Mother of Learning

by nobody103

Original ONGOING Adventure Fantasy Mystery Magic

Zorian is a teenage mage of humble birth and slightly above-average skill, attending his third year of education at Cyoria's magical academy. He is a driven and irritable young man, consumed by a desire to ensure his own future and free himself of the influence of his family, whom he resents for favoring his brothers over him. Consequently, he has no time for pointless distractions or paying attention to other people's problems.

As it happens, time is something he is about to get plenty of. On the eve of the Cyoria's annual summer festival, he is killed and brought back to the beginning of the month, just before he was about to take a train to Cyoria. Suddenly trapped in a time loop with no clear end or exit, Zorian will have to look both within and without to unravel the mystery before him. And he does have to unravel it, for the time loop hadn't been made for his sake and dangers lurk everywhere...

Repetition is the mother of learning, but Zorian will have to first make sure he survives to try again - in a world of magic, even a time traveler isn't safe from those who wish him ill.

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Next Chapter Target Date: 25th of August, 2019

The story updates with a new chapter every 3-4 weeks. I aim for one chapter every 3 weeks, but real life sometimes interferes with that and I end up taking an extra week to finish things.

If anyone is interested, I have a story-related worldbuilding site that can be found here. I don't update it as often as I should, but there is a fair amount of content there already. It also contains a page with all the fanart, fan translations, audio books and the like - you can reach it directly by clicking this link.

I have a patreon account for those kind people that want to give me money. It also contains info for those who want to donate via paypal.

The story was originally posted on fictionpress, back in 2011. When I reached chapter 91, I started uploading the story to RoyalRoad, one chapter per day. The story will continue to be updated on fictionpress as well as here, and can be reached by clicking on this link if somebody is interested, though at this point there is nothing there that isn't also on RoyalRoad.

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The cover you see on the side has been made by a fellow RoyalRoad user Sydorow. Thank you for your time and art skills.

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nobody103

nobody103

Achievements
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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
1. Good Morning Brother ago
2. Life’s Little Problems ago
3. The Bitter Truth ago
4. Stars Fell ago
5. Start Over ago
6. Concentrate and Try Again ago
7. Of Gaps And Pretending ago
8. Perspective ago
9. Cheaters ago
10. Overlooked Details ago
11. Limiters ago
12. Soul Web ago
13. Any Second Now ago
14. The Sister Effect ago
15. Busy Friday ago
16. We Need To Talk ago
17. Sympathy for the Spider ago
18. The Pact is Sealed ago
19. Tangled Webs ago
20. A Matter of Faith ago
21. Wheel of Fortune ago
22. Complications ago
23. Lighting the Fuse ago
24. Smoke and Mirrors ago
25. The Unexpected ago
26. Soulkill ago
27. Cast Adrift ago
28. Cauldron ago
29. The Hunters and the Hunted ago
30. A Game of Shops ago
31. Marked ago
32. Alternatives ago
33. Gateways ago
34. Unreasonable Things ago
35. Mistakes Have Been Made ago
36. A Battle of Minds ago
37. Slow Burn ago
38. Return to Cyoria ago
39. Suspicious Coincidences ago
40. Shifting Tracks ago
41. Myriad Clashing Motives ago
42. Sum of its Parts ago
43. Overwhelmed ago
44. A Show of Trust ago
45. Fine Structures ago
46. The Other Side ago
47. Politics ago
48. Well of Souls ago
49. Substitution ago
50. Containment ago
51. Out of Control ago
52. Things Fall Apart ago
53. Phantoms ago
54. The Gate Is Barred ago
55. Threshold ago
56. Obscure ago
57. Unwanted ago
58. Questions and Answers ago
59. One Step Forward ago
60. Into the Abyss ago
61. Anthills ago
62. Improperly Used ago
63. The March of Days ago
64. Distance ago
65. Dangerous Ground ago
66. Marred Perfection ago
67. Convergence ago
68. Green Hell ago
69. Ruin ago
70. Carried Away ago
71. Shadows of the Past ago
72. Crossroads ago
73. Plodding Ahead ago
74. The Return ago
75. Soul Stealer ago
76. Critical Blunder ago
77. Testing ago
78. Grinding Stone ago
79. Crime and Evading Punishment ago
80. Enemies ago
81. A Civil Conversation ago
82. Ancient Circles ago
83. Scorpion ago
84. Powerless ago
85. Critical Mass ago
86. A New World ago
87. Agents of the Crown ago
88. Mysterious Ways ago
89. Victory ago
90. Change of Plans ago
91. A Path Paid in Blood ago
92. The Scramble ago
93. Shelter in the Storm ago
94. Ghosts ago
95. Betrayer ago
96. Contract ago
97. Illusory ago
98. Beneath the Surface ago
99. Powderkeg ago
100. Sacrifice ago
101. The Switch ago
Reviews

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Monsoon117
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First off, go read this story if you haven't. It's really, really good. Now for the review.

