Book Review: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
“I was out the door and down the back stairs before I’d had time for anything so mundane as conscious thought.”
Entertaining historical fantasy set in the turn of the century (nineteenth to twentieth) by this world’s reckoning. Excellent inner voice of young female protagonist. Many a good turn of phrase.
“It’s much easier to break the rules of reality when you don’t know exactly what they are.”
Plotting starts in the middle and expands naturally outward. Nobody gets a break; whenever things seem to be settling into a comfortable pattern, Harrow tosses a sabot into the loom.
“… the desperation of an old man who understands that time is a precious and finite thing, beating away like a second hand in my chest.
Few quibbles. “Silver coin-knife” Silver is much harder than gold, such that forming the weapon/tool described with the materials described would take much, much longer.
“I intend, after all, to spend the rest of my life diving in and out of the wild in-between—finding the thin, overlooked places that connect worlds, following the trail of locked Doors the Society left behind and writing them back open. Letting all the dangerous, beautiful madness flow freely between worlds again.”
That January succeeds is demonstrated by the dissolution of the proud, orderly civilizations of her days into the chaos and horror of the Great War and worldwide pandemic. Good job. (Wink)
“A dividing point between here and there, us and them, mundane and magical. It is at the moments when the doors open, when things flow between the worlds, that stories happen.”