Top critical review
A slow Read
23 September 2014
The Stockholm Octavo is an eclectic mix of part historical fiction: part love story: part crime: part mystery and the occult.
The year is 1791, and the winds of revolution rage through the great capitals of Europe.
For Emil Larrson, the main character in this novel, life is almost perfect. A self-satisfied bureaucrat in the Office of Customs and Excise, 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 which she has had. A vision which will change Emil's life. A path that will lead him to love and connection. Mrs Sparrow asks Emil if he will allow her to lay an Octavo for him. This is a spread of eight cards which predicts the eight individuals who can help him realise this vision but he will need to find them.
Emil begins his search, intrigued by the puzzle of his Octavo and the good fortune Mrs. Sparrow's vision predicts. Then Mrs. Sparrow wins a mysterious folding fan in a card game, the Octavo's deeper powers are then revealed. For Emil it is no longer just a game of the heart; collecting his eight individuals as divulged in his reading, is now crucial to pulling his country back from the crumbling precipice of rebellion and chaos.
The Stockholm Octavo brings together a collection of characters, both fictional and historical, whose lives tangle in political conspiracy, love, and magic.
I found this novel interesting to begin with, then it became a little boring and was very slow. I did struggle to finish it and I guess to be honest the whole novel was somewhat disappointing, hence the reason I could only give it 3 Stars. Also, in my copy of the novel, the writing was ever so small, even with my glasses on I found it difficult to read..