Mika Waltari
Publication date
Format info
780 pages

The Adventurer

Mikael Karvajalka

A breathtaking tale of adventure, romance and intrigue

Set in 16th century medieval Europe, The Adventurer tells the storm of Mikael the Finn, who starts his life as a bastard child and relentlessly tries to pursue a better social status. Ultimately, however, Mikael ends up drifting through Europe, rather than being able to steer the course of his own life.

When he becomes an aide to the King of Denmark and betrays his people, Mikael is forced to flee Finland. His travels lead him across the Mediterranean, where he witnesses Denmark’s conquest of Sweden, Protestant reformation and a witch-hunt in Germany, the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in Hungary, and the Sack of Rome during the reign of Pope Clement VII.

Mikael the Finn and Andy, his dim but loyal sidekick, lie, steal and drink their way across Europe, narrowly avoiding numerous scrapes and dangerous. Featuring historical figures including Paracelsus, Martin Luther, and Thomas Muentzer, The Adventurer is a truly compelling historical novel that is filled with suspense, humour and irony.

 The Adventurer was published under the title Mikael the Finn in the UK.

Mika Waltari (1908-1979) is the most popular 20th century Finnish writer who is best known for his magnus opus The Egyptian. Over a career that spanned five decades, Waltari published well over 100 works, of which 200 translations have been made. His works include at least 30 novels, 20 plays and 15 novellas, as well as short stories, poems, screenplays and essays. In 1957 he was appointed to the Academy of Finland, having previously won the state literature award five times. Waltari’s works have been translated into over 40 languages.


The Adventurer, 1948
The Wanderer, 1949


Finnish PDF
German translation

Rights sold

Croatian (A3DATA 1999)
Czech (Hejkal 2002)
Danish (Sesam 1982 / Kbh 1950 / Odense 1984)
Dutch (Van Holkema & Warendorf N. v. 1952)
English (G. P. Putnam’s Sons 1950 / PocketBooks 1965)
Estonian (Orto 1957 / Varrak 2018)
German (Neff Paul Verlag 1992 / Kuebler Verlag 2012)
Greek (Cactus 1989), rights reverted
Farsi (Dunyā-yi Kitāb 1995)
French (Olivier Orban 1984 / Les Jardin des Livres 2004), rights reverted
Hebrew (M Mizrahi 1966)
Hungarian (Europa 1966), rights reverted
Icelandic (Bókaforlag Odds Björnssonar 1956)
Italian (Garzanti 1955)
Lithuanian (Tyto Alba 2003), rights reverted
Norwegian (Bergendahl 1950)
Polish (ISKRY 1964 / Ksiaznica 1999), rights reverted
Portuguese (Merito 1952)
Romanian (Polirom 2005), rights reverted
Russian (Eksmo 1996)
Slovakian (Ikar 2002), rights reverted
Spanish (EditOra Merita S. A. 1952 / Exito 1963 / Plaza & Janes 1976 / Edhasa 1998 / Edhasa 2005)
Swedish (Wahlström & Widstrand 1943)


“It’s a masterpiece. Gripping prose, plenty of interesting historical detail, great character development, quirky humour, travel across… Europe, thrilling battle scenes… Even the main character’s financial troubles are presented in an interesting fashion. However, the best part may be the endless philosophical, ethical, and theological dilemmas that Mikael faces during his journeys. I’ll start the sequel right away!” – Goodreads reviewer