The Art of Foretelling and the Web of Intrigue in The Stockholm Octavo

The Stockholm OctavoThe Octavo is a powerful form of divination which can be used to change the world, and the seekers who use the Octavo to foretell a significant event can experience great success or complete ruin. In Octavo, eight cards-the companion, the prisoner, the teacher, the courier, the trickster, the magpie, the prize, and the key- represent the people that will influence that future event and surrounded by those cards is the seeker. An Octavo is about to begin for an up-and-coming young man, Emil Larsson who suddenly finds that he must marry.

Larrson is clever and quick with his hands which makes him a formidable opponent in cards. His ability with the cards had not gone unnoticed by the owner of popular gaming rooms, Mrs. Sparrow, who enlisted him as her card playing partner. More went on in the gaming rooms than just cards because Mrs. Sparrow was the seer to the King. Many of the powerful gathered there to play the especially dangerous game of politics since the world at that time was in the midst of revolution and change.

Set in Sweden in the early 1790’s right before the assassination of the King of Sweden and during the French Revolution, The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann is like a song sung in the round that has multiple story lines that are interconnected which create a wonderful melody that has love, intrigue, danger, revolution and regicide.


Christina Callison has been blogging about books for the library’s website since 2006. She has read hundreds of books that include mysteries, fantasies, horror, thrillers, non-fiction, general fiction, and some science fiction. She continues with her goal of finding new books and authors to recommend.