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L.C. Rosen, "Lion's Legacy" in conversation with Krysten Manke

Tennesee Russo and the
Rings of the Sacred Band of Thebes


Lion's Legacy

Tennessee Russo is having a really bad day. He found out his boyfriend has been cheating on him and his estranged father, Henry, shows up out of the blue acting like nothing is wrong. A famous reality show archeologist, Henry wants Tennessee to join him as he searches for the rings of the Sacred Band of Thebes. The Sacred Band of Thebes was a fearsome army comprised of 150 gay couples in ancient Greece. Can Tennessee pass up the chance to show the world that not only have queer people been here forever, but that they were respected, and they were formidable?

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.

L.C. Rosen writes books for people of all ages, most recently Lavender House, which the New York Times says “movingly explores the strain of trying to pass as straight at a time when living an authentic life could be deadly” and was a best book of the year from Buzzfeed, Library Journal, Amazon, and Bookpage, among others. His prior novel, Camp, was also a best book of the year from places such as Forbes, Elle, and the Today show. He lives in NYC with his husband and a very small cat. You can find him online at and @LevACRosen.

L.C. Rosen

Once upon a time, Krysten Manke earned a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition studying the impact of American pragmatism on literacy practices. She has taught many different kinds of writing and literature courses at high school and college levels, which prepped her well for talking about books and writing at RJ Julia. When she’s not dancing through the literary sphere, you can find her in Seymour with her husband among many plants and animals. If you stand still long enough, she will feed you baked goods.

Krysten Manke


Can't make it to the event? You can still get signed copy of Lion's Legacy.

Event Date: 
Thursday, May 4, 2023 - 7:00pm EDT
Event address: 
RJ Julia Booksellers
768 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443
Lion's Legacy By L. C. Rosen Cover Image
ISBN: 9781454948056
Availability: On Our Shelves; Typically Ships in 1-2 Days
Published: Union Square & Co. - May 2nd, 2023

SKU: s9781454948056

Camp By L. C. Rosen Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316537773
Availability: On Our Shelves; Typically Ships in 1-2 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 25th, 2021

SKU: supportevents
Minimum: $5.00