I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Lion's Legacy by Lev A.C. Rosen
Series: Tennessee Russo #1
Published by Union Square Co. on May 2, 2023
Genres: YA Fantasy, YA LGBTQ
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble
Seventeen-year-old Tennessee Russo’s life is imploding. His boyfriend has been cheating on him, and all his friends know about it. Worse, they expect him to just accept his ex’s new relationship and make nice. So when his father, a famous archaeologist and reality show celebrity whom he hasn’t seen in two years, shows up unexpectedly and offers to take him on an adventure, Tennessee only has a few choices:
1. Stay, mope, regret it forever.
2. Go, try to reconcile with Dad, become his sidekick again.
3. Go, but make it his adventure, and Dad will be the sidekick.
The object of his father’s latest quest, the Rings of the Sacred Band of Thebes, is too enticing to say no to. Finding artifacts related to the troop of ancient Greek soldiers, composed of one-hundred-and-fifty gay couples, means navigating ruins, deciphering ancient mysteries, and maybe meeting a cute boy.
But will his dad let Tennessee do the right thing with the rings if they find them? And what is the right thing? Who does queer history belong to?
Against the backdrop of a sunlit Greek landscape, author L. C. Rosen masterfully weaves together adventure, romance, and magic in a celebration of the power of claiming your queer legacy.
The publisher reached out to me about reading this during June/Pride month, and while it actually was published in May, I said okay and fit it into my review schedule for the end of the month. When I picked it up, WOW! I was hooked! And then when it got into the story back in the “normal” world, I was definitely interested just as much to go along for the ride with how the characters behaved and acted when things happened.
There was so much that was good in this book. I loved the archaeological adventures themselves, just learning more about things I knew tiny bits about was fun. When a book makes me go do my own research outside of the story to learn more about something, I know it is good! I loved how Tennessee, or Tenny, would create lists to try to help make decisions on how he should handle things, those were always fun to read. I liked how he handled things too. With his ex cheating on him, the new friends he made to try to get over that, all of those were perfect and what I feel were real ways to deal with those issues.
While there was one time I was a little irritated with how he dealt with a disappointment, I reminded myself he was a teenager still, and then yeah, it totally made sense how he reacted. I loved that the author made him so real. That he cried when it was obvious that is something his character would do in that situation. That he needed to be alone to deal with things, etc. How he reacted and dealt with his father when things changed but how he also still kept that grudge there, whether he wanted to or not, that’s real.
I definitely will be recommending this for next year’s Gateway Committee, that I won’t be on because I don’t have enough time to read all the books like I thought I would. And while I hate that it took me so long to get to this, the end of June, I think it is the perfect review to wrap up Pride month! And I’m so excited that it is going to be a series. I can’t wait to learn about more unknown historical people or stories!