The Architects Apprentice
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Author: Elif Shafak
'Tell me. What would be the right gift to send to a man who has everything?' 'An elephant, my Lord. The biggest animal on the land.' Sixteenth century Istanbul: a young stowaway arrives in the city bearing an extraordinary gift for the Sultan. The boy has no wordly possessions to his name except Chota, a rare and valuable white elephant destined for the palace menagerie. So begins an epic adventure that will see young Jahan rise from his lowly origins to the highest ranks of the Sultan's court. Along the way he will meet deceitful courtiers and false friends, gypsies, animal tamers, and the beautiful, mischievous Princess Mihrimah. He will journey on Chota's back to the furthest corners of the Sultan's kingdom and back again. And one day he will catch the eye of the royal architect, Sinan, a chance encounter destined to change Jahan's fortunes forever. Filled with the scents, sounds and sights of the Ottoman Empire, when Istanbul was the teeming centre of civilisation, The Architect's Apprentice is a magical, sweeping tale of one boy and his elephant caught up in a world of wonder and danger. About the Author Elif Shafak is Turkey's most-read woman writer and an award-winning novelist. She writes in both English and Turkish, and has published 13 books, nine of which are novels, including: The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Love, Honour and her nonfiction memoir Black Milk . Her books have been translated into more than 40 languages. Shafak blends Western and Eastern traditions of storytelling, bringing out the voices of women, minorities, subcultures, immigrants and global souls. Defying cliches and transcending boundaries her works draws on different cultures and cities, and reflects a strong interest in history, philosophy, culture, mysticism, Sufism and gender equality. Her books have been translated into more than forty languages. Shafak is also a political scientist and has taught at various universities in the USA, UK and Turkey. She has written for several international daily & weekly publications, including The Guardian, The New York Times, The Independent and The World Post/Huffington Post. She was born in Strasbourg, France, in 1971. She is married with two kids and divides her time between London and Istanbul.