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Spectred Isle

(Green Men #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  2,334 ratings  ·  464 reviews
Archaeologist Saul Lazenby has been all but unemployable since his disgrace during the War. Now he scrapes a living working for a rich eccentric who believes in magic. Saul knows it’s a lot of nonsense...except that he begins to find himself in increasingly strange and frightening situations. And at every turn he runs into the sardonic, mysterious Randolph Glyde.

Randolph i
ebook, 271 pages
Published August 3rd 2017 by KJC Books
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Books beloved It is more like the Charm of magpies than Sins of the cities. It has paranormal elements but it is still a lot like A charm of magpies in many respect…moreIt is more like the Charm of magpies than Sins of the cities. It has paranormal elements but it is still a lot like A charm of magpies in many respects. So, you may enjoy this one.(less)

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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  2,334 ratings  ·  464 reviews

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K.J. Charles
First of my new 1920s paranormal romance series, set in England a few years after the First World War. While battle raged in Flanders, a hidden war was being fought by arcanists and occultists, and the continuing fallout of that is still causing chaos five years later. Randolph Glyde, arcanist of a great and ancient family, is trying to hold London's magical defences together almost single-handed, and it doesn't help that the same man, disgraced archaeologist Saul Lazenby, keeps inexplicably tur ...more
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ghosts, mythology
This was quite fun, although I'm wondering if I ought have read one of those The Haunted Realm type non-fictions first. Not that it was hard to understand without, except that when they talked about Geoffrey de Mandeville I was initially (mistakenly) thinking of John de Mandeville, which indicated quite a different plot direction.

Anyway. Fun! This is set in the same world as The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, but after WWI, which is to say after the Feximal/Caldwell story ends. Sam, one of th
Kaje Harper
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars - This story begins a new historical paranormal series from one of my favorite authors. It builds slowly, and took me a while to really connect with the main characters, but about a third of the way in it clicked, and the pace of both action and emotion picked up. The post WW I historical context rings true and the two men walk through it with their burdens and their hurts, their pride and fear.

Archaeologist Saul Lazenby faced betrayal, and worse - the knowledge he had inadvertently b
Lost in a Book
Group review with Adam, Chelsea and Lorix

3.5 Stars

Would it be dramatic to say that I’m super duper times a million bummed that I didn’t love this? I had heart eyes opening up this book from all of my past love affairs with KJC’s books. And man oh man did I love the first 6% and I really liked the last 30%… It was the in between that was hard to swallow.

We have Saul Lazenby, an archaeologist that has been living a hard life since he was deemed a traitor during WWI and subsequently disowned b
K.J. Charles gets her new Green Men series of paranormal historical romances off to a terrific start with Spectred Isle, an utterly captivating mix of adventure, mystery and romance all bound up in old English folklore, myth and magic.

Randolph Glyde is the last member of an old English family whose lineage goes back centuries.  Throughout the ages, the Glydes have been charged by successive monarchs with the protection of England from supernatural entities. Known as the Green Men, theirs is
Claudie ☾
My favorite KJ Charles book so far! Sweet and scary and sexy as hell. Great plot and relationship development. Definitely deserving of a reread sometime in the future.
If only more of his work involved sinewy, sunburned, sensitive men, rather than people who lacked the common decency to die properly.

So, I'll admit that this isn't my favourite read by Charles. Maybe I expected too much after the complete and utter delight that was THE SECRET CASEBOOK OF SIMON FEXIMAL (which, by the way, is definitely required reading before this book). Or maybe it was the fact that I had almost no time to read this with any kind of dedication that played a part in some of my am
Another exciting and compelling historical novel by KJ Charles.

Spectred Isle takes place in the same narrative universe of Charles' The Casebook of Simon Feximal and moves the action to 1923 when the after-effects of both WW1 and of the War Beneath are still acutely felt.

