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Indie Next ListNovember 2012
Emil Larsson, a mid-level bureaucrat in late 18th century Stockholm, is drawn into a web of intrigue and magic when Mrs. Sparrow, the proprietress of his favorite gambling den, insists on reading his cards because he is a 'Seeker' who must find his 'Eight' to ensure a positive outcome in an event of historical importance. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this sumptuous novel and appreciate the expertly explored Scandinavian setting. -- Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY
Life is close to perfect for Emil Larsson, a self-satisfied bureaucrat in the Office of Customs and Excise in 1791 Stockholm. He is a true man of the Towna drinker, card player, and contented bacheloruntil one evening when Mrs. Sofia Sparrow, a fortune-teller and proprietor of an exclusive gaming parlor, shares with him a vision she has had: a golden path that will lead him to love and connection. She lays an Octavo for him, a spread of eight cards that augur the eight individuals who can help him realize this visionif he can find them.
Emil begins his search, intrigued by the puzzle of his Octavo and the good fortune Mrs. Sparrow's vision portends. But when Mrs. Sparrow wins a mysterious folding fan in a card game, the Octavo's deeper powers are revealed. For Emil it is no longer just a game of the heart; collecting his eight is now crucial to pulling his country back from the crumbling precipice of rebellion and chaos. Set against the luminous backdrop of late eighteenth-century Stockholm, as the winds of revolution rage through the great capitals of Europe, The Stockholm Octavo brings together a collection of characters, both fictional and historical, whose lives tangle in political conspiracy, love, and magic in a breathtaking debut that will leave you spellbound.
About the Author
KAREN ENGELMANN lived and worked in Sweden for eight years. She has an MFA from Goddard College in Vermont. She currently lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York.
Praise for The Stockholm Octavo…
“Delicious…the essence of witty intelligence. Readers will delight [in] every element in this Swedish weave, from the brutal winter weather to the unfurling of a lady’s fan. The plot is an urgent one, and the characters mysterious, appealing, and memorable….I felt a real kinship with author Karen Engelmann.”