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All booksYoung adultThe Ten Thousand Doors of January
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Young adult

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Alix E. Harrow, on your first book!

by Alix E. Harrow

Quick take

Enchanted fairy tale vibes all around, as an odd-girl-out reveals secret after secret through otherwordly adventures.

Good to know

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  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Acclaim

    Critically acclaimed

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  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Magical


Why I love it

Lily Philpott

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.

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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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Check out a preview of The Ten Thousand Doors of January.

Member thoughts

All (994)
All (994)
Love (503)
Like (348)
Dislike (143)
1034 ratings
  • 49% Love
  • 34% Like
  • 14% Dislike
  • Mattawan, MI

    LOVE. Beautifully written, unique and interesting premise, and I literally got lost in the story and the world and the characters. Been a while since I’ve read something that has touched me this much.

  • Pikeville, KY

    I thought this was a beautiful book. I enjoyed the feel of the book and the story within a story. It’s marketed as YA but this is a book for adults to love as well. Plus there’s a brave, loyal dog.

  • Natchez, MS

    Beautifully, soulfully, and imaginitively written! Such a magical, unique story with a cast of strong female characters and one fiercely loyal dog. Must read! This is now on my list of favorites ❤️

  • Rockwood, PA

    Phenomenal. Words do not justify this book. In fact, that's what this story's about: Words, and the worlds they open. Prepare to be amazed and enthralled. No sappy romances. :)MORE LIKE THIS ONE, BOTM

  • New Ulm, MN

    This novel forced me to forget about adult responsibilities and sleep for two days. A coming of age story + a strong female protagonist + a love story + magical realism. Loved it from start to finish.

  • Plainville, CT

    This book was just so beautiful! There was frustration, sadness, adventure, longing, finding, love, and so much more wrapped in this most lovely story. This is definitely one of my favorite BOTM picks

  • Louisville , KY

    This is the kind of book that makes me want to drop everything and run away on a grand adventure! It reminded me of The Night Circus with how beautiful it was. It’s a book I’ll be rereading a lot!

  • Claremore, OK

    I really enjoyed this book so much that I didnt want to put it down. I was excited to pick it up at lunch, dinner, on my breaks and just whenever I had time to read it. I have so many favorite quotes.

  • Hinesburg, VT

    I LOVE THIS BOOK. The characters, the journey, the twisting storyline. Everything about this book spoke to me. I felt it deep in my soul, in another world; my inner door! Read this & open a new door!

  • Winston Salem, NC

    The Ten Thousand Doors of January was a punch right to my heart, and just what I needed to get me out of a reading slump. It's enchanting, heart wrenching, and I want so much more of January Scaller.

  • Puyallup, WA

    A beautifully written fantasy about the magic/power of words, also weaving in concepts of race and immigration... but of people from other worlds. How far will you go to find home and your true love?

  • Helena, MT

    Where do our stories & myths come from? A magical, timeless, Narnia-esque adventure full of lush prose. A brilliant critique of racism & celebration of diversity. What a masterpiece! Open the doors!

  • New Britain, CT

    I like how the story for the first part goes between January and the book she is reading. I thought there were several surprises and it was an engaging look at how different world could affect ours.

  • New York, NY

    I love world building books. And this one built ten thousand worlds. I read this 2X in two weeks, just to re-savor it. Great storytelling, riveting plot. Made me want to open all the doors. Sequel?!

  • Helena, MT

    Where do our stories & myths come from? A magical, timeless, Narnia-esque adventure full of lush prose. A brilliant critique of racism & celebration of diversity. What a masterpiece! Open the doors!

  • Munising, MI

    Full of magic and surprises, this coming-of-age story is everything I needed and more. It will forever remind me that adventure and the knowledge of one’s true self lies just beyond a closed door.

  • Grawn, MI

    I will admit this book had a very slow and confusing start for me that made me think about stopping. But I am glad I pushed through because what a unique story! I ended up really enjoying this one.

  • San Marcos , CA

    I rarely find a book that immerses me so completely, and touches me so deeply, and I was devastated when I reached the last page. This book is a love letter to words and to stories and their magic.

  • Arnold, MO

    Easily in my top 10 favorite books of all time! Beautiful writing, great world-building and magic, almost reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. Loved the discussion of the magic of the written word

  • Frankfort , KY

    This book was absolutely perfect! It was beautifully written and I loved the story. It resonated somewhere deep within my soul. One of my favorite all time reads, one I am sure to pick up again!

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