In 18th-century Sweden, Emil Larsson is a self-satisfied bureaucrat in the Office of Customs and Excise—until the fortune-teller Mrs. Sofia Sparrow shares with him a vision she has had of a golden path that will lead Emil to love and connection, in this debut novel by Karen Engelmann. Sofia lays an Octavo for him, a spread of eight cards that augur the eight individuals who can help him realize this vision. But as Emil eagerly searches for his eight, he comes to the startling realization that finding them is no longer just a game of the heart, but crucial to pulling his country back from rebellion and chaos.
"Neatly mixing revolutionary politics with the erotic tension and cutthroat rivalry of the female conspirators ... Engelmann has crafted a magnificent, suspenseful story set against the vibrant society of Sweden’s zenith, with a cast of colorful characters balanced at a crux of history."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)