The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
All the Stars.
January Schaller is seventeen when she finds The Ten Thousand Doors but a decade before she found her first door on her own. Living in Locke House, surrounded by the ill-gotten goods of Western Colonialism, she, her dog (Sin)Bad, and her friend/companion Jane, attempt to good-naturedly put up with the offenses of Mr. Cornelius Locke, her guardian, and the various members of his Society. Two things change on her seventeenth birthday- the odious Mr. Locke dispassionately tells her he believes her father Julian is dead, leaving January in Locke's dubious care, and January finds the book that opens the doors of her mind. And from that moment everything in her life changes.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January is more than a portal fantasy with a healthy overlay of magical realism. It's an anti-colonialism manifesto of sorts, and indictment of the marginalizing power that the wealthy have over those who are different, and how they can use that power and people for their own advantage. It's also an adventure story about friendship, and love and loyalty, and a story about good triumphing over evil that doesn't even seem to know it's evil in the first place. It's also a book-within-a-book story, just as there are worlds within worlds beyond Doors. Basically, it's wonderful and I hope everyone who loves fantasy gives it a whirl. It will not disappoint.
I received a paper and Kindle edition ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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