Enchanted fairy tale vibes all around, as an odd-girl-out reveals secret after secret through otherwordly adventures.
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Why I love it
I love books that suggest doorways between our world and others—think C.S. Lewis's Narnia books, or Seanan McGuire's Every Heart a Doorway. There’s something about the possibility of escape, adventure, and magic that gets me every time. So when I began The Ten Thousand Doors of January, a deeply enchanting fable about secret doorways and the power of stories, I fell in love immediately.
The book tells the story of January Scaller, a "natural born wanderer" whose adventurous impulses are curbed by her guardian, Cornelius Locke, a member of a shadowy Society that trades in rare artifacts. As a young girl, January discovers a Door—note the capital “D”—that leads from a field in middle America to another world entirely, and that changes the course of her sheltered life.
This book is stuffed full of ideas, including the notion that Doors are the reason we have myths, fairy tales, and revolutions (because stories can't help but leak from one world to the other). Alix E. Harrow's lyrical prose addresses everything from folklore to race with a sublimely deft hand, making this book feel like an instant classic. Watching January break free from her gilded cage, travel between worlds, and come of age as a free woman with the ability to save our world was not only a pleasure, but also a reminder of just how powerful a good story can be.
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.