In this outstanding epic fantasy novel, the series kicker in The Knights of Nine series, Valiente seamlessly blends high fantasy into thrills of a fast-paced adventure story. Sixteen-year-old Oliver Quartermain is ready to come back home in Starfall after his final sword fighting tournament of the summer and relax, but an ancient prophecy prompts him to learn the secrets of magic and save its very existence. With a sinister organization bent on destroying the world, Oliver must decipher the secrets of the Magical Codex or risk losing the world to dark forces. Valiente’s prose is crisp, all his characters, including the dragons are fully fleshed-out (the interactions between humans and dragons are especially entertaining), and his insights into the fears and longings that drive his characters satisfyingly sharp. For the most part, the narrative is told in Oliver’s voice which adds to the intrigue of the story. The worldbuilding is expensive and the battle scenes exciting, with the intricate fighting tactics seamlessly blended into the narrative. This compelling epic fantasy with wide interpersonal and internal struggles, intensely high stakes, and nonstop twists showcases both Valiente’s versatility and creativity as a promising epic fantasy writer. Readers will wait eagerly for the next in the series.