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The Exercise of Vital Powers

(Legends of the Order #1)

by
3.91  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  35 reviews
NOTE: This 1st edition is no longer available for purchase. A second edition is scheduled for release in Q2 of 2018.

Some Lessons Must Be Learned The Hard Way

Since its inception, The Order has been dedicated to the prevention of the misuse and abuse of magic. For seven decades this mandate has guaranteed peace and stability throughout The Nine Kingdoms. But a potenti/>Some
...more
Kindle Edition, 570 pages
Published April 21st 2017 by Lucid Dream
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Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  54 ratings  ·  35 reviews


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Kaitlin
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spfbo
This was one of the #SPFBO books I read as part of the awards, and I am very, very pleased to have done so. This book is certainly not something I had heard of before, and I hope that more people will go and buy and read this book after I review it, becuase it's well worth a go. I will quickly mention that this book could do with an editor in some parts because it felt a little rough in places, but really that is a minor quibble and I ended up really loving the story in the end so I could bypass ...more
Ian
Apr 24, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-fantasy
Update: Monday, 12th August 2019
If I may have your attention: the ebook edition of The Exercise Of Vital Powers is currently on sale for just £0.99/$0.99/€0.99 from Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. The sale ends on Sunday. PURCHASE NOW


As I am the author of the book it wouldn’t really be appropriate to give a rating to my own work. That being said, I obviously think the story is okay, and have no qualms about recommending it to avid fantasy readers, particularly those who have previously enjoyed the work of Trudi Canavan, Kristin Cashore, or
...more
Esme
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many of the SPFBO books I've picked up recently are in the 'green' over on SPFBO. (For the first round each blogger can only pick one book for the finals, but they can also pick several books they want to highlight, and when they do the book label turns green).

As of now, Kitty G has this book highlighted green as a possible book she'll put through to the next round.

---

**Characters:**

* Kayden - This is our main character and who the story revolves around. When you first meet her sh
...more
Dianne
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
The Order is the most powerful group in the Nine Kingdoms. Their mission is to prevent the abuse of magic and provide stability in a world with the magical potential for chaos and destruction, but that very potential for chaos may be training among them. It will be up to the Order to decide if Kayden Jayta has what it takes to become one of the most powerful members of the Order yet or if she must be destroyed to protect the Nine Kingdoms.

Kayden is gifted with intelligence, vast stores of magic and
...more
Lukasz
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ian Gregoire owes Kitty G a beer. Or, even better, two. I suppose no one expected she would choose this book as her favorite one in one of her SPFBO semi-final group of five, especially that contenders were very strong. I guess that’s the beauty of the contest. We tend to believe in books we hear about on blogs and boards but there’s a lot of gems that remain undiscovered. SPFBO has the power to change it. At least a bit.

The Exercise of Vital Powers is a book that describes events of two
...more
Lukasz
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kayden is a bitch. Don't look at me this way. I'm not mean. I state the obvious. Picture a reckless, ambitious, brilliant and determined young woman who's well aware of her superior intellect. Imagine that she treats everyone as a pitiful retard. She won't hesitate to beat you and abuse you to reach her goals. Do you picture her? Good, but the picture in your head is a nicer version of Kayden.

Ian Gregoire's debut novel participated in last year's SPFBO contest, and it did well. Kitty G, an awesome b/>Ian
...more
Rebekah
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enthralling journey of inner discovery, I found this to be an enjoyable book, entertaining and richly developed. This world has three different kinds of magical energy, each accessible in discrete ways. The Order teaches only one of the three types of magic, and we follow a critical time in the life of one of its students.

The main point of view character is a young woman, Kayden Jayta, who is studying to be inducted into The Order. These studies take 10 years, but Kayden is advanc
...more
Siobhan
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Exercise of Vital Powers introduces to us a hateful character by the name of Kayden Jayta. I'm not exaggerating, she's truly hateful. But don't you just love to hate her??

I love it when an author can create characters that are absolutely awful people, but make you want to keep reading about them.

Going into this I thought the plot of students in a magic school might feel a bit tired and overdone, but I was soon corrected as the premise actually felt creative and origin
...more
Sean
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Received from author for honest read an review.

