I hope to eventually have too many reviews to post here, but in the meantime, here’s some from Amazon, Goodreads, Bookbub, and Reader’s Favorite to get you started.
Marty C. Lee
Wind of Choice
“Fantasy at its finest. Marty C. Lee combines richly drawn characters, timely humor, & intense danger in an epic adventure that will keep readers captivated.”
–Liz McCraine, author of Beyond the Sands
Adventure, magic, danger, humor!
January 27, 2019
I was privileged to read an advanced copy of this book, and…woah! Get those seat belts clicked into place and make sure your airbags are working, because it’s a fast and dangerous read! This magical action-adventure is written from the perspective of four characters, though the story is primarily Ahjin’s. Each character is superbly unique, and Lee writes their personalities incredibly well. They’re each from a different part of the world (sky, water, desert, fertile land) and thus have different abilities and ways of looking at problems–and problems there definitely are. Each area of the world has their own “god,” and when the gods begin to disappear, Ahjin and his newly found friends set off on a quest to find out why. Amidst a myriad of challenges, they fight giant scorpions, krakens from the deep sea, and worse. Somehow Lee manages to incorporate an appropriate amount of humor in the story, leaving the reader not just on the edge of the seat (because no seat belt is THAT strong) but laughing too. My praises for this new author! I’m excited for her to publish more books in this series.
MC Lee is an author to watch.
January 31, 2019
Her writing is genuine and pulls you in. Rarely do you encounter indie debuts like this.
Are you ready for adventure?
March 9, 2019
I purchased Wind of Choice and read the whole book in a few days. The first chapter completely drew me in. Ahjin was such a likable character and his problems were too big to imagine he could find a solution. After all, if a god wants you, it’s pretty hard to escape! Sometimes books with multiple-POV have one strong character and the others are weaker. In this case, each character is unique and plays an integral part in the story.
Ahjin is the lead POV and he is desperate for a solution. He is also a practical joker which lightens his character from being so driven. Nia is fun and bubbly, appropriate since she lives under the water and on an island. Ludik ‘s arm is twisted to get him to go on the adventure, so even though he seems grumpy at first, I don’t blame him. He becomes a stalwart in the group of friends. Zefra is practical to an extreme, reflective of her desert habitat.
Their adventures are reminiscent of Lloyd Alexander, but in a modern vernacular, full of adventure and monsters. The pace is quick and keeps the reader wondering how everything can possibly work out. I highly recommend this book and I’ll keep watch for the next in the series.
Reviewed By Liz Konkel for Readers’ Favorite
(Edited for length. Original available at ReadersFavorite.com)
Wind of Choice by Marty C. Lee is the first book in the Unexpected Heroes series.
Marty C. Lee has breathed life into this extensive and magical world with four prominent societies representing earth, water, fire, and sky, each with its own unique types of people. Each of the societies are represented by a character who clearly showcases the customs and embodies the spirit. Lee crafts each character with specific appearances reflective of the elemental reminiscent society. Even certain phrases they use mimic the society they’re from. These phrases add a sweet charm to the dialogue … while also providing humor. Every place has its own god, beliefs, and way of life, with their own quirks, giving a well-rounded perspective of each. Everything in this world is so thorough you’re completely immersed.
The main four are … ordinary people who are led on an extraordinary mission… [T]his grand and dangerous adventure also gives them a different perspective on their lives. Each of them finds their own hero’s journey while discovering what it means to be a team, working together and bringing out the strengths of each of them.
Wind of Choice is a delightful adventure with heroism, friendship, humor, danger, and coming of age charm.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Action packed adventure it unique heroes
April 19, 2019
Wind of Choice is an action packed adventure told from the view point of four uniquely voiced heroes. I loved the banter and humor that lightened the mood when the trials became intense. The main characters were relatable and three dimensional, and they went through real growth. I enjoyed how different each one was from the others. The author created vivid lands, and painted them with rich details in culture, history, geography–all expertly woven in with the action and dialog so as not to slow the story. The ending surprised me, in a good way. I’d recomend this book to anyone who enjoys a rousing adventure in a vivid world, with heroes you can cheer for and relate to.
May 23, 2019
I know a book is good if I delay eating and sleep to know what happens in the next chapter, and the next, and the next…
This was a wonderful read. I grew to love the characters as though I knew them personally as they adventured along. I can’t wait until the release of the next book!
novelgirl (edited for length)
4.0 out of 5 stars
High fantasy, endearing characters, impossible quest!
