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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By nyog on 04-19-17
I feel like I should like it more than I do
This book takes on a fascinating period and geographical area about which I knew very little. And my feelings about the book are mixed. I am writing this review a few weeks after finishing the book. Many scenes are still gripping, and the sense of learning about a new world still strong. But I simply didn't fall enough in love with the characters. And the solution to the ongoing mystery-which I will of course not ruin for you--simply fell short. I didn't believe the motivations provided.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Mary on 01-20-18
Good story, Narrator needs practice
What did you love best about The Architect's Apprentice?
Resonates nicely with historical works on this period and region.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Architect's Apprentice?
revelation of the identity of one of the apprentices
What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?
Narrator sounds almost foreign which adds a nice flavor, but i found myself mentally correcting so many of his mispronunciations of the foreign words. He needs practice.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Any additional comments?
Very nice story. Would look for more from this author