This was a really good book and I was so happy to receive this from Mr Gregoire.Centres around Kayden,who is a piece of work.Really hard to like but once you get to know her , she is really good.

Found the book really flowed and I reallg enjoyed all the characters.
Good strong read.
Nadine
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This and other reviews can be found on my blog

Thank you to Ian Gregoire for providing me with a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

The Exercise of Vital Powers follows Kayden Jayta, a highly talented but rather arrogant apprentice of The Order, which is an institution to train and control the people who are able to use magic. But her vast talent and unapproachable character are the reason the headmistress of the campus, Fay Annis, has been taking notice of Kayden and takes her to T
...more
Sirvinya
I was quite excited to get to this one after Kitty G had recommended it so highly. So when I had a long train journey and a 2 hour wait at an airport, I knew it was just the thing to load onto my Kindle. And I'm so glad I did!

We follow Kayden as she pushes to complete her apprenticeship early so that she can join the Order. I immediately had quite a lot of opinions about her. She's an immensely powerful and talented user of magic and she's also arrogant and ruthless in pursuit of her
...more
Angelica
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sneaky amazing! A book with strong female characters? Check.

A book with strong female characters who don’t subscribe to the pretty “I’m strong and pretty and lovable” persona that so many books with female main characters adopt? CHECK.

A book where romance is never a motivating factor for any plot line? CHECK CHECK CHECK!

There’s nothing wrong with a romantic novel, I indulge in them as well. Especially when I’m feeling particularly brain fried and want some mus
...more
Jade Rae
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a traditional reader, I prefer to curl up with a real book, turn the pages and fall into an author's world. Though on occasion exceptions are made, and I sit down with an eBook. After recieving this book, I only had to wait long enough for my son to drift off, before I could get cosy with my eReader and a pot of tea.

Then subsequently devour the story in the space of 4 hours. Now I must acquire myself a paperback to add to my library.

The character development, twisting plot, the m
...more
Rebecca Howie
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads
I've never read a book which had such an unlikable character as the lead, but Ian Gregoire made it work in The Exercise of Vital Powers, and balanced the fine line between Kayden being an antihero and an outright villain from the first page until the last.

Kayden was a perfect example of a Slytherin, and her introduction in the first chapter made it clear she was willing to use any means necessary to get her own way and achieve her goals, but while she was annoyingly insistent on remi
...more
I.L.
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You don't have to be likeable

Firstly, I'm not one of those people who like reading or watching stories where no one is likeable so reading this novel was a little difficult in the beginning. But the world Gregoire created is so compelling, I had to keep reading. And I also fell in love with Fay, the administrator and master. She really made the story for me. I am looking forward to the next book.
Suzanne Rogerson
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I enjoyed this novel very much. It takes place over a few days in Kayden's life when so many things change and she learns much about herself. The Order and the magic system are well thought out, and the world brought to life with descriptive writing. I really liked Kayden's mentors Fay and Ari, and Kayden is pretty cool once you get past her arrogant front. At points I just couldn't stop reading and stayed up way past bedtime because I had to know what happened next.

I felt there was
...more
Julie Schiro
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would actually give this book 4.5 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story and look forward to reading any additional novels in this series that Gregoire may write. I quickly became attached to the characters and the storyline. This fantasy is similar to Canavan's trilogy The Magicians Guild (which I also really liked).

I became aware of this little-known book when the author offered to send me a free copy. I checked out the summary and decided that it may be right up my alley. Since the
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Justine (Milkz)
This is the first self published book I've accepted for reviewing purposes, and I'm honestly so excited to get to it!
Mahesh Nakka
Nicely done.
Author showed how trauma can affect one's life and with out the help of friends or family we cannot come out of it.
The progression of Kayden was too good (Because I hated her first but started liking her later)
Will look forward for the next book in the series.

Thanks to Prolific works for provinding me with a free copy.
Aviar Savijon
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fbreader-books
This is an epic scale saga of a story. An Adventure into Fantasy, that is outstandngly written deep and emotional through out the book. I truly loved every page of this book by Ian Gregoire. I do hope for more of this from him soon. I Loved It!!!!
Schuyler
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book became a page turner for me, good characters, storyline, etc. Would highly recommend to anyone out there for a very good read. schuyler
Kristen
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review is here, on my blog.

Man. This is the textbook definition of a book that you should not judge by its cover. I mean really. Goddamn.

I don’t know what I was expecting, really, but I don’t think I was expecting such an engaging, well thought out story from a self-published debut novel that I had never heard of before being offered a copy of it (and yes… at this point I should definitely have learned my lesson about expecting more from self-published debuts because several
...more
Rosalyn Kelly
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This fantasy novel follows the story of teenager Kayden, an apprentice of The Order. She’s snarky, she’s determined, she’s single-minded in her desire to be the best. We first meet her on an attack of a heavily guarded old fortress, where she’s reluctant to follow the designated ‘leader’, because she has a better plan.

She breaks the rules, uses magic that’s way above her grade level and strikes out on her on, much to the surprise of her peers and her superiors.

Back on campus and Kayden’s
...more
Lisa
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a long while to get into this book, but once I became invested it was a pretty good ride.

The story starts off following a group of mages as they are on a training mission, and it’s here that we’re introduced to our main protagonist, Kayden Jayta. The thing that stood out to me immediately is how dis-likable of a character she is, especially here at the beginning of the story. Kayden is smug, arrogant, rude, dismissive of others, and seemingly reckless. It’s clear that she
...more
Megan ❀
Jul 13, 2018 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
dnf at 10%

I really do love anti-heroines, but Kayden is just plain unlikable. Perhaps I'd come to like her more the further I read, especially with Fay putting her in her place, but I'm not interested enough to continue. The writing is a little too stiff and wordy for my tastes, and the dialogue is clunky. The magic system seems very interesting and complex, though.

Also, I love this new cover.

Ebook provided by author without expectation for review.
Amina Jo
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Kayden is a perfect anti-hero brilliant and savage. I kept reading just to figure out what drives her to win and be the best. If she can't beat you with her words she will literally beat you. This book is great with wonderful magical world building.
Anita Reads
[3.5 stars]

I received an e-copy of this book from the author, but that does in no way affect my rating.

This world (called the Nine Kingdoms) is protected by the Order from misuse and abuse of magical abilities. In order to be accepted into the order you have to go through an apprentice program.
In this book we follow 2 perspectives (mainly). The first one is Kayden who is an apprentice studying to become a part of the order. Kayden is very determined to prove herself and advanc
...more
Charlotte
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fight to maintain peace and order.... deception.... unanswered questions....and that's not including the main character, Kayden's, issues and background!

      I initially found Kayden difficult to warm to as she comes across as smug and a little condescending. She's also very driven with a determination to win.

    However this begins to change as you start to find out more about Kayden. About her experiences and what pushes her to be the way she is, why she strives to b
...more
Claudia
I enjoyed the world and prose, but I could never get into the story. It felt more like a prequel to another book because you're waiting for the bad guy to be revealed, but the moment never comes. Some character interactions included unrealistic sex talk between men and women that didn't seem to fit into the story.
Regardless, the idea of magic in the book is pretty neat, and hopefully, the second book will get more into the real plot of the story.
Missy Ansell
It is a sad truth that those who crave and seek power, invariably abuse that power once they obtain it.
3.5 stars

About a young girl in a magical boarding school on a journey of self discovery towards evil or greatness.

Now i thought this book was well written, I just really didn't like Kayden and didn't find her transformation from snarky asshole to lovable student that believable. I did like the scenes with Fay more, and would like to see more into her past.
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The reclusive Ian Gregoire is a taciturn introvert residing somewhere in London, where he was born and raised. Of all life’s diversions, reading and writing are the only ones he ever deemed worthwhile enough to be passionate about. This eventually led to his belated decision to pursue his true calling in life as a fantasy and science fiction author. His debut novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, is just ...more

Other books in the series

Legends of the Order (2 books)
  • The Apprentice In The Master’s Shadow (Legends of the Order, #2)
“It is a sad truth that those who crave and seek power, invariably abuse that power once they obtain it.” 1 likes
“What is the point of having all this power if you can’t force people to do what you want?” 1 likes
More quotes…