May 30, 2019
I was pleasantly surprised with the depth of emotion this author instilled in her characters and their impossible quest to save their world from annihilation from some beef between their silly gods of their lands. I adored this story and because the plot has so many twists and highly charged turns, I couldn’t put it down.
I found these amazing creatures—some with wings for flying, gills or living underwater, sand dwellers, and shape-shifters—totally fascinating. They faced not just fantasy problems with mythical creatures and destructive gods, but having completely understandable and relatable “human” problems. Each character is uniquely drawn and wonderfully animated by the author. I could identify with their conflicts and root for them to meet and beat their unbelievable quest challenge. I grew to deeply care about them.
I would highly recommend Marty Lee’s book, Winds of Choice, to lovers of all things fantasy. I recommend this book to folks who don’t normally read fantasy but want to experience—through story—regular folks facing impossible odds and finding the courage to succeed.
Shauna (edited for length)
June 11, 2019
The world-building is meticulous and fresh, and felt all throughout the story. The four teenage characters come from different realms revolving around wind, water, fire, and earth. Their personalities are vastly different and it’s fun to see them interact with each other.
Overall, this adventure story was a fun and unique fantasy. It didn’t feel at all like recycled versions of other stories and it wasn’t filled with cliches, which was really refreshing.
Virginia on Goodreads
May 2, 2019
It was an excellent book about other peoples. I did not feel that it was a fantasy, but a story about real people who had real problems with very good characterization. Excellent language and grammar. Fun where it should be fun, sad where it should be sad. I didn’t like that it kept me awake at night, waiting to see what happened next. I didn’t like the sad spots, either, but it all turned out well in the end. Except that it ended, and I wanted it to keep going. I can’t wait for the sequel!
L.P. Tvorik on Goodreads
March 16, 2019
I’ll go down the list of reasons this book really blew me away.
1. Marty C. Lee is an expert world builder. Within minutes of starting, I was completely immersed in the world she has created. Oftentimes with fantasy, I get the feeling that the world is being created around the characters as they move. Not so with this series. Lee’s characters stride through a world that is fully fleshed out, both geographically and temporally. There is history, culture, geography… everything is there. The best part is that it feels NATURAL. The exposition is so seamless you don’t even realize it’s happening. Each question is answered before the reader even thinks to ask it. Absolutely phenomenal.
2. The characters are very real. Adults can enjoy this book, chuckling as the characters struggle their way through very typical teenage problems (rebellion, homesickness, searching for meaning, confronting the real world, etc) while also battling fantastic forces on a magical journey. Teens and young adults can also enjoy this book, watching as their own woes are worked seamlessly into the story and confronted firmly but subtly. I never felt as if I was being preached at, but the messages are there.
3. The plot. Engaging. Fast paced. Clever. I never predicted what was going to happen next. Each development through me for a loop, and the ending was completely unexpected. This one will keep you on your toes.
Bottom line, this book is worth purchase and I’ll be first in line when the rest of the series is published as well.
Aelvana on Goodreads (edited for length)
July 1, 2019
This was amazing fun. I love how the rather typical earth/air/fire/water split was reflected in the physiologies of its peoples: wings, water-dwellers, shapeshifters, and the desert dwellers. Frankly, with winged people and shapeshifters it’s pretty much pegged my interest right from the start.
It helps that the writing is strong, as well as funny. Ahjin is absolutely adamant that he wants nothing to do with “his” god, and as the story goes on it’s very clear why he’s holding that position. It’s also ironic that this deep distrust is what eventually wins him the trust of the other gods, who don’t like his god much better than he does.
Overall this is an excellent story and I’m so glad the first book mostly focuses on the winged people. I rate this book Highly Recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Better than Expected!
September 3, 2019
I got a signed copy of the book at an event and wasn’t super sure what to expect because I’m not typically intrigued by YA fantasy literature. However, I was very pleased with this book! I started it and had a hard time putting it down once it was in my hands! I really enjoyed the character development, the plot twists, and everything in between. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series coming out!
Cheree Myatt on Goodreads
Oct 10, 2019
Amazing characterizations. The author knows how to create unique character with each point of view change. You get addicted with wanting to know what happens next.
January 6, 2020
This is the first of a series of books that draws the reader into a fascinating world of fantasy, I love the characters, and want to know what happens in the next book. The plot draws the reader through danger and intrigue without having too much blood and gore. I’m not an avid fantasy reader, but this one has me hook, line, and sinker.
December 9, 2020
Although I don’t often read fantasies, I was asked to beta read Marty C. Lee’s Wind of Choice. I’m very glad I had the opportunity, and now I’m considering giving it for a gift this Christmas.