The two main characters in the novel, disgraced archeologist Saul Lazenby and occultist Randolph Glyde meet by chance on a series of sites where supernatural events are taking place. Unbeknownst to Saul, Randolph is part of
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
While 1920s is not my favorite historical time period, the fact that the story is happening in Simon Feximal universe and is sort of a spin off from The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal is something I didn't know or I would have read it sooner. I loved the connection through Sam Caldwell and Jo the soothsayer whom Robert Caldwell and Simon Feximal met on one of their cases. I loved the historical and arcane pieces woven into the story as well as the typical behaviors of bachelors of the day. The ...more
3.75 stars rounded up

Spectred Isle didn't start pack up and running for me until around 25% or so.

Despite having read The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, I found myself quite confused with the world-built in the beginning, it seemed like too much history has happened before the book started; too many players being dropped on me without any introduction. It is always a big issue for me when it comes to paranormal/fantasy book. I'm not really a visual and imaginative person. So I kind of need t
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved every minute of this book. The atmosphere and the worldbuilding are really good. I'm looking forward to know more about those Green Men and their mission.
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Very much enjoyed this short interwar romance with more than a dash of the supernatural. Will read more!
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Spectred Isle might just be my new favorite book by KJ Charles. It seems that I am saying that with every new book that she is publishing, but, seriously, you all, it was incredibly good.

As always, the historical setting is palpable, which is a given with the author. This book additionally shines through both the main characters and their romance as well as the paranormal aspect that was a pure delight.

Regarding the protagonists Randolph and Saul, who both get point of views in alternating chapt
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting paranormal romance set in 1920s England and dealing with the aftermath of the secret war that paralleled WW1, but using the occult rather than conventional weapons.

In this environment, disgraced former soldier Saul Lazenby has taken the only job he could get, helping out the crackpot Major Peabody with his seemingly random investigations into London's occult past. After Saul comes across something genuinely unexplained, he keeps running into a mysterious stranger who intro
4.5 hearts
Ah this book! It was fun, exciting, romantic and sexy, but above all else it made me want to frolic through the English countryside

I loved this story! I was rather skeptical going into this but I found myself stuck to the pages in no time, just like every other KJ Charles book I've read. This book is set in the early 20’s, a couple years after World War One and within the same world as Simon Feximal, so we know it's supernatural.

Saul is an ex soldier and archaeologist and has a shady h
This was both exactly the book I needed to read this week and also a really excellent book for any time. I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to read it - from the blurb, it didn't sound like quite my thing - but I was too excited by the fact that the second book in the series is going to be f/f to pass it up. And I am so glad I didn't miss out - I hadn't realized it was in the same universe as Simon Feximal, for one thing, and since that's probably my second favorite KJC book, I was thrille ...more
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Thank you, Kinky Tinselicker: An Elf on Probation, for the gift!!
Check out the group review over at the blog!

3.75 stars

K.J. Charles delivers another entertaining MM historical paranormal!

Opposites-attract and enemies-to-lovers are two of my favourite themes. When Randolph and Saul first meet, they start off on the wrong foot. And they’re definitely opposites, with Saul a poor man of science, while Randolph is a wealthy elite member of the magical world.

I highly enjoyed their early bantering and squabbles. What made it even better was that neither could deny h
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
3.5 stars

I enjoyed this story, once I was able to get into it, which did take until about the 30% mark. I wasn't too sure if I liked Randolph or not but he grew on me, and Saul is an interesting character as well. The humor is very British and has just enough to break the tension when needed, and the action scenes were well done, as expected. The world building is sufficient. It kind of plops you into the middle of things, and considering this is tied into the Simon Feximal world, I was a bit co
I really want to give this book 5 stars, possibly more. I don't like horror elements, but this was just perfect for me, and that alone counts for more than 5 stars.

