Elif Shafak is my newly found love, all her books that I have read so far (3 in total) are my everything. Remember the last time I blogged about her book ? I was emotionally wrecked. The Architect's Apprentice almost hurt me emotionally, at points because Shafak's words are harsh, painful and beautiful at the same time, but it also taught me stuff which matters. Really matters.
The story is about an Anatolian boy Jahan, who firstly entered the city as a mahout with his elephant Chota, pretending to be an indian. Things change, he falls in love with Sultan's daughter Mihrimah, comes across the Royal Chief Architect Sinan and becomes his apprentice. It's Jahan's journey in Ottomen empire era and tells stories of the city of Istanbul, the battles they fought and the buildings they raised. It's beautiful, heart breaking and historically rich.
I should let you know that this book isn't everything perfect, the other reviews that I had read before pointed out to many plot holes and Jahan's character. But the point is, I felt the story, I explored the Istanbul again, this time back in 16th centuary. I've said it before that Istanbul and Karachi sound same to me and I wish I could get to read about Karachi the same way Shafak tells about Istanbul. Both of the cities are connected to the ocean and to my heart.
There's a part where the Sultan Suleiman told Jahan to pray for the dead soliders of enemy army.
"This man who had, throughout the forty-six years of his rule, relentlessly fought one war after another; who had ordered his brightest Grand Vizier and perhaps his only best friend to be killed; who had watched his oldest son being strangled, cused notherson to die of sorrow and arranged for a third to be murdered far away in Iran; who had made himself the strongest of all the Ottoman sultans - this man had just said, in a field of dandelions and death, that in the end there was no difference between the solider inside and the solider outside the enemy stronghold, the Christian and the Muslim, leaving Jahan with a riddle that he would not solve for many years to come.
This is the thing about power, it's ugly and the wonderful thing. Ottomen empire was no different than the Mughal empire, the politically ruined, busy in their own power, leaving all values behind and using Religion to make or destroy the peace of the states and building gloirous buildings for dead people. This is what I hate most in the history, magnificient buildings for dead people and people, poor people, who were alive lived worse than the deads.
I love how the book portrayed how things worked in the biggest and most glorious empire worked, long with its dark and unfair features or the secrets everyone knew and still didn't talk about it.
Also, Istanbul had caged Jahan.
If it werent for the love of Mihrimah and his loyalty to Sinan, he would have abndoned this city of broken bricks and burned wood.
There are gypsies in the stories who came to save Jahan's life more than once, the gypsies who were portrayed as jinxed back in time became Jahan's anchor. I love that part.
If you don't know what to do with the answer, don't ask the question.
-The gypsy Cheif Balaban
Thank you I LOVE YA ELIF SHAFAK!
Have you read any of her books?
Have you read any of her books?