Wander West, in Shadow

Wander West, in Shadow

by CloverCloverClover

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content


A young wizard journeys west, through dark forests and dangerous lands, searching for something. Accompanied by a wild witch who has secrets of her own, they come across terrible creatures, hauntings, cursed villages, and memories from their past. Who else will they meet along their journey, and to find what he is looking for, how far will the wizard have to wander west?

NOTE: The above synopsis is intentionally written to be as spoiler-free as possible. If you would like a more in-detail synopsis, one that contains minor spoilers, please check out the "Synopsis" chapter at the beginning of this fiction. 

If you read and enjoy, please leave a rating or review!


This story was formerly titled "The Glimmerling", because the first part was a short story of that title; it has since been expanded upon, thus the title change.

Chapters 1-8 (30k words) are the first 'arc', if you want to get a feel for the story. 

To give some context on the setting:

Magic is a bit weaker in this story than you might be used to, and we start off following some relatively new magic users. For some perspective, being able to light a campfire with magic is considered relatively advanced for someone who is the age of the main character. Magic can become very powerful - and there are some examples of powerful wizards within this story - but it's not where the main characters are yet. Part of the story is about following them as they learn more about magic. Enemies are also very dangerous, and running, hiding, or trying to talk their way out of a dangerous situation is often a better choice than fighting for the characters.

While I have added tags for traumatizing content, sexuality, violence, swearing, etc. I try to avoid super-explicit descriptions of these things. But they are part of the story. 

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Top List #300
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Word Count (14)
15 Reviews
Table of Contents
67 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
Synopsis ago
The Glimmerling: Chapter One ago
The Glimmerling: Chapter Two ago
The Glimmerling: Chapter Three ago
The Glimmerling: Chapter Four ago
The Glimmerling: Chapter Five ago
The Glimmerling: Chapter Six ago
The Glimmerling: Chapter Seven ago
The Glimmerling: Epilogue ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter One ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Two ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Three ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Four ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Five ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Six ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Seven ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Eight ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Nine ago
The Bogge-rider: Chapter Ten ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Eleven ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Twelve ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Thirteen ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Fourteen ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Fifteen ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Sixteen ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Seventeen ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Eighteen ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Nineteen ago
The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Twenty ago
The Bogge-Rider: Epilogue ago
Hadley: Chapter One ago
Hadley: Chapter Two ago
Hadley: Chapter Three ago
Hadley: Chapter Four ago
Hadley: Chapter Five ago
Hadley: Chapter Six ago
Hadley: Chapter Seven ago
Hadley: Chapter Eight ago
Hadley: Chapter Nine ago
Hadley: Chapter Ten ago
Hadley: Chapter Eleven ago
Hadley: Chapter Twelve ago
Hadley: Chapter Thirteen ago
Hadley: Chapter Fourteen ago
Hadley: Chapter Fifteen ago
Hadley: Chapter Sixteen ago
Hadley: Chapter Seventeen ago
Hadley: Chapter Eighteen ago
Hadley: Chapter Nineteen ago
Hadley: Chapter Twenty ago
Hadley: Chapter Twenty One ago
Hadley: Chapter Twenty Two ago
Hadley: Chapter Twenty Three ago
Hadley: Chapter Twenty Four ago
Hadley: Chapter Twenty Five ago
Hadley: Chapter Twenty Six ago
Hadley: Chapter Twenty Seven ago
Hadley: Chapter Twenty Eight ago
Hadley: Chapter Twenty Nine ago
Hadley: Chapter Thirty ago
Hadley: Chapter Thirty One ago
Hadley: Chapter Thirty Two ago
Hadley: Chapter Thirty Three ago
Hadley, the Bogge-King ago
Hadley: Chapter Thirty Five ago
Epilogue ago
Glossary ago

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This is the best novel I have found on RR so far. Well written - grammarlly and linguistically. A true high fantasy story, difficult to find something like this amongst hundreds of litrpgs, I have nothing against them, I even love Azarinth Healer, for example, but none of them cam hold a candle against Wander West, In Shadow. The author really know to build up the mystery as well as the tension through the story. I even had a nightmare with the bogge man last night lol. The pace is also really good as well. Compared to most works here, it looks professional, coming for a seasoned writter. Marvelous!