Marty has created an incredible world inhabited by four distinct races. Each has its own god, language, and customs. While the races have traits unlike any human’s (shapeshifting, flying, living underwater, and controlling fire), their emotions and motivations are easy to understand and relate to.
In Wind of Choice, the gods have disappeared, and four young adults, one from each race, must find and rescue them. Ahjin reluctantly leads the quest, believing it’s the only way for him to achieve his lifelong dream. Fun loving Nia is looking for adventure. Ludik would have stayed home if given a choice. And Zefra believes it is her god’s desire that she guide the expedition.
Wind of Choice is a great read for anyone who enjoys characters who work as a team to overcome major obstacles and discover they’re better people when they finally succeed.
January 28, 2021
In a world with four gods, it’s hard to believe that their peoples have begun to forget them.
Ahjin, the first main character, in particular, would be thrilled if his particular deity would do a permanent fadeout. In a weird trick of fate, he’s doomed to the service of the same deity.
His bid to escape is thwarted by the impossible–and things keep getting worse!
Each new character adds depth and scope to the story, each new land enriches the world-building, and each new twist amazes.
The story is beautifully built and doesn’t pull any punches.
Seed of War
If you want an adventure with lots of fun banter and laugh-out-loud situations, or if you want a journey that will make you cry and think deeply about forgiveness, read Seed of War.
– M. L. Farb, author of The King’s Trial
Sept 15, 2019
The world and characters in Seed of War are full of joy, mischevousness, love, and just plain fun. Yet this book deals with pain, guilt, anger, and hate. The narrative finds a happy medium, with the occassional bump in the road.
Most of the characters in this book are lively and well-defined. Every point-of-view has its purpose, and they are utilized well. Some main characters have quirks that are adorable and lovable, but a few of those quirks grate at one point or another. Nia and Ludik are the worst offenders in that case, but when the stakes get dire, those two are also the strongest characters to watch in their struggle.
The plot has twists and turns that pull the characters in deeper each time, and it gets better as it goes. Each pivotal moment expands the view of the world, which along with the characters is the real gem in this book. The narrow focus of this adventure brings a joy to the land of the Darrendrakar that comes from the author’s passion.
Some small pacing problems are mostly smoothed over by character banter, and even the small coincidences that push the story onward in places are met with a deeper look at lore, character, morality, or even the religions of this world. It is a book that takes on situations that, while fantasy, make the reader stop and think for a moment. And then take a moment to laugh and have fun afterward.
Marty C. Lee is an author worth watching as this series continues.
Seed of War by Marty C. Lee is an awesome story that I have read. This is book number two start to a brand new series for me writen by a brand new author for me to read. I highly recommend this story to everyone who loves reading about magic, mysteries and fantasy.
Absolutely Awesome Read, well written, great characters, Awesome story line, easy read to hold you on their journey, this genre might not be for everyone but its a really wonderful story cannot wait for more from this Author.
Shauna (edited for length)
January 6, 2020
We return again to the friends of Nia, Ahjin, Ludik, and Zefra, this time in a murder mystery story that all takes place in Ludik’s part of the world, which is the land of the shape-shifters. There wasn’t a lot of depth to the plot, but the history and world-building enriched the story. Literally everyone involved (except Nia, Zefra, and Ahjin) were some kind of shape-shifting animal, and thinking of the conflict and mystery in terms of animal races was pretty interesting. The character POVs were a little interesting too. It’s mainly Ludik’s story, and he’s the one who grows the most as he learns to think outside of himself and choose peace over anger and revenge. Ahjin remains my favorite character, and I liked Lyell as well, and I really liked the story’s ending! Good job Mrs. Lee.
December 9, 2020
Seed of War is the second book in Marty C. Lee’s Unexpected Heroes Series. The world Marty created is so detailed and fun, but the characters are what I like the best. Though Ahjin, Nia, Ludik, Zefra, and their friends aren’t human, they have human-like qualities and challenges I can relate to.
Full of humor and adventure, Seed of War is a murder mystery which takes place in Darrendra, where all natives have an alternate animal form. What surprised me is how suspicious the various species are of one another. That suspicion and distrust fuel most of the action in the story.
I hope Marty writes more books about these characters. I want to get to know them and their world better.
The author has created such an interesting world that you’ll want to learn more about
January 28, 2020
Seed of War was a fun read. The storyline was interesting and the characters are fascinating. The author does a nice job of mixing a nice blend of personalities in the group, as well as bringing you into the scenes with vivid descriptions.
