Monday, February 10, 2014

The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson

The Tyrant's Daughter
by J.C. Carleson
Released |February 11th 2014 by Knopf Books for Young Readers| 
Edition |eARC| 
Source |Netgalley|
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From a former CIA officer comes the riveting account of a royal Middle Eastern family exiled to the American suburbs.
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. 
I became pretty intrigued by the Tyrant's Daughter when I was emailed about the book and received a copy for review through netgalley. I had never heard of it before, but the synopsis had me really interested in learning more about the story. I love books that deal with the CIA, FBI or the military in any way, so I was extremely excited to see what that aspect of the story would bring. I would definitely say that I enjoyed the story and found it very easy to read. I didn't have any problems getting diving in. It was a fast paced read that I finished quickly. I did have a couple of issues with the book, but overall I enjoyed it.

Laila and her family are forced out of their country after her father is killed in the war that her country is in. As soon as she get to the US and settles in with her mom and little brother, things begin to unravel. She starts finding out all sorts of things that her mom has been keeping a secret. I thought Laila was a pretty interesting character. I kind of felt bad for her throughout the story because she was lied to so much. I mean, her friends seemed to know more about her family than she did. She didn't even know that her father was the dictator or 'general' of their country. She was a pretty nice girl at heart and she tried to do the right things. But she did have her lost moments when she did things out of anger or when she was being emotional. Then we have her mom who was so conniving! She almost drove me insane, but I thought little brother was adorable.

The thing I didn't really like in the story was the romance. I did like Amir and I kind of liked Ian, but I feel like their wasn't enough development for it to be a romance. I think Amir's character was more developed than Ian's and I think that's why I liked Amir more. I liked how we got to see into his past and all the things he'd been through and what he was fighting for. I didn't really make a connection to Ian because I feel as though I don't know his character at all. I also think the CIA bit of the story wasn't really there. We had the agent that was full of crap, but I don't think that aspect of the story was touch on enough. Even with these dislikes, I still enjoyed the story. I don't know if there's sequel, but I'd be interested in reading it if there is. All thoughts are my honest opinion :)


  1. I love little (or older lol) brothers in stories. I have always wanted one, so I guess that's why. Anyhow, the story sounds good. I had seen the cover around a few times, but didnt know what the story was about. Hmmm.. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the romance that much. Sometimes stories work better without one, though I always love when there's a touch of it somewhere. Great review, my friend!

    1. I like books where the romance isn't to heavy, but the characters have to it up. But the book was good :)

  2. Sorry to hear that the romance didn't have enough development, but glad you enjoyed other aspects of the story

  3. I'm really curious about this one. Does it specify which country Laila is from? My mom saw this cover and automatically said Iran. She definitely wants to read it. I do wish the CIA aspect of the story was there.

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

  4. Sounds like a nice premise, but one that wasn't completely flushed out. I'm glad you enjoyed it and would want a sequel though!!

  5. This sounds very different from what I usually read but I am intrigued! Too bad the romance wasn't stronger, sounds like more characters development on Ian's part might have helped this, but the plot sounds fast paced and entertaining! Great review!