I was attracted to this book because of the utterly gorgeous cover and I loved the sound of the 'doorways to other worlds' plot.
The story starts in the early 20th century. January Scaller is the ward of the super-wealthy Mr Locke. Although his servants and friends sometimes sneer, Mr Locke is kind and courteous to her (provided she does as she is told!) and January lives a privileged life in his huge mansion filled with precious artefacts. As the years pass, January realises her life in a gilded cage, devoid of free will, isn't so great. And that Mr Locke views her in much the same way as the rest of his collection. She takes refuge in a strange old book, about a girl who discovers a doorway to another world, but what if that doorway was real?
The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a rollicking adventure story that I didn't want to put down. It's a story-within-a-story, a tale of magic realism set in the late 19th century and early 20th century. It reminded me of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, especially The Subtle Knife, with it's strong female characters and moving between worlds. Whereas His Dark Materials dealt with the use of religion to oppress, this story discusses racism and segregation.
I fell in love with this book and its brilliant characters, and I really didn't want it to end. Thoroughly recommended. My favourite read this year!
Thank you to Alix E. Harrow and Orbit (Little, Brown Book Group UK) for my copy of this book, which I requested via NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.