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, 12-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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I feel like I should like it more than I do
A lot but not much
This is a long book, it remind of a long TV series without much happening
You are watching Jahan's life from age 11-12 till he gets old
Everything that he goes through, and different things that happen in his life
It has a slow pace and it's realistic, but I didn't get a whole lot out of it
For someone like me who is from the east herself, I didn't find a lot of new information about the culture and way of life
Someone from the west or someone unfamiliar with the culture and lifestyle and history of the east and Turkey might enjoy this book a lot more than I did.