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Mika Waltari Books In Order

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Publication Order of Mikael Karvajalka Books

The Adventurer (1948)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wanderer / The Sultan's Renegade (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Secret Of The Kingdom Books

The Secret of the Kingdom (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Roman (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Egyptian (1945)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Nail Merchant at Nightfall (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Stranger Came to the Farm (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Etruscan (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dark Angel (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Publication Order of Collections

Moonscape and Other Stories (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Tree of Dreams and Other Stories (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Truth About the Schley Case (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Mika Waltari
Mika Waltari was born on September 19, 1908 in Helsinki, Finland. His parents were Olga Johansson and Toimi Waltari; Toimi was a Lutheran pastor at one time, teaching religion in Porvoo, and Olga was a pupil of his. When Mika was just five years old, he lost his dad suddenly to illness on July 5, 1914, and his 25 year old mom was left, with some vital support from Toimi’s brother Toivo, to support her three kids: Samuli, Mika, and Erkki.

While just a boy, Mika witnessed the Finnish Civil War, during this his White-sided family fled to the home of his mom’s aunt at Laukkoski in Pornainen, near Porvoo, which was relatively peaceful and it was where the Whites were predominant.

He enrolled later at the University of Helsinki as a theology student, according to the wishes of his uncle Toivo, however he quickly abandoned theology in favor of literature, philosophy, and aesthetics, and graduated in 1929. As he studied, he contributed to various magazines and wrote stories and poetry, getting his very first book “Jumalaa paossa” published in the year 1925. The book was a success, and sold 3,000 copies despite just being 72 pages in length.

He went to Paris in 1927 where he wrote his first major novel “The Grand Illusion”, which was a story of bohemian life. Stylistically, it is considered to be the Finnish equivalent to the works of the American writers of the Lost Generation. The book was a surprise hit and sold 8,000 copies and made Mika a famous author.

He married Marjatta Luukkonen on March 8, 1931, whom he met during his military service the year prior, and they had a daughter in January of 1932, named Satu, who also became a writer.

During the 30s and 40s, Mika worked as a critic and a journalist, writing for various magazines and newspapers, traveling widely throughout Europe. He directed the magazine Suomen Kuvalehti.

At the same time, he continued writing books in many genres, jumping from one literary field to another with ease. He had a very busy schedule along with a strict work ethic. Mika also suffered from manic-depressive psychosis and would become depressed after finishing a book, sometimes to the point of needing to be hospitalized; it was during his manic phases that he did his writing. Mika would participate in literary competitions, often succeeding, in order to prove the quality of his work to the critics.

It was in one such competition that gave rise to Inspector Palmu, one of his most popular characters and a gruff detective working for the Helsinki police department, and was the star of three mystery novels. All three of which were filmed, with a fourth movie being made without any involvement from Mika.

During the Winter War and the Continuation War, Mika worked in the government information center, now also putting his literary abilities at the service of political propaganda. He became more cynical while realizing the prevalence of historical half-truths shaped by propaganda, which would later be a recurrent theme in his historical books.

Even though he saw USSR Communism as dangerous, he was still attracted to the National Socialist theories about a new man. He visited Germany in 1939 and penned a mainly favorable article titled “Unknown Germany”. In 1942 he and six other Finnish authors visited Germany to go to the Congress of the European Writers’ Union in Weimar and penned even more favorable coverage.

However a story goes that he, as he was a bit drunk, refused the pocket money that was brought by their ‘attentive and patient German hosts’ to their hotel and he tore it in half and tossed it out the window.

The year 1945 saw Mika’s first and most successful historical novel, “The Egyptian”, getting released. Its theme of the corruption of humanist values in a materialist world seemed to be curiously topical in the aftermath of World War II. The novel became an international bestseller, and would later serve as the basis of the 1954 American movie of the same name.

During his later years, he wrote less and less. Which is partly due to the enormous fees that he got from the foreign editions of “The Egyptian” as well as his other novels, which allowed him to be able to stop “writing to live”.

He died at the age of 70 on August 26, 1979 in Helsinki, the year after Marjatta, his wife, died.

“The Adventurer” is the first novel in the “Mikael Karvajalka” series and was released in 1948. The early 16th century in a story of love, faith and tragedy. Starting in Finland, where our hero’s born, we’re introduced to Michael Furfoot, a scholar that has hopes of becoming a church prelate. His dream of ordination takes him to the famed University of Paris and all its intrigues. Running out of money, he’s forced to abandon his studies to be a mercenary soldier, a choice that’ll bring him into contact with some of the greatest intellects and leaders of the age.

From Stockholm to Rome, he’s plunged into an amazing adventure after another in a search for money, love, and ultimately revenge. Along the way he winds up crossing paths with Erasmus, Heinrich Pfeiffer, Pope Clement VII, Martin Luther, Thomas Muntzer, and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. listen while the Protestant Reformation explodes all across Europe, consuming nations, empires, and whole entire populations. This is a conflagration which burns itself out in smoking ruins in 1527, during the Siege of Rome.

“The Secret of the Kingdom” is the first novel in the “Manilianus Duology” and was released in 1959. A tremendous novel of the forty days after Christ rose from the dead.

Mika’s famous novel describes the Biblical events that took place between Easter and the Pentecost. Macus Mezentius Manilianus, who is a wealthy and learned Roman, travels in the Orient and shows up in Jerusalem the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. This marks the departure point on a quest that has a lot of questions. Who was this king who died on that cross? What is the secret of his kingdom?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Mika Waltari

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