Now in paperback!
A page turning historical novel set in Stockholm’s Golden Age of the late 18th Century.
‘a swirling, swooping fanfare of a tale’ Guardian
Its finale would be unforgettable, but most everyone missed the beginning of the end. This was not so surprising; people expected violence served up with a revolution – America, Holland and France being freshly carved examples. But that February night when our own quiet revolution began, The Town was calm, the streets nearly deserted, and I was playing cards at Mrs Sparrow’s…
Emil Larsson is a drinker, card player and contented bachelor until he is told that his position at the Office of Excise and Customs depends on his settling down and finding a wife. Mrs Sparrow, proprietor of an exclusive gaming house, fortune teller (and confidante of King Gustav III) offers to lay an Octavo for him – a form of cartomancy which can divine his future if he can find the eight individuals who can help him realise his vision.
When Mrs Sparrow wins a mysterious fan in her card game, the Octavo’s deeper powers are revealed. No longer just a game of the heart, collecting his Eight is now crucial to pulling his country back from the brink of rebellion and chaos.
“As delicious as dark chocolate, The Stockholm Octavo is the essence of witty intelligence. Readers will delight in staying up half the night enchanted by 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. Not only a romp, the wisdom of The Stockholm Octavo engages the reader’s attention and inspires the desire for personal growth and connection with our fellow travelers. I felt a real kinship with author Karen Engelmann.”
—Sena Jeter Naslund, New York Times bestselling author of Ahab’s Wife
Karen Engelmann was born and raised in the American Midwest, then moved to Sweden after completing university studies in drawing and design. The city of Malmö was home base for eight years, but she now lives just north of New York City with her husband and two daughters. The Stockholm Octavo is her first novel.
Find out more about the world of the Octavo online: