Oh my goodness gracious, this book.
This was the portal fantasy I didn’t know I needed.
The narrator of the of Alix E. Harrow’s debut novel, The Ten Thousand Doors of January is the titular January Scaller. SHe grew up as the ward of the mysterious Mr. Locke, in his mansion and amongst his collected curiosities. January herself is a bit of a curiosity, with her odd-colored skin and eyes. Her father, Julian, works for Mr. Locke and is only intermittently part of January’s life. When January is a young girl, she discovers a Door which leads to another world and from that moment on, the course of her life is changed forever.
I don’t want to give too much away, because a large part of the delight of this book was peeling away the layers and falling deeper into the world that Harrow has so skillfully constructed. She examines so many complex ideas through the vehicle of January (looking forward and backwards as her namesake, Janus): privilege, race, colonialism, class, community–power.
And most of all, family.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Purchase: Amazon | IndieBound
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.