Illustrator(s)
Publication date
2019
Publisher
WSOY
Format info
400 pages

The Conman’s Apprentice

Huijarin oppipoika

A riveting prequel to The Illusionist & the Thief

The Conman’s Apprentice takes us to Krakow in 1824, where a young Professor Wiktor takes up a apprenticeship under the mysterious clocksmith Seweryn Król, after a explosion leaves him wheelchair bound.

Under Seweryn, Wiktor learns all sorts of new skills: not just mechanics, but also magic tricks and illusions. But although Wiktor is finally happy, he can’t seem to let go of his feelings for Zofia.

Seweryn and Wiktor embark upon a mission to fix the remnants of the mechanical man they salvaged from Wiktor’s accident, fixing him in their workshop and ultimately naming him Tom. The duo vow to keep Tom’s existence secret.

But Seweryn’s old rival has other ideas and it’s not long before the clockmaker’s past catches up with him. Soon Wiktor is drawn into the increasingly complicated situation too. Will Seweryn and Wiktor come out of it unscathed? Will they manage to keep their mechanical man a secret? And will Wiktor ever be able to stop thinking about Zofia?

Schedule

The Illusionist and the Thief, 2018
The Conman’s Apprentice, 2019
The Masters of Illusion, due in March 2020

Format

411pp

Reading materials

English synopsis
Finnish edition

Praise

“A compelling story that merges many different eras in a truly fascinating way. Believable characters face difficult choices, and the reader feels the tension alongside them: will these characters dare to make their own decisions, or will they bow to societal pressure and conform to prejudices? Alongside its adventurous plot, this novel tackles themes including finding your own path in life; the opportunities afforded by, and the dangers presented by, technology; and the power of friendship.” – Announcement of the Finlandia Junior Prize Jury, 2019

Reviews

“Finnish steampunk-literature is still quite young; it’s a genre with only a few books. Anniina Mikama’s… trilogy is therefore very welcome. The Conman’s Apprentice, which has been nominated for the Finlandia Junior Prize for the Best Childrens & Young Adult title, comes after The Illusionist & the Thief. Instead of being a sequel, it’s a prequel to the previous book, in which we jump back from 1800s Helsinki to the year 1829 in Krakow…

“Mikama is a smooth storyteller and the entire book feels light-hearted and fun, even when it deals with more difficult topics.” – Helsingin Sanomat 

The Conman’s Apprentice dazzled me. Anniina Mikama is great news for Finland specifically and for literature as a whole. I hope these books will be read both in Finland and abroad. It’s downright genius to write a trilogy like this, in which the first and second books can be read in any order.” Kirsin kirjanurkka

As magical as The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Caraval by Stephanie Garber.” Unelmien Aika

“You cannot put the book down, and reading it is pure delight”.  – Siniset helmet

“The way this book combines many genres gives way to story about love, abolition and truth. The novel itself is like a subtle clock illusion or a magic trick – although there is less magic in this book than in the trilogy’s first. It’s hard to even imagine which spheres the final book will take this story into.” – Hämeen Sanomat newspaper 

Prizes and nominations

Nominated for the Finlandia Junior Prize (for the best C&YA title), 2019