Great start: worldbuilding, mystery and suspense

Reviewed at: Hadley: Chapter One

I have read the first arc (the glimmering) and look forward to reading more.

What stood out to me: The author takes time to build their world. That makes the world seem very lived in. When the plot kicks in this really pays off. The small scale. There are no large scale enemies or mysteries. This helps focusing on the two lead characters.

Hope this story continues for a long time!



Hidden Gem? More Like Hidden Crown Jewel

Reviewed at: Hadley: Chapter Nineteen

This is one of the best books I've ever had the pleasure of reading, period. It's up there on my big list next to The Prince of Thorns, The Emperor's Blades, and Dawn of Wonder. Everything I could ever want in a fantasy novel, it provides: romance, worldbuilding, a sense of progression, and a wondrous magic system that leans just soft enough to really feel magical without dissapointment of a reflavored deus ex machina.

The style aligns perfectly with the story, meandering along with the characters as they progress through their journey. Even the dialogue (which is very proper) lends itself to the serious and grand tone of the adventures.

I love the story and characters. There is no dearth of compelling mystery and dramatic motivations keeping me anticipating each word with baited breath.

The grammar is almost perfect, too. I find the occasional spelling error and somewhat-unclear sentence, but that's about it.

Man, it's going to be hard going back to some of my usual RR fare, lol.

Omg, how many words is 200. I really like the novel, ok? How many times do I need to say it before I can post a review, lol?

Apparently 200 words is this many :/


Good slow burn romance in a dark fantasy warhammer like world. The magic is a good balance between soft and hard. It isn't a completely unknowable monkey paw but it still retains a good bit of mystery. The Characters are well fleshed out and the Writing is compitent. Some grammar errors here and there but nothing too glaring.

Good stuff/10

Avery Light

I got a feeling this story has a 'click' that I can't pinpoint about while I'm reading it. When I read the reviews, now I know why they said it was a 'classic' fantasy. It really does and that's a good thing.

In my opinion, the writing has been done very well so far. Didn't find and grammar mistakes, if there are I must just absorb them as I read on, nothing seemed off to me. I do have a critique about the style though. Sometimes the sentence appears 'big' or 'heavy'. Too many words in a paragraph. This case is especially prominent in chapter 4 but maybe it's just me. Still, it's a solid work and we move to the story and characters.

The characters are all both interesting and lifelike. Early on we got introduced to two MCs (or a hero with a heroine, don't know yet). They met and travel together like how you met other people on the same tour overseas. So far they are interesting, showing nice of different personalities. The story is pretty local at first, a mysterious case befalling a village. The author feeds us the lore and worldbuilding in bits and pieces instead of shoving it down our throat, which was more preferable to me.

Overall, it's definitely a good story. early chapters have a mystery and dark feel about it (just look at the cover, it's a dark forest road). A pair of boy and girl magic wielders with their familiars traveling together, what mystery will they find? Let's find out. 


Masterful Fantasy Horror (needs a little work)

Reviewed at: The Bogge-Rider: Chapter Three

This is quality fantasy horror that evokes a fully-realized piece of complex world-building in a few linked short stories.  If say it was as if John Brunner had written Warhammer Fantasy.  And I mean that as highest praise.  If you like your magic to feel like it's a dangerous enterprise, undertaken by incautious fools, and your fantasy worlds to feel as if they are occupied by dark and forbidding horrors, then The Glimmerling will be time well spent.

That said, there are a few passages - particularly towards the start - that could benefit from a re-visiting as they sit somewhat at odds with the flow of the rest of the narrative.


This is confident, competent prose with a deft hand for evoking a spine chilling and creepy setting.

The characterization is sightly inconsistent, and the logic occasionally wobbly.  But you'll barely notice.


I love the approach of telling a much larger, more expansive tale through a series of self-contained short stories.  Few writers do this well, but it's well-fitted to the narrative of The Glimmering and executed with expertise.

A second pass to sort out the handful of logical inconsistencies (imo) would rate this a five.


