THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW 12.7.12
“[A] deliciously sly first novel...The Stockholm Octavo is an irresistible cipher between two covers—an atmospheric tale of many rogues and a few innocents gambling on politics and romance in the cold, cruel north.”
WASHINGTON POST 12.4.12
“A full deck of piquant pleasures...elegant and precarious... Engelmann captures the lost enterprises and values of another time, the weird customs that strike us as alien and foolish. . . . [and] craftily unfolds her fictional story pleat by pleat within the real history of 1792.”
MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE 11.17.12
"This is a brilliant novel of overlapping plots and intersecting characters. Here divination and the Divine Geometry intersect with the fate of a nation, and a faceless government official aligns himself with a clairvoyant, a cross-dressing calligrapher, a shrewd apothecary, a clueless fop, an evil temptress and a tenderhearted artist. The result is a pleasurable read and an impressive debut."
PORTSMOUTH HERALD 12.09.12
“Dangerous Liaisons meets Charles Dickens. . . Intrigue, lust, poisonous potions, murder, missed opportunities, misunderstandings, artisan French fans, cards —all combine deftly and, sometimes comically, to create a royal drama and a reading romp through the streets and back rooms of Stockholm. . .
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY 5.14.12
LIBRARY JOURNAL 6.1.12
"Mysterious, suspenseful, and, at times, action-packed, Engelmann’s masterful tale brings to mind the work of Katherine Neville (The Eight, 1988), Elizabeth Kostova (The Historian, 2005), and Félix J. Palma (The Map of Time, 2011)."
"Is this historical, or is it fiction? The answer—the ace up Karen Engelmann’s sleeve—is yes."
O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE 11.12
"Who knew 18th century Sweden could be
so much fun? Karen Engelmann's debut novel,
The Stockholm Octavo is a juicy page-turner… Engelmann's intellectually playful take on the mathematics of love and power prove irresistible."
KIRKUS REVIEWS 9.15.12
"Elegant and multifaceted, Engelmann’s debut explores love and connection in late-18th-century Sweden and delivers an unusual, richly-imagined read."
"Karen Engelmann’s “The Stockholm Octavo” is a bonbon box filled with treats designed to appeal to lovers of literary historical thrillers."
THE GUARDIAN, LONDON 9.28.12
"This is a swirling, swooping fanfare of a tale,
with an immense cast and an exhilaratingly sustained finale."
WE LOVE THIS BOOK 9.13.12
(The Bookseller, London)
"This is a triumphant debut novel from Karen Engelmann. There are many characters to keep up with but each of them is richly woven, interesting and wonderfully vivid. … This novel is a wonderfully entertaining foray into a magical underworld lying beneath the grand facade of 18th century Sweden. Engelmann’s enchanting writing brings it to life."
SHELF AWARENESS 10.16.12
"The Stockholm Octavo, Karen Engelmann's impressive debut, is as marvelously and intricately constructed as the mysterious form of divination it's named for. … A true pleasure from beginning to satisfying end, The Stockholm Octavo will delight not only historical fiction fans but also readers
with a taste for political intrigue — aided by the mysterious powers of cartomancy."
SIR READ-A-LOT (Stuart MacAllister)
Golden Hammer & Anvil Sheild Award
2012 Historical Fiction Book of the Year
"Karen Englemann has created a work of art with this wonderfully written story. … I award "The Stockholm Octavo" 5 Crosses and bestow Karen Englemann with the Golden Hammer and Anvil Shield for producing a perfect book and for reminding me, once again, why real books can never be replaced."
THE DAILY MAIL, LONDON 9.13.12
"Karen Engelmann’s unusual, if occassionally hard to follow, debut novel will keep you on your toes."
"If you like novels that work on many levels at once, read this stunning tessellation of a book, where fortune is the flip side of intrigue and where history is the flip side of chance.”
— Charlotte Rogan
New York Times bestselling author of THE LIFEBOAT
"A delicious page-turner that brings 18th century Stockholm to vivid life, complete with scandal, conspiracy, mystery, and a hint of magic. Karen Engelmann’s spectacular debut drew me in with its fascinating characters, who share their secrets of cartomancy, apothecaries, and the power of a well-fluttered fan. A captivating tale, beautifully told."
— Eleanor Brown
New York Times bestselling author of THE WEIRD SISTERS
"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."
— Sena Jeter Naslund
New York Times bestselling author
of AHAB'S WIFE
and ABUNDANCE, A NOVEL OF MARIE ANTOINETTE