Book Review – Lion’s Legacy

Lion's Legacy Book Info

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing Lion’s Legacy by L. C. Rosen. I was so excited to find out about this book because I love history, archeology, and queer stories. So, this seemed like the perfect mix for me.

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.

From the moment I saw it described in a video on TikTok, I knew I had to read Lion’s Legacy. Indiana Jones, but gay? Yes, please. I actually ended up ordering it, receiving it, and reading it in less than one week, which is practically unheard of. Most books languish for months (or years) on mount TBR before I get to them. I was just so excited about the idea of this one that I couldn’t wait.

For the most part, Lion’s Legacy lived up to the hype in my head. I think my biggest issue was that I wish it wasn’t a YA book. The 17-year-old protagonist felt simultaneously too adult and too juvenile. The way his voice was written made him feel even younger than his age, but he was also having hotel hookups with a Greek hottie. The combination just felt strange to me. I also had trouble following some of the descriptions in the action scenes, and the discussion of the major theme was presented in a way that felt really repetitive at times. So, Lion’s Legacy wasn’t perfect, but I still found it enjoyable.

I loved the focus on queer history and the importance of unearthing and spotlighting the legacy of the queer community. The adventure was also just a ton of fun to read. The setting was great, and I enjoyed exploring parts of Greece with the characters. What’s not to love about visiting fascinating temples and working to solve ancient puzzles? I never wanted to put the book down because the pace never let up.

The characters in Lion’s Legacy were compelling, and I appreciated the complexity of Tennessee’s internal conflict regarding his dad. While I do wish the character had been aged up a bit, Ten’s family dynamics were interesting, and I was invested in his struggle to understand where he fit into his father’s life and what that meant for him. I do just want to note, though, that neither of his parents will be winning awards for good parenting. lol. I also really loved seeing Ten work through his thoughts on what to do with the artifacts he found. It was an intricate dilemma to balance making sure the items got the recognition they deserved without stealing other people’s history from them.

Overall, Lion’s Legacy was a fun read with an interesting lead character, exciting adventure, and important commentary on the need to highlight queer people’s contributions throughout history. Therefore, I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Lion's Legacy Rating Breakdown

Have you read Lion’s Legacy? If so, let me know your thoughts down in the comments.

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