The author has clearly got an expert grasp of grammar.  However, the text does have a light dusting of spelling and grammar errors - just what one would expect from a first draft and which will all be swept up in a second pass, I'm certain.


Martin and Elyse are an appealing pair of heroes with well imagined histories and adequate motivations, but there are some consistency issues.  They both seem to waver between sightly contradictory versions of themselves.  I think it may take until the whole fiction is finished before this can be cleared up and the author can determine what the definite truth of each of them.


I am definitely following this fiction.  I've not seen anything else quite like it on RR and it's a welcome break from yet another LitRPG (says the person writing a LitRPG).  I could definitely see The Glimmering finding a future in mainstream publication through someone like Tor Books or Angry Robot.


Great read with a slower pace

Reviewed at: Hadley: Chapter Twenty One

After catching up with the current chapters of "Wander West, in Shadow", I found it to be so enjoyable that I thought it a shame that the story wasn't more well known. 

To being with, it's a story set in a high fantasy world without any connection to the modern world (no isekai, reincarnation, etc...). The initial synopsis provides a good introduction to the premise, though it should be said that the plot starts small in scale (very personal and character focused) and seems to be slowly expanding.

Furthermore, it should be said that while the story is very engaging, it has a much slower pace than a lot of the more popular stories on Royal Road. It's not a slice of life, but the author spends a good chunk of time focusing on character interactions and details. Instead, tension is built up over time with layers of details, allowing for moments of highs and lows, with brief moments of respite in between. This results in a story that's not as easy to read and action packed (though there's still plenty of action) as many of the most popular novels on the site. I find this to be fine, but I know many other readers may not have the same tastes.

Worldbuilding is also very well done and well executed. Rather than large infodumps that are chores to read, the author generally provides the readers with information on the world through character interactions. There are no LitRpg elements or anything of the sort. Rather, magic is not super well defined or structured, but I'm fine with this as it retains some of that mystery element. The MC's feel very much mortal (especially in the face of the things they meet) and thus need to use their wits and eachother to survive/progress.

The story is very well written with excellent grammar, and more importantly it felt pleasant to read. I don't remember any point in time where I had to reread a sentence or paragraph because the structure didn't flow well.

I really enjoyed how the author put a heavy emphasis on characters, resulting in the main cast having very interesting personalities. In addition, I like how the characters each have their own secrets, allowing for additional tension and making character development and interactions much more engaging.

Overall, I truly think that this story deserves more exposure, as it is definitively in the upper echelons of quality stories on RR.


I've read a fair few works on Royal Road, as a lurker and as a member. I have enjoyed a lot, disliked others. Many have had good technical skills, have been funny or unique in their themes.

This though is something real. I would gladly buy this in print and place it on my shelves. It is true fantasy, it feels to me like Tolkien or Le Guin. Wander West in Shadow evokes that feeling that Lord Dunsany put best "A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders"

I am bound by the story, long may it continue


The writing in the this story is some of the best on this site but there is something that irks me.

If youre expecting magic to have any meaningful impact on the story youll be sorely dissapointed as i had the impression that we would be reading about a couple who were truly capable at magic but alas. Not sure if its just a slow burn and theyll suddenly get better latter but it they cant even use their magic to defend themselves at the moment.

They recently had a breakthrough of boiling water if they worked together so i dont think i need to say much more. 


Ellen Taylor

First and foremost, this was a well written story. I very much enjoyed my time reading it. The author did a great job weaving dark imagery, and I could feel myself being a part of the story because of the descriptions of the setting and the unsettling aspect of it. 

The story was also excellent. It got a little too dark for my taste, but I didn't let that hurt the score I gave. For the eight chapters I read, it is an excellent addition to the fantasy genre as a whole. 

Grammar was great throughout, though I did notice the use of the word "suddenly" would appear more often whenever the action would build. At one point "suddenly" was there four times in a short paragraph, and I feel like the author could have chosen different words for it.

The characters were intriguing and in eight chapters I felt I got to know them. I have nothing to complain about these characters. Even some of the nameless townsfolk I felt for. Well done!

Overall, a wonderful read! I think it's really smart to have a full, complete arch in eight chapters to give a reader a taste of the story. Give it a try!