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The Ten Thousand Doors of January

by Alix E. Harrow

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,3341693,907 (4.04)180
In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book. 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.… (more)
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» See also 180 mentions

English (166)  Hungarian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (168)
Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
Absolutely fantastic! Gorgeous writing: picturesque, lyrical, beautiful prose in service of a fantastical, magical story. I tore through this book, eagerly, hungrily, in just a few days. The story is very inventive, rich in nuance and detail. It filled me with sense of longing and loss, fun and wonder. To scour the world with January Scaller, a complex and compelling protagonist, and her faithful canine friend Sindbad, in search of Doors, would be a grand adventure and worth the hardships. I hope Samuel will be able to rejoin them. The Ten Thousand Doors Of January was borrowed from my public library, but it will be added to the permanent collection. Between this and A Spindle Splintered, Alix Harrow, in only two books, has quickly become a newly discovered favorite writer. ( )
  LordSlaw | Feb 24, 2024 |
Had to DNF it, not my cup of tea. The story didn’t grip me and I found it tedious to read.
( )
  bella.nadia | Feb 6, 2024 |
When January was a young girl, she found a door that opened to another world. But Mr. Locke (her father’s boss and essentially her surrogate father, since her own dad spent almost all his time traveling the world looking for treasures for Mr. Locke’s collection) severely punished her for having such fanciful thoughts, so she put it out of her mind and went on with the business of growing up. Now, at 17, she’s told that her father is dead, and things begin to happen to and around her that make her return to the idea of worlds behind doors…

An excellent idea for a story, and the world(s) building is nicely done. I enjoyed the book just fine, but I fell just shy of *loving* it, mostly because the characters felt a little flat. I was interested in where the story was going, but I never felt fulling invested in the people involved. Still, a fun read. ( )
  electrascaife | Jan 17, 2024 |
Adored all of it. ( )
  jbaty | Dec 29, 2023 |
Let me start by saying this is not my typical read. I never read fantasy, ever. I never even look at it. How this one slipped into my Barnes & Noble pile is beyond me --- I blame the gorgeous cover art. But, now that I'm through reading it, I'm rethinking my hard core stance against fantasy novels...because this was really good. I can't even bring myself to rate down one star for profanity, which I always do. It was just such a fantastic story.

Addressing the profanity--- I usually rant about it because I see no reason to use it in most cases. Unless you're falling off a cliff, it serves no purpose other than to just be negative. The profanity in this one did serve a purpose, however. It continuously snapped me out of my beautiful reverie and back into reality --- which was unfortunate. This author truly has a gift for the glorious putting together of words. It made me sad to see her introduce profanities that so much cheapened it all.

But beyond that... there were several places in the story I especially took note of.

pg. 94-95: Ade is outside looking up at the treetops above her head.
"in the absence of the old tree, there was a hole in the canopy above her. Ade began to suspect that, for the first time in her life, she was free."
When I read that, I immediately thought about the way I felt after I lost my Dad in January 2022. Even though I had a husband and four sons to watch over me still, I felt a little more alone in the world without my Dad. When I first read this part in the story, that hole symbolized the loss of a source of protection. However, it also represented the freedom I felt --- no more guilt over not living my life the way he thought I should. No more guilt of not pleasing someone who will never be fully pleased.

pg. 307: "I sat, watching the country turn rich and wet, the hills rising and diving like great emerald whales..." Aaah... that is so beautiful!

pg. 349: "I'd grown up thinking of my father as fundamentally foreign, eccentric, unlike anyone else; now I saw he was just a man very far from home."

I also saw a lot of social and political symbolism in the story. Some was obvious --- others I wondered if they were meant to be there. For instance, pg. 229 describes the doors being destroyed by "natural disasters" that obviously aren't natural. Explosions, fires, floods, landslides, etc. All I could think was Lahaina, East Palestine, cows, chickens, food production facilities... every day since March 2020 in one slow-cooking pot of frog soup.

I'll be keeping an eye on this author for future works. It looks like her next one glorifies witchcraft so I'll need to avoid, but we'll see what she does after that! In the meantime, I might check out the fantasy section a little more closely... ( )
  classyhomemaker | Dec 11, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
Harrow’s novel will hold strong appeal to readers who enjoy portal fantasies featuring adventuresome women.
added by 2wonderY | editPublishers Weekly (Apr 16, 2019)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alix E. Harrowprimary authorall editionscalculated
LaVoy, JanuaryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pompilio, Lisa MarieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
For Nick, my comrade and compass
First words
When I was seven, I found a door. I suspect I should capitalize that word, so you understand I’m not talking about your garden- or common-variety door that leads reliably to a white-tiled kitchen or a bedroom closet.
Quotations
There's only one way to run away from your own story, and that's to sneak into someone else's. (Chapter 3, pg 92 Kindle)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book. 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.

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