Top 5 Tuesday: More Books That Deserve the Bigolas Dikolas Effect - The Fantasy Review

Top 5 Tuesday: More Books That Deserve the Bigolas Dikolas Effect

Nathan’s Weekly Recommendation Listthis week featuring more books that deserve the Bigolas Dikolas Effect.

A Top 5 Tuesday….on a Thursday? Yes! If you missed it, earlier this week I listed five books that deserve their own Bigolas Dikolas Effect (and if you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, I explained it a little bit in that post). As I was making that list, I realized that there weren’t just five books that I could list. There are so many underappreciated gems in fantasy that have been published even just in the last few years.

So, without further ado, here are five more books that deserve the Bigolas Dikolas Effect.

More Books That Deserve The Bigolas Dikolas Effect

The Seven Deaths of an Empire by G.R. Matthews

Inspired by Ancient Rome, in this military fantasy the emperor is dead – leaving the entire Empire in an uneasy state. Matthews puts us in the head of two POV characters – staunch Empire loyalist General Bordan, tasked with conquering the Empire’s enemies, and young magician apprentice Kyron, tasked with transporting the emperor’s body back to the capital (for whoever controls the emperor controls the empire). This book does some really cool stuff with perspective, multiple timelines (in an actually effective and not at all confusing way), all building to some really great twists. This book acts as a standalone, but I hope to jump back into this world one day.

The Daughter of Redwinter by Ed MacDonald

This book mixes and combines necromancy and magical academies – how is this not one of the most popular books in the English reading world right now? Raine can speak to the dead, a power that some want to control and some want to eliminate entirely. When we first meet her she is in a cult, but she quickly escapes to join an academy for warrior mages. Through this first book we follow Raine as she explores her necromancy powers and slowly uncovers the darker side of the world she lives in. This book is full of cool magic, introspective characters, and a dark and moody feel. The sequel comes out this fall, so catch up now!

Daughter of Redwinter

Reign and Ruin by JD Evans

With the utter popularity of both romantic fantasy and fantasy romance, how is JD Evans not a global superstar? I’ll admit, I’m not much of a romance reader; a little bit of a romantic subplot is fine for me but I don’t like it to overwhelm the book. But then Evans came in with Reign and Ruin (and its sequels and prequel) and I was hooked. What is so brilliant about Reign and Ruin is it works both as a romantic fantasy and a fantasy romance. There is everything that romance readers want – star-crossed lovers, spicy romance, and HEA – but there is also everything that fantasy readers want – a cool magic system, great worldbuilding, a genuine political conflict that isn’t overwhelmed by the romance. It is a perfect marrying of the two genres, and if you are an epic fantasy reader looking to get into romance, or a romance reader looking to get into epic fantasy, start here. Evans already conquered SPFBO, where is she going next?

Reign and Ruin

The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennison

I’ll admit that when I first read Perilous Graves I wasn’t in love with it. It wasn’t bad by any means, but it wasn’t a book I was screaming about. However, this book, which I read last summer, has stuck with me in a way that few books did. This encouraged me to revisit it, and I was enthralled. I think I was just tired and moody the first time I read this book because this book has it all – social commentary, New Orleans aesthetic, jazz magic, a fun villain, multiple dimensions, and so much more. And, most importantly, this book is a whole heck of a lot of fun. It is a standalone, so it also isn’t going to kill your long-term TBR if you throw it on there.

The Ballad of Perilous Graves

The Gauntlet and the Fist Beneath by Ian Green

I don’t know if I have seen anyone else talk about this book, but it is one of the most unique fantasy worlds I have ever seen. This book has a middle-aged mother main character trying to rescue her child, giant floating ball things, demons, crow men, goblins, and more. It is hard to describe because it is full of the genre DnD epic fantasy tropes, but it also doesn’t follow any of them. It is a science fantasy, but kind of not? I know I’m doing a bad job of explaining this book but I recommend that you just pick it up. The final book in the trilogy is coming out soon so you can pretty much binge read it at this point, and you’ll want to!

The Gauntlet and the Fist Beneath

That’s a wrap on this list. Maybe I’ll have more to add later down the line. Check these out, and if you do let me know! You can find me on Twitter (@nathan_reviews), Instagram, (@nathans_fantasy_reviews) and Goodreads (Nathan’s Fantasy Reviews)!

Related to Our List of More Books That Deserve the Bigolas Dikolas Effect

My name is Nathan and I'm currently getting my Ph.D. in archaeology in the US, but in my freetime I absolutely love reading any kind of fantasy book (and watching way too much TV). So I guess you could say that during the day I like to escape into the past and in the evening I like to escape into other worlds! Review requests can be sent to You can also find me on twitter (@nathan_reviews) and TikTok (nathans_fantasy_reviews).

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