Monday, March 10, 2014

The Tyrant's Daughter by J. C. Carlson

Fifteen-year-old Laila and her family have always had servants, lived like royalty, and was always told her father was king of the country, just like her grandfather. Her younger brother, Bastien, is looking forward to when he will grow up and be king.
But everything changes when her father is killed and war breaks out in her country. Her family flees to the United States where they must get used to living in a small apartment on very little money. Laila also hears the truth about her father. Instead of being a beloved leader, he was a dictator and responsible for many deaths. In fact, her uncle is responsible for her father's death, and now he is the ruler.
Laila and her brother now must attend American schools and try to fit in as best they can. Both Laila and Bastien can't get over the sheer number of items at an American grocery store. Bastien can't stop eating sugary cereal, and Laila at first feels almost naked dressed like an American teenager.
This is a novel of political intrigue and espionage. People double-cross each other and the reader finds it hard to really know what exactly is happening. Does  Laila's mother really forgive her brother-in-law for killing her husband? Will Bastien (who is only nine) become king? This is a smartly-written novel that not only deals with teenage issues, but also larger issues that impact our world. Mature readers will love this one!

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