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The Ten Thousand Doors of January

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  107,145 ratings  ·  17,438 reviews
In the early 1900s, a young woman searches for her place in the world 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
Kindle Edition, 385 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Redhook
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Alix Harrow
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Alix Harrow It's a standalone! There's room for further adventures, but it's all pretty tidily wrapped-up.…moreIt's a standalone! There's room for further adventures, but it's all pretty tidily wrapped-up.(less)

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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  107,145 ratings  ·  17,438 reviews

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chai ♡
I almost didn’t write this review. I felt that to speak of this book would be to contain what it did to me, to diminish it somehow. And I didn’t want to do that. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is almost less a novel than an experience: never have I felt more like I was part of things, moved by the same current, like my soul had disconnected from my body and drifted among fictional souls in a mist somewhere between fantasy and reality. It seemed hardly credible when I finished reading that I c ...more
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read
((me: prepares for awkward silence due to unpopular opinion))

((confirmed: sound of crickets))

I'm sorry, everyone, but I have to be honest. I did not enjoy this book at all.

I really wanted to, I was so hyped for it. I saw early reviews coming in and they were fantastic. I couldn't wait to get started.

My initial impression was that although the writing style was a little quirky, my interest was still high. Then it seemed to go nowhere.

I wasn't feeling anything. I honestly do not think I have ever
Nilufer Ozmekik
5 thousand stars first for wonderful, amazing illustration on the cover and five thousand stars go for rest of the heart throbbing, one of the most creative, colorful, joyful journeys to many different imaginary portals you can never imagine to visit!


This is amazing combination of McGuire’s Wayward Children Series and Stephen King’s Dark Tower series!

BLURB: Seven years old January’s revelation of finding a door opens to Faeri
Aug 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the writing style and adventurous concept - it's fun to think about all the different worlds that you can escape to, especially ones that are more accepting of POC compared to our world. I appreciate the decision to make the protagonists POC and have a feeling of "not belonging" to add another layer of wanting to escape to other worlds. I couldn't find myself attached to the characters though, and the “book within a book” execution dragged the story a little too long, making my interest ...more
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for BEST FANTASY *AND* BEST DEBUT NOVEL 2019! what will happen?

i mean, it’s a perfect book.

that should be the alpha and the omega of this book review, because you’ve probably already read the synopsis, and if it takes more than that to convince you of this book’s desirability, i’m sure i don’t have the words to do it.

if you like seanan mcguire’s wayward children series, you will probably enjoy this. obviously, they both involve doorways to other world
Mayim de Vries
Jan 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
“It is at the moments when the doors open, when the things flow between the worlds, that stories happen.”

Ten thousand doors no’s. Twenty thousand doorways no-way’s.

Sometimes I shamelessly fall for those hyped bestsellers, but most often I cannot stand them. Funnily enough, I loved what most people hate about this book: the flowery, flowing prose. I admired the writing style so much that I wanted to rate the book with full five stars, a priori, before I even finished the second chapter.

How sensi
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
All the stars! Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature (along with my co-reviewer Marion's excellent review):

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is perched at the top of the mountain of portal fantasies that I’ve read in my life. It’s set apart by Alix E. Harrow’s intelligent and truly gorgeous writing, unique characters ― including true friends and a fiercely loyal dog ― and a complex and twisty plot, combined with thoughtful consideration of racial and class prejudice, powerful men who
If there is a part of you that has always felt there is magic in the world ever since childhood, despite voices to the contrary, and have a penchant for the whimsical, then Alix Harrow has written the perfect novel for you. It is a story of doors, portals if you will, existing in places of particular resonance, stepping through the void, into fables, folklore, adventure, love and sanctuary, and the infinite power of words and stories. In 1901, at the age of 7, the red skinned, wilful and cantank ...more
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.

4.5/5 stars

Gorgeous and magical; it’s not a stretch to call The Ten Thousand Doors of January a magnificent physical manifestation of a grimoire.

Orbit did it again. The Ten Thousand Doors of January has shot to the top of my TBR since the moment I saw the cover and heard about the premise; I was charmed and can safely say that I don’t think I’ve read many books as beautifully written as this novel. I’ve been saying this over
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written, but a tiiiiiinnny bit draggy for my taste. Bonus points for the way challenging themes were handled though - definitely a ya book with a message and a punch. However, not a good choice if you are in a reading slump, but if you were pondering over it - do pick it up, it is an eye opening book, and if you can dedicate the adequate attention and time to it's details - it is worth the read. ...more
Mark Lawrence
Aug 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
World-class writing in service to an excellent story leaves me with no complaints. Harrow has written a portal fantasy where the focus is on the portals more than where they lead to. She twists a family tale through various of these doors, a couple of romance threads, a modicum of danger and threat, and a smattering of Americana. It's all good.

