Lisa Reviews: J C Carleson's - "The Tyrant's Daughter"

Carleson_Tyrant's daughterWhen fifteen year old Laila’s father passed away, she didn’t know that he was a tyrant. She didn’t know that he was a dictator. She also didn’t know her father was killing people every day. She didn’t believe it: what fifteen year old would?

When Laila’s father is murdered by her uncle, Laila, her mother, and her little brother are moved to the suburbs of America. Her little brother thinks he’s king, but doesn’t know what pushed him from being a prince to being the king. The small family of three is now living in a completely different world and an entirely different life to what they have always known.

Laila is used to covering her entire body to prevent anything from showing and bringing shame on her family. Now she attends high school. She can talk to boys and does so many other things that she would never be allowed to do back home.

But things aren’t as simple as they seem. Laila soon finds out through the internet and television who her father was and what he was doing. Her mother isn’t telling her what’s going on or who these people are who keep showing up in their new home.

Laila is tired of sitting around with no food, watching her mum turn to alcohol for relief, and decides to take it upon herself to figure things out. She has to solve what’s going on and get back what belonged to her family—even if it means lying to her mum and sneaking around.

I picked up The Tyrant’s Daughter on netgalley and I went into this book without any idea what it was about, except that I loved the cover.

The biggest worry I had at the beginning of the book was that Laila is only fifteen years old and dealing with a huge amount of pressure. I didn’t want this book to become more ‘high school drama-y’, but turns out that she acted with extreme maturity! She didn’t focus too much on her new life or the boys around her. I liked that she was more worried about saving her family and her people. So no, this book didn’t have very much romance, but romance wasn’t what I was looking for in this type of book. Loved Laila for that!

Overall, I truly enjoyed the story! I liked watching Laila and her little brother open up to a whole different type of society and way of living. Her thoughts at the beginning of the book about what the girls in her new high school were wearing and how they were so exposed was extremely interesting. Laila was experiencing complete culture shock and it shows the huge differences between cultures and ways of thinking.


I don’t think I would have picked up this book if I had read the synopsis. I usually don’t read books that have anything to do with war, but I’m glad I did! The characters and the culture displayed in The Tyrant’s Daughter were so detailed and real. I couldn’t get enough!

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