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May 25, 2022

The Tyrant's Daughter by J. C. Carleson ~ a Review

by Donna Huber


The library system recently changed its policy and now I can get audiobooks from any library in the state. That's great news for me because it will allow me to catch up on some of my older Netgalley titles. The Tyrant's Daughter by J. C. Carleson is one of those titles.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of young adult novel The Tyrant's Daughter by J. C. Carleson
January 2014; Alfred A. Knopf; 978-0449809976
audio, ebook, print (304 pages); young adult

Do you have a voracious teenage reader? Now that summer is here they have even more time for reading, you might be a bit panicked. One great way to keep your teen reading this summer without blowing the book budget is to read older titles from the library. Here is one young adult title that you might want to point out to your teen this summer.

The Tyrant's Daughter was published in 2014 but it is still a timely novel. The protagonist is a teenage girl but the novel doesn't feel all that young adult. The story wouldn't work as well with an older main character.

Laila, with her younger brother and mother, has fled her middle-eastern country after her father, who was the country's ruler, has been murdered. Her uncle has taken over the country and the CIA has made it possible for her family to escape. Now in the US, she is faced with navigating a new culture but what is more shocking for her is the truth she learns about her father and country.

The chapters are short and direct, but the story doesn't feel choppy. Laila is a great protagonist. She has lived a privileged life yet it was also a very controlled life. Fifteen is often the age that teens really start to figure out who they are, what they believe, who they want to be. Laila is doing all of that but on a much more complex level given her past and current situation. She lives between two worlds - there (home in the middle east) and here (a Washington, DC suburb). Who will she decide she is?

A number of social and political issues are addressed in a nonthreatening manner in this book. It would be a great book to read at the same time as your teen so that you can discuss some of the issues.

Don't have a teen? That's okay. I don't have a teenage kid but I thoroughly enjoyed the book. 

Buy The Tyrant's Daughter at Amazon



Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.



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