Mother of Learning is a story revolving around a bitter and resentful teen named Zorian Kavinski. Through insane circumstances, he ends up in a time loop, repeating the same month over and over again. Throughout each rendition, he retains his memories, builds his skills, and becomes a force to reckon with. There's many foes he has to overcome however, most of them far more powerful then him. Zorian must scrap together every bit of his resourcefullness if he is to win, otherwise his entire world will collapse around him.

So I'll be rating the review on three of my own catagories. Characters, Plot, and World-building. These elements, when used well, integrate into a seamless story that takes you away. Mother of Learning does this in spades.

Characters: This is one of the novels greatest strengths. The characters are varied, different, and have a variety of motivations behind their actions. There are genuine conflicts that arise as well, and watching the sheer depth of their mental battles is something to behold. None of the characters are cliches either. They have a genuine presence that's hard to ignore, and they each act independently of the others.

I couldn't praise the main character Zorian enough, in fact. He is mediocre in many respects. The few talents he does have are far exceeded by his older brother Damien. Despite not being gifted with a spring of talent, Zorian was gifted with ingenuity and genuine intelligence. He uses tricks, clever plots, and plans that caught me off guard on numerous occasions with how well thought out they are. He has flaws, such as his immaturity and resentment of those who are better of him. At the time, this only enhances his likeability and relatableness.

Other characters share that trait. They all have flaws, and each of them makes simple mistakes. It's not done in a plot-hole kind of way either. 

Now that isn't to say my praise is endless. Quite a few times while reading, the 'voices' of the character's dialogue bleed together. This is because the author enjoys unloading tremendous amounts of relevant information about his world to the reader. At the same time, it doesn't make sense that nearly every character that describes something to Zorian does so in a complete, holistic pattern that covers everything interesting about a topic.

This isn't a crippling problem, and it adds to many aspects of the novel. At the same time, I felt it was worth noting.

Plot: The plot of the novel is airtight. It's so devoid of plot-holes that it's incredible to behold, especially for a story as fantastical and long as this. It's so hard to do that, especially as the concepts and stakes of the novel rise up higher and higher. The author accomplishes this through the use of his detailed world-building and historical integration. Allow me to explain.

The detailed world-building is so thorough and encompassing, that you're left with very few questions. Every curiosity about various in word mechanics are satisfied to the utmost, giving a near flawless understanding of the world at hand. This adds amazing depth to the plot and characters since it gives so much context to their actions and motivations. Indeed, this is one of the biggest reasons the characters are so well developed. 

This is where historical integration comes in. By weaving the history of the world into the bckground of the characters, we get added depth to them. For example, there was an event known as the weeping. It was a plague that swept across the nation several years ago, and the author ties several characters backstories to this event. That's great use of his narrative tools.

These elements create iron-clad motivations for all the characters and events of the story. This foundation is what everything is propped up on, and it's more solid than stone.

World-Building: By and large, this is the biggest draw of this novel. I've never read a novel so utterly fullproof from a world standpoint. Hell, at times I felt I understand this fantasy world better than the real world with how excellent the descriptions are. The author obviously understands many subjects in real life, and he uses those to flesh out many of the more airy concepts in this novel.

What feels hollow in most novels becomes something reliable and understandable here. For example, there's soul magic done in this novel. Soul magic is notorious for injecting total bullshit into a story and offering dues ex machinas in plots. Not in this story. It's a reliable mechanic I felt the entire story could have revolved around. That applies to at least a dozen other fields of magic.

The history of the world, as mentioned earlier, is also bulletproof. The author must have plotted out at least a thousand+ years of history in order to scope out the events of this novel. Every piece of it is relevant to the plot, and that is so damn hard to do in any novel, let alone one with so much backstory to draw from.

Overall: This story's amazing. It's breathtakingly professional, and it's just something you should support on Patreon. I know I do.

Qualms: As you may imagine, I have few problems with this story, but there exists a few elements that I felt could be done better. For starters, the action scenes in this story are told like a recap of the actual fight. This is a real shame, because the fights themselves are vibrant displays of the author's creativity. It just lacks a real punch in a lot of scenarios because it feels distant due to how the events are 'told' rather than 'shown.'

Another slight I have with the story involves the 'voice' of the characters at times. I touched on this point earlier, but sometimes characters offer up explanations that don't flow well in a conversation. They'll over elaborate to an extreme at times, and this can be somewhat jarring. It's also worth noting that while the characters themselves are exceptionally well made, some of the characters just fell short of my expectations.