My love of great prose means that my main delight was in the power of the language used, the deft capture of feelings or people or places in just a handfu
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-stars, 2019
I really wanted to love this and am sad to give it only two and a half stars. But The Ten Thousand Doors of January is marketed as portal fantasy and I was enthralled with the idea of a young girl in a huge, creepy manor house who discovers doors to strange worlds and then USES THEM.

Sadly, that's not this story. More than fantasy, this story is a bildungsroman, an exploration of family secrets, and a dive into racial politics of the early 20th century. And it uses a "story-within-a-story" devic
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
The only one I really loved in the book was Bad and he had a rough go! I enjoyed the beginning and ending. Whatever, moving on 🤔 I’m happy for the million and one people that loved it 😘

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘words and their meanings have weight in the world of matter, shaping and reshaping realities through a most ancient alchemy.’

and the words in this story shape a most delightful world - filled with imagination, wonder, adventure, and love.

any story that focuses on the importance of words and stories is one that i will always find comforting. i appreciate how january is a character who also finds comfort in books and the power of words and also sees stories as a means of escape. it makes to
What an enchanting and endearing story!

First off I must say I have had this ARC on my TBR list for a long time. It is not my usual genre but I wanted to try something different. To my surprise I also found this audio on Libby from my local library. So, why not try something else that is new to me? Listening and reading along on my kindle. I admit I did not do that for very long but it was fun in bits. I mostly alternated between the written book and the audiobook. The writing is just beautiful a
Emily May
In the summer of 1901, at the age of seven, January Scaller found a Door. You know the kind of door–they lead to Faerie, to Valhalla, to Atlantis, to all the places never found on a map.

These portal fantasy premises get me EVERY TIME. This sounds a bit like McGuire's Wayward Children series, which I love. Also exciting that this comes highly recommend by Josiah Bancroft 😍 Can't wait!

ARC provided in exchange for honest review 🔑
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had avoided reading this book for months because of the hype and the fear of being disappointed, but then the library had it in stock, and it has such a pretty cover, and I could not help myself, so I brought it home.

And I loved it! I always enjoy a good portal story and this one had so many portals going to so many different places that I gave up trying to work out where they went and why. I just let myself be swept away by the story and the extremely well written prose.

I thought the charact
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-requests
Bewitching, creative, & magical!

THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY by ALIX E. HARROW is an imaginative, enchanting, intriguing, and unique story that wasn’t the easiest book for me to read. I was a little bit bored in the beginning and almost called it quits quite a few times. I am so glad that I persevered because at approx. 58% in is when things started to get a lot more exciting and come together for me.

The writing is quite beautiful but extremely wordy and dense that definitely bogged down t
"You see, doors are many things: fissures and cracks, ways between, mysteries and borders. But more than anything else, doors are change."

TW: racism, abuse, animal cruelty, self-harm, torture

Unpopular Opinion Time 🐸☕️

Fam. I finished it, but at what cost.
Fam. Hear me out: this was not good. There truly is no other way to say it.

I am so disappointed.
The synopsis and the portal fantasy aspect screamed my name.
But it turned out it was a scream of pain.

So many aspects of this book were bad, I’m
“You see, doors are many things: fissures and cracks, ways between, mysteries and borders. But more than anything else, doors are change. When things slip through them, no matter how small or brief, change trails them like porpoises following a ship’s wake.”
This is a story about the desire for unknown, the longing for change. It is a story of the dangers of complacency, blind obedience, unquestioning submission to those who proclaim they are the strong ones. This is a story of the need to ta
Spencer Orey
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good! Beautiful and precious prose. Somehow I didn’t expect it to be so YA, but I ended up liking that too.

There’s a lot of clever treatment of imperialism and rich collectors. Really the whole book feels deeply grounded in critical history, which for me also made the magic of doors and their fantastic worlds feel fantastically grounded too. I loved that. There are some fierce antiracist and anti-imperialist politics woven in here, and they work wonderfully.

