Esmes Indie Author Highlights/SPFBO: Exercise of Vital Powers

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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).

Right now Kitty G has this one highlighted and I can say I liked it too.


  • Kayden – This is our main character and who the story revolves around. When you first meet her she’s leading a group of people to try and infiltrate an enemy compound and retrieve something as part of her mission. You can see right away that this character does not play nice. She’s in a constant power struggle with the original leader of the group, and after the mission is over she continues to be abrasive to basically everyone around her. She has extremely bad temper issues, she’s arrogant, and she’s constantly talking down to people like everyone in the world is an idiot except for her. For people who don’t like abrasive and generally unlikeable characters you may struggle with this book. Part of the plot of the book is actually her character development. She’s incredibly powerful and gifted, and if she continues to be a bully and a touch insane she could be a huge problem down the line.
  • Fay – Fay is the master and Kayden is the apprentice at the magic school known as the Antaris Campus. Fay is the one who’s extremely concerned about the later years for Kayden if she doesn’t get a hold on her anger and her intense need to be the best and prove herself superior in every way.  Fays chapters were more enjoyable for me since I don’t tend to like characters like Kayden, but at least there was a reprieve from Kaydens attitude and you feel validated of your dislike for Kayden through this character since they always bump heads.
  • There are a lot of side characters here, there are two main settings, the city of Temis Rulan and the campus and there are groups of side characters in each setting.

Final Score: 8/10



A big part of the plot is what Kayden is going to do with her life and how she’s going to change or continue on her current path. In fact that’s a huge part of a later chapter when Kayden confronts an entity known as The Rogue, who makes her kind of have a moment of revelation about what path in life she wants to chose. The other part of the plot revolves around The Order and the 9 Kingdoms. The Order is a group of people who are mages of sorts just like Kayden and Fay, and they work as sort of peacekeepers for the realm. The Order is one of the largest forces in the world and outnumbers most armies, which is impressive, most of them live in the city of Temis Rulan.

Final Score: 8/10

Tone, Pacing, writing:

This wasn’t exactly fast paced, but I didn’t feel like it was super slow either, it was kind of a nice medium tempo through the book.

Final Score: 8/10

Writing Final Score: 8/10 


This was a very unique world with a fresh and different, albiet sometimes annoying, main character.

Final Score: 8/10


I’m going back through my reviews and noticed this one doesn’t have a world building section. I’ll fix this later. It was well realized and felt fresh

Final Score: 8.5/10



  • People who like unlikeable characters
  • People looking for big growth in main character
  • People who like defined magic systems
  • People who like coming of age stories
  • people looking for female povs
  • people who like multi pov
  • people who like stories that wrap up at the end, no cliffhangers

Final Score: 48.5/60 or 8.08/10 or 4 stars on goodreads.


  1. Thank you so much, Brittany. I appreciate you taking the time to read and review The Exercise Of Vital Powers. I’m also relieved to see that Kayden’s “issues” didn’t prevent you from finishing the book. 😉

  2. if it was just Kayden I may have struggled a bit, but Fay was a great balance to the book especially since she mirrored how I felt about Kayden. The dynamics between the two was awesome and made for interesting reading. The books plot kind of wrapped up but it seems like its leaving room for a sequel, were you planning on that?

    1. While I was writing the book I intended for it to be a stand-alone story. Once it was finished and published I realised I liked the two main characters so much that I wasn’t done with them yet. I recently started writing a sequel, but I can’t promise that Kayden will be more likeable this time. 😉

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