Mother of Learning

by nobody103

Original COMPLETED 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.


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.


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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Word Count (16)
2nd Anniversary
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
102. Giants ago
103. Window of Opportunity ago
104. I Win (I) ago
105. I Win (II) ago
106. I Win (III) ago
Epilogue ago
Afterword ago

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"Morning brother! Morning, morning, morning!!"

I actually read this a while ago, but came back today wishfully thinking that maybe the author might have started a new story. Noticed I hadn't left a review, and berated myself for having forgotten. 

Mother of Learning is undoubtedly my favourite story here on RR. 
I don't mean "one of my favourites", I mean THE favourite. 

It is beautifully well written. All I'll say is, give it untill after the dance. It is slow to get started, taking a number chapters. But once you get to the end of that ball, you'll be off, and you'll never put it down. 

That said, I know it May be tempting to skip the beginning, but DON'T. That beginning it's actually very important, and it lays a lot of ground work that will immediately be very important, and even has a few things in it that become important much later on. 

So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy. 


I've been following this story for years on fictionpress. Sometimes, I'd impatiently wait the whole month for a chapter, and sometimes, I'd patiently stop reading for a year or two, just so I could forget the story and reread it all from the start. It's been a wild ride.

I would spend time between the chapters to look for more stories like it, but none had that same exciting fantasy magic feel while still maintaining a systematic view of it all, nor did they have a character like Zorian, who I've come to love and support with all my heart. It's an amazing story and I love it. I feel excited about the fact that it's now on RR and that many more people can enjoy it's charm. I hope the author publishes the story and also that he continues to write such amazing fiction in the future. I look forward to his future stories.

But for now, its time. Sayonara. It's been an amazing journey.

Green Meteor

Guess it would be fitting for my first review to be of the novel that got me into Royal Road in the first place!

Mother of learning is an outstanding work of fiction. The base premise and the execution are excelent and mostly stable throughout the whole story.

That being said, it's not perfect and a few points drag a bit much, but it doesent come even close to expoiling the good things it has.

So far this is still my favourite story in this site, and I absolutely recommend it to anyone who is into fantasy, D&D or timely whimely stuff in general!


You will get hooked!

Reviewed at: Afterword

This story may have few chapters but there is so much character development and world building that you will feel like you know everything about this magic world after this. I think I read this story over the weekend binge reading because I couldn't stop. It is a well thought out story, and although it is a time loop little changes are enough to create a butterfly effect. It is interesting to see how our choices can have such big impacts on the future. 

I recommend this story for anyone that loves magic, mysteries and riddles. 


3rd time re reading it

Reviewed at: Afterword

I love this book so much, granted I have always enjoyed the time loop concept executed well, and well here is probably the best I have ever seen it done. Very in depth characters, great story, I don't think I have ever seen a grammar problem, and man this author has style. Would recommend to anyone looking for what I call a time travel which is ironic considering the nature of this book, but what I mean is you pick up the book on Friday, and you put it down, look up and its saterday evening already. That's what this is, you really get fully drawn in to the story, to each characters struggles, you pick sides, you root for certain people, and you definitly get emotionally invested. Most of all, you will be dissapointed in this book, because it ends, and that will be the greatest disappointment of all, because unfortunately all good things must come to an end. If I could I would wipe my memory of this book so I could re-read it fresh, I can not wait to see what other works this author produces in the future, but they have a lot to live up to.


I read this book on fiction press. Awesome. He made time travel interesting unlike most stories. The plot advanced covering the same territory in new and interesting ways over his hundred odd chapters. 

I especially like that he doesn't fall into the usual good and evil fantasy tropes. The grammar is correct, but it could use some editing. But the story is so good i don't care.

I highly recommend.


4.5 stars -- I am not a creative reviewer

Reviewed at: 3. The Bitter Truth

One of the first webnovel/webfiction I read, and have since read it twice.

The time travel element is a nice way of ensuring that the character growth does not feel unrealistic.

The naming of the story is very apt, seeing as the MC is a very studious learner.

Very little romance may be a + or - depending on what you like.

The spiders are fantastic x)

With the young age of some characters, their immaturity was at times somewhat grating but nothing that bothered me too much.

I don't really have a problem with this, but I can understand how some might feel that the story feel a bit "on rails" without being too dynamic due to the fact that you know that none of the actions in the story have lasting consequences (with the monthly reset). The majority of the story is focused on the MC learning more about the situation and furthering his magical abilities, less about big dynamic changes that significantly alter the course of the story or the characters. I think that is a given with a monthy reset, however.

Carl Antuar

A well planned mystery in a richly detailed world

Reviewed at: Afterword

Mother of Learning comes with an intricate plot that just kept surprising me, even though I was avidly following it for years as each chapter was published. Zorian (and Zach) really has to earn his happy ending, through a lot of work. I loved how the mystery was unravelled one tiny piece at a time, like chipping away at a rock face, not just one big reveal. (In fact, usually the big reveals are revealing something unpleasant.)

The author is a fluent, but not native, English speaker, and that shows up in the wording from time to time, but it doesn't create a big problem. Originally there were a fair number of spelling and grammar errors, but he's responsive to reader feedback, so a lot of them have been cleaned up.

The characters weren't always the highlight of the story, but they were a solid support to it. Kirielle is adorably annoying, and Enthusiastic Seeker of Novelty managed to steal the show even though she actually had very little screen time. Kudos on having villains with more depth than just being cacklingly evil, too.

What really sells it for me, though, is the world building. The magic system is well thought out, the world history is reasonable while preserving many unanswered questions, the politics are tangled. It's a really rich setting, and the story showcases a good amount of it without exhausting it.


Likely the best story on the platform

Reviewed at: Afterword

Publishing levels of writing, grammar, and characters. A slow burner for the ages. The first ten chapters lead up to, what is likely one of the largest mysteries on the website. Personally loved it. The ending was worth waiting for. While it may have gotten a little slow in some places, It most definitely picked up pace in the important moments.


for the author looking forward for the SEQUEL

Reviewed at: Afterword

After reading the afterword of the author and what he wants to improve i just wanted to say that i think you succed on what you wanted to do that is what i love inthis novel how the character interact in same but differrent scenerio


PS. dont be pressure that the next story shoiul be as good as this or even better than this the bar is reallly high now