Review ~ The Tyrant’s Daughter

The Tyrants Daughter

Title: The Tyrant’s Daughter

Author: J. C. Carleson

Publisher: Random House Children’s

Release Date: Feb. 11, 2014

Genre: YA / Contemporary / Fiction

Book Description

From a former CIA officer comes the riveting account of a royal Middle Eastern family exiled to the American suburbs. “Every American should read this book. It’s an eye-opener.”—Suzanne Fisher Staples, Newbery Honor-winning author of Shabanu

When her father is killed in a coup, 15-year-old Laila flees from the war-torn middle east to a life of exile and anonymity in the U.S. Gradually she adjusts to a new school, new friends, and a new culture, but while Laila sees opportunity in her new life, her mother is focused on the past. She’s conspiring with CIA operatives and rebel factions to regain the throne their family lost. Laila can’t bear to stand still as an international crisis takes shape around her, but how can one girl stop a conflict that spans generations?

J.C. Carleson delivers a fascinating account of a girl—and a country—on the brink, and a rare glimpse at the personal side of international politics.



My ****4 Star**** Review

This story takes you through Laila’s perspective as she’s been brought to the U.S. after her family has been removed from power and murdered in a coup. It’s an easy fast-paced read. It is at times an emotional read, too.

Where I struggled with this story, is that for most of the book, I had no clue what the point was. I couldn’t see where the story was going. There wasn’t a clear cut conflict in which I had a side to root for. There were plenty of problems that Laila had to deal with, but I wasn’t sure of the main point. In the end, I was able to see where it was going, though. Plus, there was a big shocker that I didn’t see coming. Even when I wasn’t sure what the point was, I found myself curious.

So, why 4 stars? I thought this book was truly unique. The plot was different from anything I’ve read before, especially for a YA novel. But, even the writing style was different. It’s rare to come across books these days that are so different. Therefore, I appreciate it when I come across them! I also enjoyed the emotional scenes that popped up here and there. And, I enjoyed a perspective of a real-life sitution that I’ve never gotten a chance to read about. Truly interesting and eye-opening!!

Warnings: Mild language, violence, and making out/petting, but no sex
*I received a copy via NetGalley and Random House Children’s in exchange for an honest review.*

About the Author ~ J. C. Carleson

JC Carleson

J. C. CARLESON is a former undercover CIA officer who has navigated war zones, jumped out of airplanes, and worked on the frontlines of international conflicts. She now lives and writes in Virginia with her husband and two young sons. Her previous publications include the novel Cloaks and Veils, and Work Like a Spy: Business Tips from a Former CIA Officer.


Happy Reading,



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