There is a sequel in the works, as far as I understand, but this is what's going to take the stars off: author cheating. I am sure that the next F/F book is going to be great, but - really - you don't start with a true historical and then switch to futuristic/sci-fi with elves in the sequel (so to speak), not unless you warn your read
Ulysses Dietz
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Spectred Isle (Green Men, book 1)
KJ Charles
KJC Books, 2017
Five stars

“Get out of my way, bureaucrat, or I’ll burn your paper castle to the ground.”

Ooh. This is good. Very good. Now, already being a fan of KJ Charles’ writing, I must have bought this last year on the strength her Magpie Lord series, or “The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal.”

What Charles manages to do is to offer a wonderfully vivid world, based on post-World-War-I England, that is believable and rooted in the harsh realities of t
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the book! I avoid historical genre!! But KJ writes amazing historical paranormal, she is my exception. I keenly await for the next book!
I love Cornel Collins narration. He did an excellent work on Magpie series (5stars). So when I started listening to this book, I realized that it has a different narrator! The narrator of this book is good but not excellent. So I would give 3.5 stars.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Spectred Isle left me with a book hangover; it’s so good that for a while after I finished it I couldn’t contemplate reading anything else.

KJC’s new story has a really well-imagined and fascinating magic system, based on some cool English mythology – wood woses and Green Men – with which I wasn’t previously familiar. Saul and Randolph, her main characters, come together in such a satisfying way. They’re both emotionally and physically scarred by Word War One in a way that feels genuine, complex
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This book. You won't believe how long it took me to finish it. I don't know what went wrong, but I could feel no passion between characters, and neither could I muster it for the book itself.
Additionally, the romance between Saul and Randolf distracted from the rest of the plot so much that fantasy/mytsery/adventure parts of it ended up being unsatisfying too.

It's well-written, it doesn't concentrate only on romance, lots of things happen in it, and still reading it was like going through the mo
Liz Jacobs
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this book, and found it absolutely phenomenal. Rich in atmosphere, the story is fantastic (and a wonderful, incredibly worthy spin-off from Simon Feximal, the most heartbreaking of Charles's work), the chemistry between two leads is...I don't have the words. It's off the chain, basically. Everything about it is gorgeous and had me absolutely hooked. I cannot, cannot wait until this book is out in the world so I can make everybody read it. Just gorgeous.
Another great paranormal read by K.J. Charles. If you liked the A Charm of Magpies series and especially The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal (as they are set in the same universe), you'll definitely enjoy this story. ...more
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this, probably the 2nd half of the book more so than the first which was a little slow going. Loved the characters, and some epic quotes. Great read.
Chris, the Dalek King
The Great War and The War Beneath may be done, but the damage still lingers on.

For Saul Lazenby, betrayed and disgraced before everyone he knows, London isn’t so much a return to normal as it is the only place left that will have him. And, well, even that is stretching it a bit much. Once an archaeologist that worked with some of the best minds in the field, he is now reduced to following the crazy whims of his employer, who sees mystical and secret events in everything around him. Saul thinks h
Karen Wellsbury
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this in one sitting on what should have been a very long and slow train journey, and the time flew by !
For me this was a return to form, having read, and not really enjoyed very much, the first Sins of the Cities book.
But here there is quite a complex plot, woven with legend, a romantic sub plot and characters that are diverse, but don't feel like they have been drawn from a tick box pool (a feeling that I had on a previous book) and an intriguing continuing story.

Looking forward to the n
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed: 08-26-20

Paranormal. Mystery. Romance.

Overall: 5 stars
Performance : 5 stars
Story: 5 stars

Layered world building, based on folklore and myths, thrilling, action adventure, steamy, well developed characters is a fitting description of Spectred Isle .

Ruairi Carter narration was spot on! His many voices were distinctive and fit the characters.

I enjoyed listening to this audiobook immensely . Hope this is the first book of a long series.
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KJ is a writer of romance, mostly m/m, historical or fantasy or both. She blogs about writing and editing at

She lives in London, UK, with her husband, two kids, and a cat of absolute night.

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Other books in the series

Green Men (2 books)
  • Last Couple in Hell (Green Men #2)

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