The Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix E. Harrow

three stars black
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 274
Publisher: Redhook
Release Date: September 10, 2019

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.


The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a better version of The Starless Sea as it’s more engaging.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January begins slowly. Harrow takes her time introducing the story and characters. It’s not until 100 pages in that the story picks up slightly. What also hinders the opening of this novel is the book within the book. The book within the book is a story told with a scholarly flair. It’s interesting, but incredibly dry.

I enjoyed the concept of doors leading to other worlds, but I disliked the way Harrow used it. Instead, Harrow focuses on a family and their struggles making The Ten Thousand Doors of January less a fantasy and more a contemporary.

As with The Starless Sea, The Ten Thousand Doors of January has beautiful, flowing writing. There are lengthy passages describing feelings or emotions that you can’t help but fall in love with.

“It’s a profoundly strange feeling, to stumble across someone whose desires are shaped so closely to your own, like reaching towards your reflection in a mirror and finding warm flesh under your fingertips.”

By the end of the novel, I lost interest in the story and started skimming since it’s clear where the story is headed. I also lost interest in the main character. She never developed into a fully fleshed out character. Instead, she remained timid and uninteresting.

Overall, The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a moderately engaging story that I wish went in another direction. Would I recommend it? No.


Have you read The Ten Thousand Doors of January? What did you think?

8 thoughts on “The Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix E. Harrow

  1. Ahh, it’s a shame you didn’t really enjoy this. I loved it – it certainly does divide opinion doesn’t it. But, yes, it did have rather a slow start.
    Lynn 😀

  2. Sorry it didn’t work for you Nadine! I personally loved this one, but I knew when I read it why others were frustrated with it. Great review!

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