If you’ve been interested in t
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
Striking cover. Fanciful concepts. Worth savouring.
May she wander but always return home, may all her words be written true, may every door lie open before her. (c)
The will to be polite, to maintain civility and normalcy, is fearfully strong. I wonder sometimes how much evil is permitted to run unchecked simply because it would be rude to interrupt it. (c)
Fiction—I hope to every god you have the guts to do what needs doing. I hope you will find the cracks in the world and wedge them wider,
Jul 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m actually stunned at how much I ended up loving this book, it’s a mishmash of so many things I love. I’ll try and explain it but ultimately the running theme in the book is loyalty and stubborness. It’s somewhere between The Wayward Children Series, Furthermore, Inkheart, and a survival story. It’s the early 1900’s luxe life mixed with a wild and perilous journey. It’s the found family trope and a “will go to the ends of the earth to find you” love story. It’s about January and it’s about Ade ...more
You can find this review and more at Novel Notions.

Actual rating: way more than 5 stars.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Orbit/Redhook) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
“Listen, not every story is made for telling. Sometimes just by telling a story you’re stealing it, stealing a little of the mystery away from it.”

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is quite possibly the most achingly beautiful novel I’ve ever read, a
Peter (catching up)
A book within a book always adds intrigue and sates a personal delight that a treasured possession of bound pages can be the catalyst for a fantasy adventure. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a highly imaginative mystery that is cleverly structured around the concept of magical doors into other worlds, and a protagonist that pursues a journey of discovery.
“There are ten thousand stories about ten thousand Doors, and we know them as well as we know our names. They lead to Faerie
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
Upon reading the first few pages of The Ten Thousand Doors of January, it is pretty clear that Alix E. Harrow has a way to write most eloquently and organic, a whimsical tale reminiscent of childhoods' past imaginary wonders, curiosities, and secrets. The most beautiful, exquisite passages of words strung together so naturally, they elude to the calm and quiet brilliance within, ever so gently evoking the reader's attention wrapped around in every line, page by page.

The Ten Thousand Doors of Jan
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
HOLY SH*T. This book was like a drug to me. Portals and the multiverse and word magic and fascinating women and crisp, textured prose I wanted to fold and unfold like a letter. It's truly one of those books that's bigger on the inside, a house with countless rooms. ...more
I stalled.


Because it contains one trope I hate,¹ a character type I dislike,² and a plot I dislike³ with what is appearing to be a fairly predictable arc lingering in all the wrong spots. In short, promising beginning, but an execution that was empathetically Not For Me. Despite Harrow's often lovely writing and wonderful imagery, I don't know when I'll return.

¹ Mental institutions

² Milquetoast

³ Twue Wov
Charlotte May
“I told her I intended to find every door to every world that ever existed. She laughed and said ‘there are ten thousand of them fool.”

Pure magic 💖

January Scaller has grown up in an upper class lifestyle, but she’s never been truly accepted.
Raised by the wealthy Mr Locke, while her fathers travels for work, January wants for nothing. Except she isn’t really free, her life is very confining.

Until one day she finds a book named ‘The Ten Thousand Doors’. Suddenly everything she’s ever known cha
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
3 stars. A spellbinding, imaginative, unique journey!

This novel is a creative, haunting and original story. The main character, January, is a young girl who finds a magical book that takes her on a journey through hidden doors into other worlds. In search of her family and of herself, January tries to piece together her past.

Based on the synopsis, I knew this was a bit of a risky read, but I wanted to take the plunge and try something outside of my usual genre. The first half of the book was int
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a former academic, adjunct, cashier, blueberry-harvester, and kentuckian, Alix E. Harrow is now a full-time writer living in virginia with her husband and their semi-feral kids.

she is the author of hugo-award-winning short fiction, and her debut novel, THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY (redhook/orbit 2019), was a finalist for the hugo, nebula, locus, world fantasy, and goodreads choice awards. he

Articles featuring this book

Autumnal reading is the best kind of reading. The crisp fall air. The rustling leaves. The cardigan sweaters. You can even get the fireplace...
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“I hope you will find the cracks in the world and wedge them wider, so the light of other suns shines through; I hope you will keep the world unruly, messy, full of strange magics; I hope you will run through every open Door and tell stories when you return.” 210 likes
“The will to be polite, to maintain civility and normalcy, is fearfully strong. I wonder sometimes how much evil is permitted to run unchecked simply because it would be rude to interrupt it.” 170 likes
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