The Glyph Queen

by Flibbles

Original ONGOING Adventure Fantasy Sci-fi Female Lead Multiple Lead Characters Supernatural
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Profanity
  • Traumatising content

When Winnie was thirteen, her settlement taught her how to fire a rifle. Her school practiced drills in case raiders came, and the town grew crops in their greenhouse-adapted homes, which were the only places warm enough during the worldwide nuclear winter.

The Lakiran empire invades—a corporate-born nation overseen by their corporate-born queen, Victoria Paladino. They ride silent planes whose repulsion field veered bullets away.

Three years of occupation later, an exemplar visits—a member of Victoria’s oversight committee rumored to read minds. He tells Winnie that she may have a unique mental power, or a flair. At the empire’s capital, the queen herself tutors Winnie to help her reach the full potential of whatever power she may have.

Meanwhile, in post-war Nigeria, a streetwise teenager named Naema sees a different side of the empire. Between corruption and oppression, everyone lives in squaller. People fight over assembled food pastes. She too is told she has a unique flair, not by the empire, but by a fugitive woman who is the last vestige of an ancient witch coven, and she knows a dark secret about what the exemplars do to people like Winnie and Naema.

Updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The most recent chapters of The Glyph Queen are available on its main website.

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
0. Light ago
1. Rifle ago
2. Triage ago
3. Contraband Food ago
4. A Bright, Red Dress ago
5. A Bulky Tablet ago
6. Contraband People ago
7. Forgetful ago
8. The Tour ago
9. Power Play ago
10. Crayons ago
11. Luck ago
12. The Girl ago
13. Harris's Hawk ago
14. An exception ago
15a. Sketching ago
15b. Drawing ago
16. Scribbling ago
17. Candies ago
18. Blindfold ago
19. Testing ago
20. Winniebear ago
21a. Small Talk ago
21b. Jabbering ago
22. A Bleached Flag ago
23a. Insecurities ago
23b. Doubts ago
24. Designer General ago
25. Spotters ago
26. Huddle ago
27a. Tequila Worm ago
27b. Nitrate Smells ago
28a. Security Features ago
28b. Fire Escape ago
29a. Standard Procedure ago
29b. Processing ago
30a. Revolver ago
30b. Do You See? ago
31. The Baseball Bat ago
32. Person of Interest ago
33. A Silicon Wafer ago
34. Time for a Change ago
35a. Shuttles and Hoppers ago
35b. Tension ago
36a. Cameras ago
36b. Classified ago
37a. Landing Pads ago
37b. Strategies ago
38a. Sealed ago
38b. The Gargoyle ago
39a. Changing Plans ago
39b. Screeching Metal ago
40a. Malfunction ago
40b. Unstoppered ago
41. Time to be Kings ago
42. In the Dark ago
43a. All Wrong ago
43b. Pawns ago
44a. Fault Detected ago
44b. His Move ago
45. Her Move ago
46a. Sems and Clems ago
46b. Fusers ago
47. An Unspeakable Plan ago
48a. Scaffolding ago
48b. Risk ago
49a. Glow ago
49b. Melting Candles ago
50. Noise ago
51a. Strange Orders ago
51b. A Strange Coffin ago
52. An Examination Room ago
53. An Airport Lounge ago
54. Sedatives ago
55a. The Great Remains ago
55b. Connecting... ago
55c. Pick up ago
56a. Collard Greens ago
56b. Forensics ago
56c. Bloody Tiles ago
57. Plantains ago
58. Port Hole Windows ago
59a. Ceremony ago
59b. Crumbling ago
60. Tell-all ago
61. Impressionism ago
62. Results ago
63. Video Games ago
64. Surveillance ago
65a. Smoke Breaks ago
65b. All Hands ago
65c. Drifting Towers ago
66. A Grid Station ago
67. Custody ago
68. Sleep and Study ago
69a. Your Session Has Expired ago
69b. Do As I Say ago
70. The Paintbrush ago
71a. Imperial Open-Use License ago
71b. Repost ago
71c. Forums ago
72. Ripples ago
73. Jade ago
74. Magic Tricks ago
75. Wingmen ago
76a. Footprints in the Snow ago
76b. You Know Who This is ago
76c. The Nubian ago
77. Put Your Emotions in a Box ago
78a. Resident Thumbscrew Tightener ago
78b. Your Fada ago
79. Just Fifteen Seconds ago
80a. The Password Game ago
80b. The Escape Game ago
81. A Cold, White Room ago
81. A Cold, White Room ago
81. A Cold, White Room ago
81. A Cold, White Room ago
81. A Cold, White Room ago
81. A Cold, White Room ago
82. The Monster ago
83. The Burnt Smell of Plastic ago
84a. Spider Drones ago
84b. Cuff Yourself ago
85. Carbon Bullets ago
86a. Copy Orders ago
86b. Confirm Live Fire Command ago
87. Too Good a Stock to Put Down ago
88a. High Alert ago
88b. Evacuation ago
89a. Foreign Bodies ago
89b. Bargaining Chips ago
90a. Incompetence and Selfishness ago
90b. Perseverance and Sacrifice ago
91a. Evaluation: Josephine ago
91b. Evaluation: Winnie ago
91c. Evaluation: Tan ago
92. A Top Secret Project ago
93a. Guiding Eyes ago
93b. Resentment ago
94. Zero Sum ago
95. Far Beyond ago
96a. Inherited Problems ago
96b. A Right to Know ago
97a. Reactions ago
97b. "Last Wishes" ago

