The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

I saw a couple of rave reviews for this book and was able to get hold of it before it was archived on NetGalley. I was lucky to get access to the ARC but the review is completely based on my own reading experience.

Where should I begin? I could start with the fact that like a few others of its ilk, its a fantasy/sci-fi story wrapped within the cloak of historical fiction to add to the ambience. It is wordy in the way that the story draws strength from those descriptions (you have to have a personal taste for it though), despite that fact it is an easy read and I flew through most of it. I could even mention that while it is not one tale, it is not ten thousand either like the title might have you think. It is two stories in one, one of the past and one which we currently follow. January Scaller is almost a pampered pet of a rich white man. She is his ward technically but in every way she is subject to his rules. She is trained from a young age to brush aside anything that doesn’t directly concern her well being. As she grows older, she chaffs at the secrecy. One day she gets her hands on a book, which hints at Doors, with a big D for more emphasis. It suddenly picks up speed after that and I think January would explain it better than I could. There is a callous presentation of how little the men in power thought of their actions in the ‘weaker’ parts of the world which they plundered and exploited, it is beyond January’s capability to understand the situation since she has travelled only in the company of her guardian.

There are two love stories in this, one more believable than the other. The older one did not impress its craze on me and I couldn’t fathom the efforts that that story required for it to reach its goal. The second is slowly built on information and daily routine, making it more acceptable. It is the kind of book that you get swept away with (no pun intended) but when you reflect- as I had to before setting this review down, some things do not satisfy me the way they ought to. It is a great book and as no website allows me to give a 4.5, I have to give it 4 stars out of 5.

I really look forward to what this author would write next!

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