It's unnaturally cold in Constantinople this winter of 525. The Emperor Justin is dying, and Theodora, the ambitious former actress his gravely ill successor Justinian intends to marry, is making demands in the imperial court. When a wealthy philanthropist is killed in broad daylight in the Great Church, it isn't entirely surprising that Justinian engages an anonymous young slave called John to investigate what many believe could be a conspiracy aimed at swaying the succession. Suspects are many among those whose lives might be touched by an emperor: senators, churchmen, wealthy businessmen, even laborers, beggars, and prostitutes. In this prequel to the series, John takes his first dangerous steps along the path toward freedom from slavery and his eventual appointment as Lord Chamberlain. Praise for Four for a Boy "Written with humor and pathos, this superior historical is sure to please existing fans and send new ones in search of the rest of the series." -Publishers Weekly starred review "...as devilishly convoluted as its predecessors...At some point, every great series needs an 'origin story,' and this one's a real corker."
-Booklist starred review After their highly acclaimed first novel, One for Sorrow, the husband and wife team of Mary Reed and Eric Mayer extended the series with Two for Joy, Three for A Letter, Four for A Boy, Five for Silver, Six for Gold and Seven for a Secret. In June 2003, Booklist magazine named the John the Eunuch novels one of its four Best Little Known Series.