ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow @AlixEHarrow @orbitbooks #BlogTour #CompulsiveReaders
I’m pleased to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow. My thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for the place on the tour and to the publishers, Orbit Books, for sending me a gorgeous proof copy of the book for review purposes.
EVERY STORY OPENS A DOOR
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.
But her quiet existence is shattered when she stumbles across 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 reveals more impossible truths about the world, and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
I freely admit that fantasy isn’t really a genre that I am often drawn towards but The Ten Thousand Doors of January caught my eye for two reasons: one is it has a stunning cover and the second is that I was intrigued by the idea of what was behind those doors, popping in and out of other worlds.
The January of the title is January Scaller and we follow her from childhood through to almost adulthood. Whilst her father is off scouring the globe for treasures for Mr Locke, January is looked after at Locke House. I say looked after but she was paraded when it suited Mr Locke and the rest of the time hidden away. Not much fun for a child.
However, she finds a variety of items that give her some comfort, one of which is a book entitled The Ten Thousand Doors. That, along with discovering her first door, leads to many further discoveries which completely change January’s existence.
I really liked how January was so feisty, fighting back against every shackle that was holding her back. She is gifted a dog, (Sind)Bad, and what a lovely friendship they have. In fact, all the characters are well-portrayed in this book and are such interesting creations.
I think I was expecting January to find doors, go through them, have an adventure and return home, something relatively lighthearted and fun. Instead this is a darker, more emotional story of family, friendship and hopefully the triumph of good. Along with January we read a story within the main story and in that way we discover so much about her past at the same time she does.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a book for fantasy lovers, for those who like to immerse themselves in different worlds, but ones which are not so very distant from our own. I enjoyed some parts more than others but I think it was a well-written and inventive story.
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. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is her debut novel.