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You need to read this. It's good.

Where do I start?

The Glyph Queen is a sci-fi novel that primarily takes place a few years after a nuclear war. In the time since, one of the old tech companies began taking over the world. The story is told from three perspectives. The first is a girl whose life only improves after the empire takes over. The second is from someone whose life only got worse. The last is a flashback to before the bombs fell, and explains how the Glyph Queen and her empire rose to power.


At first, the multiple perspectives is a little jarring. Each character's story takes place at a different point in time. The date stamps at the start indicate who the reader is following. It doesn't take long to get used to, and each character's perspective helps to explore a different side of the world. The author also has a tendency to lampshade apparent inconsistencies. A good portion of the flashbacks is actually dedicated to this.


I don't think I've seen any glaring typos, or gramatical errors. That's pretty impressive. I'm usually the guy who leaves comments about spelling mistakes and awkward phrasing.


The setting is not one seen very often. Six years after the bombs, and most of the world is still struggling to survive a nuclear winter. The people in power, are the people who supply the food. What now? It's hard to pin a single genre. There's slice of life, but there are also some mysteries to be unraveled as characters slowly wise up. Recent chapters (I'm on ~22) have started a school arc and a super power (called flairs) discovery arc. Most of the story is dedicated to seeking the limitations of powers. That said, this is not a superhero  story.


So far, all the characters all feel like real people. Even some of the ones we meet once and never see again have distinct voices and identities. Some of them seem a little aimless and lacking motivation, but they're in the minority. Since it's the apocalypse, the main goal for many is simply "to survive." How they choose to go about that is the real question.


I have to recommend this novel. Characters that make you love (or hate) them, good dialog, and a unique setting, with a compelling plot. What more do you have to ask for? Right. Good grammar. This story has that too. I don't like to give five stars, but I'll make an exception.

How is this the first full review?

Richard Dain
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This is well worth your time

It starts off slow, but it's needed for the world building. The only negatives are the pacing (which is wholly subjective in my opinion, so doesn't deduct the score), some minor grammar issues here and there, and that some of the characters are a bit predictable in their tropes. But then again, they're tropes for a reason, people don't re-use bad ideas.

Overal I loved my time with this and I'm waiting with excitement for the next chapter.

  • Overall Score

Brilliant in both smarts and quality.

I stumbled on this story by chance, and am so glad I did. It's fantastic. It features compelling, multi-faceted, diverse and intelligent characters steering well clear of stereotypes, logical and fascinating exploration of magical powers, and fast-paced intrigue that's never dry. My favourite combination.

There are many excellent things to say about this story, but the intelligence with which it was written really shines through. Character decisions and motivations make sense and come across as realistic, which is a tricky thing to do when dealing with complex interactions between different powers and their impact on the world and society around them. I love that this sort of thing is explored in detail, and the author doesn't shy away from addressing significant, meaningful consequences, either. When events occur, they have impact.

There are some interesting ethical debates to be had out of this story, too, and I mean that in the best possible way. Characters have to make tough moral decisions, but the story never comes across as being preachy, and their decisions are backed by solid reasoning. Most of the characters are likeable in their own way (with one notable intentional exception) while being quite distinct from one another at the same time.

The writing quality is not only to a professional standard, but a great professional standard. What can I say - it's fun, and it's clever. If you like smart fiction, I think you'll appreciate this one.

I think this is my favourite story on Royal Road, and can't recommend it enough. Looking forward to more!

  • Overall Score

Professionally Written

This novel's only sin is posting it in Royalroad. Anywhere else it would be a best seller, given the right kind of marketing.