The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak (EPUB)
From the acclaimed author of The Bastard of Istanbul, a colorful, magical tale set during the height of the Ottoman Empire
In her latest novel, Turkey’s preeminent female writer spins an epic tale spanning nearly a century in the life of the Ottoman Empire. In 1540, twelve-year-old Jahan arrives in Istanbul. As an animal tamer in the sultan’s menagerie, he looks after the exceptionally smart elephant Chota and befriends (and falls for) the sultan’s beautiful daughter, Princess Mihrimah. A palace education leads Jahan to Mimar Sinan, the empire’s chief architect, who takes Jahan under his wing as they construct (with Chota’s help) some of the most magnificent buildings in history. Yet even as they build Sinan’s triumphant masterpieces—the incredible Suleymaniye and Selimiye mosques—dangerous undercurrents begin to emerge, with jealousy erupting among Sinan’s four apprentices.
A memorable story of artistic freedom, creativity, and the clash between science and fundamentalism, Shafak’s intricate novel brims with vibrant characters, intriguing adventure, and the lavish backdrop of the Ottoman court, where love and loyalty are no match for raw power.
The Architect’s Apprentice is special. It has stunning writing that stretches how you see the world around you. It gets you thinking in new ways, comparing Eastern versus Western modes of reasoning.
I thought the book was going to end and then realized there were three hours left. There was much more to what had happened than I had realized! I came to understand I needed to know much more.
The Architect’s Apprentice
The feel, it captures the atmosphere, of Istanbul in the 1500s. A world that I don’t know but which felt real, intriguing and filled with magic. Magical in other words.
You end up with a delightful mix of fact and fiction. There is an author’s note at the end that specifies how and why the author has changed some of the historical facts. You are delivered an engaging story that captivates, intrigues and informs.