The Adventurer

The Adventurer

The Adventurer (in the USA) or Michael The Finn (in the UK) (Original title "Mikael Karvajalka") by Mika Waltari is a 1948 fictional tale of young Finnish man, Mikael Karvajalka ("Hairy-foot"), set in 16th century medieval Europe. The main character Mikael is shown as an intellectual but rather naive person, starting his life as an orphan bastard who pursues a better social status with help of friendly people and by means of theological studies, but ends up drifting along through historical events across Europe rather than being able to steer his life himself.

The Adventurer was translated into English by Naomi Walford but has since gone out of print.

Plot summary

The book begins in the city of Turku and follows Mikael along an adventure throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. The book depicts many actual historical events with a rich style, although Mikael's involvement in the events is fictitious. The historical events and millieus featured in the book include:

*Denmark's conquest of Sweden, Stockholm bloodbath and eventually the downfall of king Christian II of Denmark.

* Student life at the Sorbonne in Paris at this time.

*Protestant reformation and related peasants' war in Germany, Luther and Müntzer themselves appearing as side characters.

*Spanish monarch sending conquistadors to New World, Mikael almost made to join Pizarro's expedition.

* A Witch-hunt conducted by the Inquisition in a small German town, claiming the life of an innocent girl.

*Wars in 16th century Europe and expansion of Ottoman empire.

*Plundering of Rome (Sacco di Roma) during reign of Pope Clement VII

The first half of the book is of Mikael Karvajalka's tale and the second half is The Wanderer (original title "Mikael Hakim"), by the same author.


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