... celebrates what the show has done for the LGBTQ movement, noting many of the iconic performances and delicious controversies that turned it into a hit. But the authors are more invested in contextualizing these moments than reliving them ... The book’s 10 chapters turn Drag Race’s challenges and recurring elements into a deceptively simple framing device for a nuanced exploration of the gender-bending figures, insider lingo and significant milestones in queer history to which the show owes its existence ... Though the book makes no claim to being a definitive text on queer history, it presents powerful (and fun!) new angles on pivotal moments, seamlessly woven into elements of the show ... For a book about reality television, Legendary Children is unusually ambitious — an obsessively detailed portrait of modern LGBTQ life and how it came to be. Operating from a baseline position of fondness for RuPaul and all the progress his show has inspired, it also demands more from him.
... a 250-plus page love letter to queer identity that uses Ru’s successful show as their entry point ... never preaches to its readers. Fitzgerald and Marquez write as if they’re talking over mimosas at brunch. Their style is littered with drag terminology but remains endearing and honest. The book works hard to be authentic, even if its tone might not speak to everyone ... The book clearly recognizes what it is not: a read-all, know-all drag opus. From the very first pages, Fitzgerald and Marquez challenge the audience to read their book one-handed, so they can do their own research in tandem ... For younger (and perhaps all) fans of the show, this book should be required reading, a fabulous companion that fills in the gaps left off-screen ... arrives at just the right time — both because season 12 of Drag Race just premiered and because the world needs authenticity in its stories. Fitzgerald and Marquez deliver that, giving readers an insight into the important but overlooked people who made our current moment possible.
This book is an excellent companion for Drag Race’s growing, more mainstream, audience, for whom the giant shoulders upon which the queens stand will be mostly unfamiliar, and is a must-have for pop-culture collections.