***Shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards for Best Novel***
'A gorgeous, aching love letter to stories, storytellers and the doors they lead us through . . . absolutely enchanting' Christina Henry, bestselling author of Alice
ACCORDING TO JANUARY SCALLER, THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY TO RUN AWAY FROM YOUR OWN STORY, AND THAT'S TO SNEAK INTO SOMEONE ELSE'S . . .
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.
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.
'One of the most unique works of fiction I've ever read' Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author
'A gorgeously written story of love and longing, of what it means to lose your place in the world and then have the courage to find it again' Kat Howard, author of An Unkindness of Magicians
'Devastatingly good, a sharp, delicate nested tale of worlds within worlds, stories within stories and the realm-cracking power of words' Melissa Albert, author of The Hazel Wood
'The Ten Thousand Doors of January healed hurts I didn't even know I had. An unbearably beautiful story about growing up, and everything we fight to keep along the way' Amal El-Mohtar, Hugo Award-winning author
'Beautiful, achingly gorgeous ode to storytelling, magic and family' S. A. Chakraborty, author of The City of Brass
Harrow imbues her debut, set primarily in early-20th-century Vermont, as well as in an alternative world called the City of Nin, with genealogical mystery. The immensely wealthy William Cornelius Locke employs Julian Scaller as a plunderer of valuable artifacts, a job that prevents Julian from being a proper parent to his daughter, January. To fill the void left by January's traveling father and her mother, whose absence is initially unexplained, Locke ensconces January in his mansion as his ward. January discovers that she has the power to write words that open doors leading to other worlds, including the City of Nin. Throughout the novel, Harrow quotes at excessive length from The Ten Thousand Doors, a book Julian owns, and January gradually discerns a connection between her own life and that of Adelaide Lee Larson, a character in Doors. Harrow weaves in commentary on race: Julian is black and January's mother is white, and, in a clever inversion, in one of the worlds January visits, everyone is black and racism is nonexistent. Harrow's novel will hold strong appeal to readers who enjoy portal fantasies featuring adventuresome women.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Evocative and original first person narrative, but switching between characters over time. The imagery is amazing, I felt like I was stepping through doorways with her. Hard to put down and sad when it ended as the journey (for me anyway) was over. A sequel hopefully?
A beautiful and intricate story of families we are born into and families we choose, of hope and loss, of heartbreak and first love.
I would give it 10 stars of I could.
Alix E. Harrow is addictive. Perfect books for our pandemic world. Uplifting, joyful, a pleasure to discover.