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November 2012 Indie Next List
“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
For fans of Patrick Suskind's classic Perfume comes a dazzling debut set during Stockholm's opulent golden age and brilliantly interweaving history, romance, and intrigue--a story in which one man's fortune holds the key to a nation's precarious fate. 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 proprietress 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 vision--if 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 tale that will leave you spellbound.