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)
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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  • Overall Score

An all time serial novel great!

Reviewed at: Afterword

I followed this story for.years on fictionpress. I think I originally found it due to the top web fiction weekly poll and it's an absolute gem.

In general I hate time travel plots, but this story helped me realize why I avoid them, by deftly avoiding all the cheap moments that made me so dissatisfied.

The protagonist's heroic arc is so fully developed, both in terms of personal growth but also maturity, which is so crucial in a story that focuses so predominantly on the passage of time.

Here are two key things that I know are both rare and prized by RR readers, it's a completed story and it has no drop off in quality or tone.

This is one of the best fictuons ever published, with a place in my personal pantheon aside others such as Worm, Super Powereds, and A PractiCal Guide to Evil.

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Finished stories are aweome !

Reviewed at: Epilogue

Thank you for finishing this story! You answered the biggest mysteries leaving us with a satisfying finish. The story was a pleasent read with excelent pacing, the mystery unveiled itself progressively. The characters are fun and interesting.

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Best web novel out there period.

Reviewed at: Afterword

Tells a complete and satisfying story. Best web novel I've read. There are many things to like about this novel. Just one of my favorite aspects is that despite being a time travel story, every replay is truly unique. We are constantly learning new things about the world and the characters. Spectacular.

  • Overall Score

As I'm sure other and the author have pointed out, there are some gramatical and spelling errors.

I guess some out of world terminology got used that might doesn't really make sense within the world but I didn't notice anything.

The story is interesting, compelling and exciting. I love it and will recommend this to everyone that I can. 

The main character starts out as a grump and grows from there, I don't want to spoil anything so just read it and find out!

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My only regret was not reading this story sooner.

Reviewed at: Afterword

This story is one of the most amazing stories i've ever read. ELLC? Thats good, there is no epic loot, only puns? Thats great. 

This story though? This is a damned masterpeice. Thoughout the story you are getting different pieces of a puzzle of a collosal scale. 

Honestly i want to write so much for this review, post it as chapters instead of just this but oh my god i just can't think of how to structure that right.

The characters are great, thoughout the story you see the main character interact with them in different ways and they stay faithful to themselves. There are no 2 faced characters, from useless to suddenly giving the main peice of the puzzle instead they are just people. The main character talks with some and each has their own peice, big and small. Some only provide romours, while others teach the main character magic though the different loops and react differently when they find out that the mage they are teaching somehow already has magic that only they possess or tricks to modify spells.

The grammar is just top notch.

The story. Holy. I could write a really damned long thing on this. I'll just say its a masterpiece. If that isn't enough for you i recommend you read this story and find out why. Hell, read the story then suggest something for me to write that isn't just masterpiece and i might go with it.

  • Overall Score

Just read It. One of the besta novels hosted here. Writing a review wont do It any justice. Take your time, read It, and enjoy the Ride.

Hermit Heights
  • Overall Score

The best webnovel I have ever read.

Reviewed at: Afterword

It's absolutely amazing, and Zimzimbadabim explains it perfectly.

little kaper
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A slice of life that fell off the deep end.

Reviewed at: Afterword

Some quick notes to a future reader.

The author had vision that I could appreciate only after the story progresses.

I honestly HATED the MC for several chapters, until I realized why he felt that way.

It was a fantastic read. The sense of urgency and formula wasn't repetitive. 

  • Overall Score


Reviewed at: 102. Giants

Mmmmmmm soon it will be done it will, pleased I am

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Mother of Learning 12/10

Reviewed at: 102. Giants

Its well written and an interesting story that keeps you second guessing until the end. 12/10 would recommend. The characters are interesting and 3 dimensional. The main character works hard and it shows though he is slightly above average it doesn't feel like he wins cause of bullcrap.