Spoiler: Spoiler

There yah have it. From one author to another, I must say this is damn fine work that you should be proud of. Publish this please, and go become a professional author. With talent like this, it would be a crying shame if you didn't finish some of the other novels you might have an idea for.

The Abyss
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Mother of Learning is an uncommon find among fantasy stories, and one that enamoured me like no other.

Try as you may, but you will find no major fault in this story. All the plot points are well thought out, leaving no questions regarding what exactly is happening to our dear friend Zorian. All of the characters have proper motivation behind their actions, and there is no obvious deus ex machina that pops out for conveniences sake, at least until the point that I read. Which, if you were curious, was chapter 23.

Though the blocks of text may seem intimidating, and may even cause your eyes extreme fatigue (as it did mine), I can guarantee that the read is more than worth it.

Laeosari
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Top tier worldbuilding and character development

I've been following Mother of Learning elsewhere for years and I still look forward to every update. The story takes its time to really build up the world and characters, every part of it has the depth to really draw you in and get you invested in the story.

The start can be a bit slow but it is worth giving it a few chapters.
I fully expect this to hit the top ranks on here!

j03man
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The only downside of this entire story is its slow release pace. Amazing characterization, grammar is unimpeachable, the story and world are well thought out, and the style sucks you in constantly wanting more.

Savane
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One of my favourites ever

Can't stress how good this is. The world building, the character development, the twists and turns of the story, the grammar, everything is top notch.

One of the best web fictions there is.

 

 

Ansraer
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One of the best webnovels out there

 I have been reading this story for over a year now and all I can say is wow. This is definitely one of the best webstories out there. The only thing that could be improved is the frequency of new releases, but if that's the price we have to pay for this masterpiece so be it.

TheHoblit
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Mother of Learning is easily one of the best novels I have read, ever.

 

The main character makes sense, is rational and smart, the world is thought out and realistic, the plot is amazing and interesting. There is always something interesting happening and going on, and I always want to see what happens next

 

read this novel.

eccentrich
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This serial has been going on for 7 years...

This is definitely my favorite web serial of all time, and it's great to see it appear here at last.  I believe the story is almost finished, but I could be wrong.

This is my first review on RR, so if I screwed it up, it should have 5 stars.  There's really nothing bad I can say about it...  It does the whole concept of time loops extremely well, great characters, plot, world building, etc.

If you haven't read it, you should.  Unless you have extremely specialized tastes in writing...

Better than most published fiction...

(Even though I haven't done any reviews previously, I've mostly lurked here for a few years.)

Although the older chapters are flawless gramatically, some of the new chapters, right after being posted, do have a few typos & errors.  The author seems to do a good job of fixing them eventually, and they never are very bad.  It's quite possible that all of them will be fixed before being posted here.

Chilling_Monk
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- Good Grammar 

- Charakter development 

- Original Plot

- Well Structured Magic Universe 

- No plotholes & Story comes together really really well

 

It has been a pleasure to read this novel for months on fictionpress and If you dont know this story yet, you should start reading now.

It should be almost finished, maybe a few chapters left. 

Dont expect any major romantic plot. 

 

The kind of qualitystory i would also recommend nonnerdy people to read. 

Specificmice
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Fortune wrapped in existential terror.

As of Chapter 92 on authors Fiction Press.

Story: Nobody has created a massive and sprawling world thinking through the politics, society, technology, theology and culture of mages, sentient psycic spiders, liches and hilariously stone age humanoid wasps; and how all of them would clash or cooperate with each other in tribes or countries over contenents.  The story reads like it was completly planned out and executed with a goal in mind. Not a stream of consiousness.

   MC time loops one month for years of subjective time.  Exploring learning and going to war with anything that stands in the way of not surviving (he dies sometimes)but existing.  

Style:  The Narration is Excellent and is consistent in following the actions of MC and some of his internal thought processes.  The Narration style is consistent and feels like a narrator telling a story.  Not a drunk bipolar schizophranic telling lies in a bar.  The mechanics of how Nobody shows the story while telling it seems natural and seemless. Narration stays in the present tense throughout.

Grammar: Better than mine ^^.  You can go through dozens of chapters and not notice anything that would distract and stop the flow of the story.  Very rarely there is a mispelled word.  Syntax and word choices make for a flowing enjoyable read.

Character Score:  I think this is where the story really shines.  Other characters see actions and emotions of the MC,  react and judge him in diffrent ways because of it.  All characters feel like real and unique people that grow or dont grow as a mechanic of the time loop.

The premis is good.  The characters are equal parts enjoyable and annoying.  Magic, the fallout of absent gods and politcal intrige run wild.  Pick it up you wont regret it.