Book Review: The Tyrant’s Daughter

 Tyrant's Daughter


Title – The Tyrant’s Daughter  (Website, Goodreads, Amazon)

Author – J. C. Carleson (Website, Goodreads)

Published – February 11th 2014

Genre – Young Adult Fiction

Summary – Fifteen-year-old Laila, “king” brother, and mother are whisked away to hiding in America when Laila’s father, a ruler in the middle east, is assassinated. While her mother makes plans and deals with CIA agents and rebels to regain the throne, Laila has to adjust to America’s school and culture. When Laila discovers, via unfiltered internet, that her father may have been a dictator, she wonders how she can fix the wrongdoings her family has done.


Recently I read J. C. Carleson’s latest book, Placebo Junkies. In my review, I explained how, even though I was very intrigued by the summary, the book wasn’t the best. The characters kept blacking out due to the insane amount of drugs. Therefore, I felt like there wasn’t much meat to the story.

However, I did say that I would like to read another one of J. C. Carleson’s books. Her writing is great. Plus, she’s a former CIA agent and writes her stories based on her past experiences. I figured her stories HAVE GOT to be good!

Therefore, I picked up her second latest book, which brings us to The Tyrant’s Daughter.

This book is great!

J. C. Carleson does not blatantly say what Middle Eastern country Laila is from so the readers can only guess. But this is enough to get me thinking.

The Tyrant's Daughter

It is obvious that Laila would experience a culture shift when attending school here in America. I wish I could have gotten more information about how Laila lived previously, but I think J. C. Carleson wrote in the perfect amount of dissonance.  (Sometimes I am afraid a book would go too much into how privileged and free America is that the message basically gets diluted.) Carleson’s perspective of the cultural differences are distinct, easy to read, and will stick with the reader.

I enjoyed all of the characters too. Besides Laila’s mother and “king” brother, her best friend Emmy was always there for her. Ian, her boyfriend, was sweet and present just the right amount. There was also Amir, who is from Laila’s homeland and played such an important role without being overbearing. All characters were developed and added so much value.

I wouldn’t say that it was extremely eye opening and life altering. However, I think it can be a start.

Recommendations of further reading are included and I couldn’t be more grateful. I will definitely dig more into these resources. And if you have any suggestions for book like this one, leave it in the comments!

Last Words:

I liked this J. C. Carleson book better than the first one I read.

What do you think?

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