A cross-genre beauty: The Ten Thousand Doors Of January


I remember my reactions when I started this book, all the questions I asked myself during the first pages:

“Which genre is this? Oh, it’s a coming of age story! Hmmm, also lots of historical references…But, I know there will be some magic…Interesting”

“Is this her FIRST book? Who’s this author? (checks the background…)”

Because, basically I couldn’t believe what I was reading. It was so good that I was stopping to check the details of the book and Harrow. Not to mention, the gorgeous cover! So, first I must congratulate Alix E. Harrow and the publisher for this achievement as a debut  🙂

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a historical fantasy, at least that’s what they say. But, from what I read, there’s also a big coming of age element, which made it all the sweeter and richer. Needless to say, it’s the story of January set in early 1900s.  She grows up in the mansion of Mr. Locke, as his ward. Her mother is dead and her father is working for Mr. Locke, travelling to far places for long periods of time. Mr. Locke educates January with a strict governor with the manners he deems appropriate for a girl.
Then she finds a strange book, that tells the story of many doors that open to other worlds. With each section of this book, January discovers more about herself and secrets of her life & her parents.

There are many things I love about this book! First of all, the writing is really really good. The sentences are carefully constructed, historical references are given in a unique and entertaining way, which was a delight for me as a historical fiction lover. Especially, the opening of the book was glorious. For about one third of it, was a perfect coming of age story before the magic came into the picture.

Another aspect I loved was, it was a slow burner. It wasn’t an action packed fantasy book. It was a rich, descriptive, indulgent story that you peeled the layers slowly. Maybe in the middle, it was a bit too slow, but still, the lyrical writing covered for it.

It was such a good combination of many genres as I said before, and maybe many of my favourites 🙂 So, it made it more special. January was a character to root for. She was not perfect and she went through many phases where she was strong, weak, curious, decisive, etc. She was well developed and carried the story.

So, in my opinion, it was a remarkable debut. I really can’t wait to see what Harrow will come up with next. If you’re into magical stories that has a bit of mystery and history with a charming lead character, you should definitely pick it up. I think it’s worth the hype! The book is out today 🙂

So, that’s it from me today. I hope you’re having a fantastic reading week. As usual, I’d love to hear from you in comments 🙂

Happy reading!



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