I read, I write, and I majored in German and Muggle Studies. my favorite genres are historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. Lookout for reviews of the YA and MG persuasions!

Review: The Tyrant's Daughter Commands Attention

The Tyrant's Daughter - J.C. Carleson


Fifteen-year-old Laila finds herself beginning a new life in the United States after her family is deposed from its position of power and influence.


Normally I am not that interested in reading contemporary YA, but this book hooked me right from the start. How many of us felt alienated and alone during our high school experiences? Yet it cannot compare to Laila’s story. She is, if nothing, a realist, and her determination to survive in the strange, new world of the United States is both genuine and inspiring. Not to mention, the book is prescient considering current events and politics.


As a protagonist  and narrator Laila shines. She is intelligent and committed to her family, not to mention her sense of what is right and what is wrong. She might name herself "the Invisible Queen," but Laila springs right from the pages.


The secondary characters in the book, mainly Emmy, and Ian, are interesting reflections of American culture that will probably prompt knowing nods from those of us who have ever experienced high school. Laila's little brother Bastien, the would-be-king of their country, is as innocent a little monarch as there ever was, while Laila's crafty mother is at times both a manipulative villain and caring, worried defender. Amir, an ex-pat from Laila's home country, is mysterious and brooding, but ultimately just as committed to his family as Laila's.


Tyrant's Daughter offers us an intriguing alternative to "princess" books. Laila's country was not ruled with a just or merciful hand, and she feels responsible and endeavors to correct this error. She ventures involuntarily past the castle walls, so to speak, and makes her mark.


Laila's narration moves quickly, and does not linger too long in any one place; the book’s tone hovers somewhere between conversational, confessional, and poignant.


This book would appeal to fans of Meg Cabot who want a slightly darker read, or to readers interested in reading fiction concerning the Arab Spring.


**Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Children's for providing an e-copy of this book in exchange for honest feedback. **

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