very soon, for sure. Thank you NetGalley, Redhook Books, and the author, talented Alix E. Harrow, for providing me with an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Zach_B 30 days ago
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow is a modern day fairy tale. January is an in-between girl. She and her father, Julian Scaller, live with Mr. Locke, a collector of the world’s rarities. Mr. Scaller is away a lot, traveling to collect these things that Mr. Locke hides from the world. This is a story of words, and of stories, and the doors to other worlds that stories allow us to see into. At first, the storyline was a little confusing, but once I understood what this book was really about, I loved it! It’s fantastic and fantastical. It was engrossing and charming. The story was deep and insightful. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced e-copy of this book. All thoughts are my own. #netgalley #thetenthousanddoorsofjanuary
Anonymous 3 months ago
This was one of the most unique books that I have read in some time. January lives in a mansion with Mr Locke as her father traverse's the world as a historian and goods finder for Mr Locker. Things begin to unravel for January as she discovers the book that her father left behind for her and finds out about the doors. She begins a journey to find her parents and is at peril with her group of friend's and a huge dog known as bad for protection. I loved the idea of parallel worlds and believe that the idea was well developed throughout this novel.
LHill2110 3 months ago
Writing: 4/5 Plot: 4/5 Characters: 3.5/5 Great adventure story! Love, betrayal, and a panoply of creatures, cultures, and “magical” objects that leak through Doors: the thin boundaries between our world and innumerable others. Our heroine is January Scaller, and the time is ~1900. January is a motherless child of indeterminate color who lives with her father’s employer, the kindly and wealthy Mr. Locke. By comparison, January is told she is “quite improper, willful and temerarious” — temerarious quickly becomes her favorite word :-). However, no thing or person is exactly what they seem in this deliciously complex story that weaves together intricate stories across time and multi-world space. The Doors represent Change — as January’s father explains it: “Doors are change, and change is a dangerous necessity. Doors are revolutions and upheavals, uncertainties and mysteries, axis points around which entire worlds can be turned… Without doors the worlds would grow stagnant, calcified and storyless.” But not everyone is enamored of the “change” the Doors represent, and someone or something is working hard to close them all down, ostensibly to maintain order and bring Progress and Prosperity to our world (but mostly benefiting themselves). A number of memorable characters step in to help or hinder including: Mr. Locke and his slightly unsettling Archeological Society; Samuel Zappia, January’s only “non-fictional friend;” Jane Irimu, sent from East Africa by way of a predatory Leopard people world by January’s father; and Adelaide Lee Larson “ born of poor luck and poverty and raised by ignorance and solitude,” whose epic love story begins when she meets a ghost boy in an empty field at 15. Speculative fiction is often used a vehicle for discussing difficult topics through the guise of “other worlds,” and this book is a thinly veiled portrayal of the perception of Change as necessary (liberals) or as something to be feared (conservatives). While I personally favor liberal policies, I don’t appreciate the over simplified and highly stereotyped cabal of rich, white, men that are literally out to rape, pillage, and destroy the happiness and life potential of everyone else. Well-written fiction can feel so real that it is easy for stereotypes like this to be perpetuated without the reader’s conscious awareness. So … great writing and a tremendous girl-power adventure — but a little heavy handed on the definition of the “bad guys” for me.
taramichelle 3 months ago
I absolutely loved The Ten Thousand Doors Of January. I haven’t felt this way about a book since Strange the Dreamer but this was such a stunningly beautiful and dazzling book. Part of the magic of The Ten Thousand Doors Of January is that Harrow managed to create a story that’s so familiar, it feels like you’re stepping back into a favorite book that you’ve read a thousand times. But at the same time, it’s utterly new and enchanting. This is a story about growing up and having faith in yourself and always having the courage to get back up. It’s a tale about magic and change and love. I don’t really have the words to adequately describe this book. But if you love stories about Doors, stories about stories, or stories about women discovering their power, I highly recommend picking this one up. *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.