The Tyrantís Daughter Review
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Every day, news reports are full of images of injustice and unrest in faraway countries. We hear about the oppression that people are forced to suffer at the hands of totalitarian rulers. But in her teen novel The Tyrantís Daughter, former CIA officer J. C. Carleson offers a very different perspective on international politics.

The Tyrantís Daughter begins as 15-year-old Laila escapes her war-torn home in the Middle East with her mother and younger brother and is moved into a small apartment outside Washington, D.C. Itís a strange new world for a girl who once lived the life of a princessóbut now that her father is dead and her uncle has taken control of the country, sheís no longer safe in her own home.

While her mother tries to manipulate the events unfolding back home, Laila struggles to adjust to life as an American teenagerócomplete with new American friends and cute American boys. And as sheís left on her own with so many newfound freedoms, she begins to uncover the devastating truth about her father.

Though it was written for teens, The Tyrantís Daughter is an eye-opening and insightful short novel that has something to say to readers of all ages. Told through the eyes of the innocent and completely misinformed child of an oppressive ruler, it offers both a different perspective on international politics and an outsiderís view of the American way of life. Itís a story about war and politics and espionage, but, at the same time, itís also about the clash of two very different cultures.

Though some of the supporting characters donít get the development that they deserve, Laila makes a wonderfully layered main character. On one hand, sheís just another teenage girl, dealing with the usual teenage-girl drama while trying to figure out her own identity. But life back home was different for Lailaómore glamorous but also more restrictedóand while she takes advantage of her new American freedom, she also realizes that this new American teenager isnít really her. She isnít as fun-loving and easy-going as she may try to appear. After all, thereís so much more to her life than just coffee shops and cute boys. Her family is at the center of an international crisisóand as she begins to understand the horrifying reality of her familyís situation, she responds as only a teenager could.

The Tyrantís Daughter isnít the same old moody teen novel. Itís sharp and thoughtful, with a memorable cast of characters. And, after reading it, youíll mostly likely view the latest news reports in a whole new light.

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