The Architect's Apprentice

The Architect's Apprentice


A colorful, magical tale set during the height of the Ottoman Empire, from the acclaimed author of The Island of Missing Trees (a Reese's Book Club Pick)

Chosen for Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall’s “Reading Room” Book Club

In this 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.


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Book details

  • Paperback
  • 432 pages
  • English
  • 0143108301
  • 9780143108306

About Elif Shafak

elif shafak is an award-winning british-turkish novelist and the most widely read female author in turkey. she writes in both turkish and english, and has Read More about Elif Shafak
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