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.

  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score
  • Total Views :
  • 6,092,010
  • Average Views :
  • 56,408
  • Followers :
  • 11,742
  • Favorites :
  • 8,612
  • Ratings :
  • 6,082
  • Pages :
  • 2,930
Go to Table of Contents
Rate it
Fiction breaking rules? Report


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

Leave a review

Sort by:
Allister Hale

If this isn't trending soon I will be shocked.

No seriously.

Stop wasteing time reading this and other reviews and just start reading.

I've been following MoL since around the end of the first major Arc, what could be considered the first book. I rarely reread stories and this I will be using the fact that MoL has been added to RRL to read it from the start for like the fifth time or so.


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.


You already know what it is

Reviewed at: 1. Good Morning Brother

Read the title. You already know what it is. You see it at the number one slot. The Daddy of all daddies. It's perfect. I've read it twice. I've dreamed about it at least three times. It's the GOAT. I've read at least a hundred time loop stories, (I'd say hundreds, but I'm not sure there are that many) traditionally published and otherwise. This is the best one. Hands down. 

The Dragons Tales

A unique story that instantly ensares you with a unique magic system, and a mysterious loop, with the only lead being a dangerous tine traveler that might be under the control of a far more sinister force. In the first read through, the simple mystery leads you forward, always making you guess on what could be next. We watch as Zorian slowly becomes an Archmage, and discovers the secrets of the loop. Even after reading this book half a dozen times I still love it every singl time. It's characters are all unique, the magic system feels organic, and the loop is still amazing and fun.

Sanderson Fanatic 103

I loved this book.  I became hooked and binged the whole thing in a week.  It's one of the best things I've read in ages and it's so remarkably amazing for a new writer.  I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for him to put out new work.  I have a few gripes with the pacing, especially in the second part of the story, and I wish it would have continued on just one or two more chapters.  I'm hopeful we see more of Zorian, either through the sequel Nobody103 mentioned might be more slice of life style, or through new stories with him being seen in the background.  I'd love to return to this world.  It's simple and complex at the same time.  I'm enamoured.

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.


One of my all time favourites

Reviewed at: 100. Sacrifice

Over time i had a chance to read a lot of novels, be it originals or translations. This one I started reading before many others on my list. And this one is one of few i can always remember about, when other are long forgotten.

Nostalgia that was inside me is gone now, so let's speak about this novel from more technical side.

Authors writing quality is great. I am writing here not only about grammar and such, but also about story itself. Story, that had me interested in each chapter, which is also important thing. 

I am always very bothered by plot holes, illogical behaviour or just plain stupidity of characters portrayed by author. Here i had no such problems. Every character, his actions and motivations were very believable.

I had also no problems bonding with MC, which many authors (whether they create good or evil MC) can't really manage.

The only CON i can think about is that the story ended :). And don't get me wrong, despite it only being 100ish chapters, those chapters are really long and packed to the brim with story. Just like i like it.

It's must read.


To nobody103,

First of all, thanks for the amazing story. it was a blast to read something like it. It was such a long book I feared getting bored in the middle, but that didn't happen. it was great. Alright, pleasantries aside, I have something to say about some characters. 

First of all, Kael, the genius alchemist was underused. For all his worth and talent at making potions that could have helped Zorian get over his lacking physical capacities, our alchemist friend only acted as the connecting bridge to Alanic & Lukav.

Secondly, Lukav: No matter how I Look at him, he comes out as a completely unimportant character. 

I think it would have given the story more weight if Zorian had found out about Alanic through the Church, allowing bypassing kale and Lukav entirely from the story and allowing you to bring the cats in the story much sooner since they are more important. 
Nochka, the cat girl, was enough to take Kirielle from Zorian's hands and allow deeper character development.

Thirdly, it seemed like you got distracted around the 40th or so chapter because after that the telling just took over. I truly believe that was the time you could have started experimenting with multiple character povs. It woudl ahve allowed you to greater work on the character interactions with the environment. Currently, everything after the fiftieth chapter reads like a summary. 

And I have a question. Was the Red robe supposed to be Zach's simalacrum and the idea got dropped somewhere? Because it sure as hell felt like so. Zach's tempered mind and the clear disappearance of his classmate seemed like a distraction. I thought you put all the soul related restriction on Zach so he couldn't find out about the missing copy running around. And him remembering the scroll on the pirate boat meant it had left a deep effect on him. 

It would have been a great twist if red robe was Zah;'s clone. The primordial could have made him a new body in the real world and everything could have been the same otherwise. 

Alright, that's it for me. I hope e get to read the sequal sometime soon. Thank,s agian fro writing something so mazing.