The Ten Thousand Doors of January - Alix E. Harrow

So, it's taken me more than a month to read this book and that shouldn't be taken as any reflection on the quality of the book (which is fantastic, and of which more shortly) but the fact that although I love me a good hardback, they're not really great for reading in bed, which is where I do a lot of my quality book-work nowadays. 

 

There's a longstanding tradition in fantasy of Doors, which even though they might not have the capital D when they're written, play a substantial part in helping characters move from one place to the next, one world to the next. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a wonderful addition to those books, paying homage to those that have gone before while also creating a whole new storyline involving them.

 

The eponymous January is our main character, who we first meet as a young teenager, living in the house of her guardian and benefactor who is also her father's employer - Julian's job is to travel and send back things he discovers to his employer, which he does relentlessly throughout the course of the book. He also sends back things for January herself, including a book that shares the name of the novel, telling his story and the story of January's mother. January finds out about Doors through that book, as well as discovering that she has powers of her own, in this case to bring Doors into being by writing them into existence. 

 

It's through this book as well that she finds out too that she is between-worlds in a way that is different from the one she has always known - she's living in turn of the century America and while her benefactor is white and rich, she distinctly isn't either of those things - and that it was a Door that brought her parents together in the first place. Now, despite the best efforts of January and her friends, who we meet along the way, the Doors are in danger as someone is closing them and that just might mean January will never get to see either of her parents again. 

 

All in all, this is a beautifully-written book and one which I imagine I will find myself re-reading in the future. It's full of hope and just what I needed in these current uncertain times - highly recommended! And apparently the author has another novel coming out later in the year... :)