The author has created an entire world with new races, cultures, and magic, and it’s so fun learning about it while you read the story. So many little details really help bring the story to life.
I would recommend reading the first book first because, while this book works as a stand-alone, you will have a better idea of the world and the characters if you don’t jump straight into this story.
I received an ARC copy for this book on StoryOrigin, but I look forward to reading more books by this author!
January 28, 2021
The four friends face yet another challenge.
Gathering for Ludik’s wedding, they find themselves drawn into a dangerous race to stop misinformation from starting a war.
Old animosities and new murders tilt Darrendra further and further toward war as the friends struggle to unravel clues, face false accusations, and convince the suspicious Darrendra peoples to accept peace.
Woven throughout the story is a poignant examination of the emotions that go hand in hand with war–anger, hate, prejudice. And for those blessed few, precious forgiveness.
Wave of Dreams
January 28, 2021
In Nokailana, marriage is permanent and painfully rare. I struggled with that as a reader, because of my own views on the sanctity of marriage.
However, the story’s scope extends far beyond the islands of Nia’s birth, stretching to the “cursed” Dragon Islands.
Her friends join her in the search for her missing dad, and as usual, things get dicey.
An imaginative world
December 9, 2020
Wave of Dreams is the third book in Marty C. Lee’s Unexpected Heroes Series. I’ve read all three and enjoyed every one.
This time Nia is the central character. She leads an expedition to the mysterious Dragon Isles, hoping to discover what happened to her long-lost father. Along the way, she gets involved in romance, and they must defeat blood-thirsty pirates.
I recommend this series for anyone who enjoys imaginative worlds with interesting and diverse characters.
This book took my breath away.
January 29, 2021
Zefra’s life is not going according to plan. As someone who lives and breathes plans, this is particularly frustrating for her.
The rest of the characters are artfully introduced in an ever-intensifying adventure.
The four unlikely friends have rescued their world once before–plus averting a war and taking on an entire pirate armada.
Now they’re facing something far more sinister. Those that aren’t wounded are either risking their lives for the truth or facing execution for crimes they didn’t commit. Mysterious kidnappings and murders and rumors and riots and scattered clues throw everything into a turmoil, once again threatening the stability of the entire world.
Can they put the pieces together in time to save everyone once more?
Great “end” to the series
January 5, 2021
I say end, but MC keeps pumping out more material with short stories and other fun things related to the saga. This book was fun to read, kept me wondering what was going to happen next, and had me feel some actual feels for the characters. There’s a puzzle/detective element to the story that you can deep-dive into if you want, but the story still grabs your attention and is satisfying even without trying to solve the mystery by yourself. Good stuff.
THE SPARK HAS IGNITED
January 5, 2021
In the last two years, fire mage Zefra helped defeat a band of pirates, avert a war, and even rescue the gods. What *can’t she do?
But will her luck hold.
What will happen next.
Exciting 4th book in series.
Good pace and great characters .
But how will it end?
Unexpected Tales: Four Short Stories of Kaiatan
Fantasy Reminiscent of the Famous Lloyd Alexander
Let me introduce you to this gem. Whether you’ve already discovered Kaiatan stories like Wind of Choice and it’s sequels, or you want to know if this is the right world for you, here is the perfect solution. Unexpected Tales: Four Stories of Kaiatan takes you to the far reaches of this distant land, giving you tales from its different people: the fun-loving Nokailana who reside in the water but who can also spend time on land, the severe desert of Iskra, where survival is a rite of passage, Darrendra a land of shape-shifters who live in the forest, and finally, Ioj, where the people have wings and take up the priesthood when they hear their god’s voice. Each story is complete in itself, and each tale enriches the world of Kaiatan. I recommend this book! Give it a try if you’re ready for adventure.
Robert O. Cox
All slightly different.
Out of the four tales I liked the last one the best. Well written with character development that left you wanting to see how it ends.
December 9, 2020
The world of Kaiatan, introduced in the Unexpected Heroes Series, has four distinct races. In this collection, each race is represented by a single story about little-known or unknown characters in the main books. The stories include a Nokai romance, where half the action takes place underwater; a rite of passage into adulthood in the desert of Iskra; a marathon in Darrendra among people who can transform themselves into Horses; and how an uneducated youth from a remote part of Ioj overcomes bias to find his place among the priests of the winged god, Irajahan.
I have enjoyed all the books about Kaiatan, and these standalone stories provided an opportunity to experience that world again. They are all excellent, but the last one is my favorite.