Library Journal --Historicals have a proven track record of presenting unforgettable protagonists like John the Lord Chamberlain. His military background gives him that unflappable air, and his high intellect provides him with the means to solve whatever Justinian needs. For readers who can't wait for the next Laura Joh Rowland or P.C. Doherty mystery. -- Library Journal
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Booklist -- Reed and Mayer bring the time of the Nika Riots in Constantinople to vivid life in this eighth installment in their series, capturing the burning city, the mob mentality, the panic in the castle as the rioters come ever closer, and the effort to convince Justinian to use whatever methods are necessary to keep his throne. A must for followers of the series. -- Booklist
"Interesting characters, a colorful setting and non-stop action offered up in lucid, eminently readable prose...if you aren’t thoroughly engaged by the end of [the] opening scene, you probably need to be checked for a pulse. -- Kim Malo
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"...a great ancient historical mystery series...The current entry is a strong period piece that highlights the riots of 532 AD and the rivalry to snatch the throne from Justinian. John's inquiry provides fans a deep look at Constantinople in the sixth century wrapped inside a strong investigation.-- Harriet Klausner
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This is a great ancient historical mystery series that ironically uses numerals in the titles, but never goes by the numbers in telling the story. The current entry is a strong period piece that highlights the riots of 532 AD and the rivalry to snatch the throne from Justinian. John's inquiry provides fans a deep look at Constantinople in the sixth century wrapped inside a strong investigation. -- Midwest Book Review April 2010
Constantinople and the historical Nika Riots are described in such crisp detail I could almost smell the smoke of the city burning and hear the chants of the enraged masses. The journey with John, ... is compelling. His character is easy to sympathize with as his loyalties are stretched thin and his world spins out of control. Fans of historical novels and political intrigue will enjoy following this protagonist as he bobs and weaves through numerous obstacles and wades through lie after lie in order to save the city he loves. -- Dori Cocuz, Mystery Scene Magazine, September 13, 2010