Welcome to June 2019 everyone! For this month we are traveling back in time to 1540 during the Ottoman Empire with a young 12 year old Jahan who has just arrived in Istanbul. We follow his journey as an animal tamer in the sultan’s menagerie, where he looks after and attends to the highly intelligent elephant Chota. While he works as the tamer, young Jahan befriends and eventually falls for the sultan’s daughter, the beautiful Princess Mihrimah.
Throughout the story Jahan has been taken under Mimar Sinan, the empire‘s chief architect, and begin constructing some of the most intriguing an magnificent buildings in history. But as they build the masterpieces, including Suleymaniye, dangerous undercurrents emerge with jealousy strutting amongst the four apprentices of Sinan.
This is considered to be one of Elif Shafak’s most famous novels that dives into the rich culture of the Persian culture, all the while bringing government corruption to light from the modern times through the ancient world.