When her father is killed in a coup, fifteen-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?
I haven’t read any other books focusing on the specific subjects touched on in this book, so I wasn’t sure what to expect going in to The Tyrant’s Daughter. I ended up really enjoying the story and the characters. They were real to me in a way that a lot of other books’ characters aren’t. I really liked that while there is a huge disconnect between Laila’s world and mine, and I haven’t gone through anything remotely similar to what she has, I was still able to relate to and understand her actions and emotions.
I found the very beginning of the book a bit hard to follow, as it jumps around a lot between scenes, but the story settles in quickly and the book is a fast-paced read. Seeing the US through Laila’s eyes was really interesting and seeing it through the eyes of someone whose experiences were so different from my own added another layer to the story. Initially, Laila sees things almost as caricatures of themselves, and I thought it was interesting to see how her point of view of some things changed (or didn’t change) over the course of the book.
I also loved the section at the end where we learn a bit more about how the author approached the story, as well as some information that I felt added a new perspective to the events in the book that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Overall, I thought this was something truly different from what is available in YA right now, and that was really refreshing.
I was pre-approved for this title by the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you for the opportunity to read this book!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars