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 Town--a drinker, card player, and contented bachelor--until 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....
|Title||:||The Stockholm Octavo|
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||433 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Download » The Stockholm Octavo|
The Stockholm Octavo Reviews
Fabulous historical fiction taking place in Sweden in the late 1700s (around the time of the French Revolution). Though I thought I could see where the story was going very early on (& I was worried it might not be too engrossing if I could already see big plot points), I was pleasantly surprised as the novel took some unexpected turns, taught me about various topics (some Swedish history, the history of fans, etc...), & kept me enthralled until the end. Definitely recommended, especiall ...more
Love and connection...
This beautifully written novel hides its dark heart under a multi-layered confection of sweet scents, glowing colours and dazzling displays of the art of attraction. Our hero, Emil Larsson, is ordered by his superior in the Customs Office to marry and is guided in his quest for love and connection by his friend Mrs Sparrow, cardsharper and mystic. It is she who lays the Octavo, a form of divination based on cards, sending the seeker to look for the eight people who will inf ...more
Why am I only reading books related to the French Revolution? This will be my third of the year, and the third book I've read this year. Okay, enough of that, on to actual reviewing.
Firstly, I'd admit that the cover and the title almost simultaneously grabbed my attention and interest. I have a thing for tarot for some reason, and I have a thing for Stockholm because I'm nearly half Swedish. Then I read the description for the book, and I was even more on board than before. I'm a huge Gustav III ...more
On the outset, this seemed to be a book tailored for divination + mystery buffs like me. And historical fiction has always held its charm for me as I'm quite fond of ye olde days settings involving historical figures that add a layer of realism to a fantastical backdrop of a time long gone by.
Alas, the offerings fell short in this book, although it began very promisingly. The Stockholm Octavo narrates the adventures of a certain Emil Larsson, a sekretaire in 1791 Stockholm, in finding the 8 infl ...more
Fans and cards, prophecy and history mingle in the tale of Emil Larsson and his pursuit of a future predicted for him by the enigmatic Mrs Sparrow. An interesting and original story, though far from flawless, and more like 3 and a half stars than 4.
I enjoyed the story. I loved the cards, the prophecy, the location – 18th century Stockholm is certainly an unusual setting for a novel, and adds greatly to its strangeness and charm. The history – which was all new to me – was never dull. The large ...more
An adept debut novel that succeeds where so many from the Big House publishers fail: world building. A refreshing look at the French Revolution from the vantage of a different country, with bonus interest from including tarot and the art of womens' fans in the plot.
Engelmann's prose is smooth while never suffocating nor is it cloying or overblown. The atmosphere of late 18th century Stockholm is vivid and engaging. Characters interact in ways true to their time and their idiosyncrasies, with som ...more
To all my St Paul and AHS friends especially... Karen Engelmann is a family friend. She attended the same grade school and high school as I did and is a friend of my brother. The story is very unique and the characters are entertaining. I was very impressed with the historical events that were intertwined with the fictional story. It was fun to read a book by an author I know and I look forward to Karen's next book.
As someone who enjoys historical fiction, I thought I would really enjoy this book and the great reviews, both editorial and reader ones reinforced that belief. However, I wound up being quite disappointed. For one thing, with so very many characters populating the book with almost equal emphasis, I found that I wasn't really getting to know any of them and the only one I really cared about, The uzanne, was in hoping that she would get the comeuppance she deserved before the novel ended. A custo ...more