Mother of Learning

by nobody103

Original HIATUS 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.


Next Chapter Target Date: December, 2019 (No Exact Date)

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.


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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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

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  • Overall Score

A pillar of online reading.

It is great  have been keeping up with it for years now on fictionpress and while we are nearing the end I will always be looking forward to more chapters!

  • Overall Score

Read upto ch 92, its really good. basically groundhog-day but a month long, multiple loopers, and magic. It also has great worldbuilding.

Le Blanc
  • Overall Score

Other Dimensional view

I thought that im an expert and experience reader... but then this gem slap mah face off and shove onto mah head what it is really... this is an over all other worldy novel that can tople the mind of a 190 iQ level and experience reader thought im no 190 iQ mah experience and knowledge can flop thise numbers ... ay ay 5 star is the true level upon u that i bestow !!!!

Czarny Arek
  • Overall Score

You know that this story is translated to polish ? only few chapters and its on hiatus but still xd  

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Spoiler: Spoiler


Spoiler: Spoiler
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First Review - This Deserves it

I've been following this story on fictionpress for a while now and despite the long delay between chapters im constantly checking for an update anyways. Just read it. Theres a reaason every release garners hundreds of comments on the r/rational subreddit while most releases struggle to achieve even 30. Seriously do yourself a favor and read this gem.

Alex Storm
  • Overall Score

A review as of first arc end

A really nice story by the amount of chapters read so far, binge read sure but quite enjoyable and detailed nicely. Didnt spot any plot holes or even if there were didnt pay any mind to them or otherwise the story captivated me quite nicely. Although also would defend this part that the author had mostly figured why the characters act the way they do and everything fits quite nicely logically.

  • Overall Score

Honestly I had trouble starting this, it just seemed slow and the thought of the same thing happening over and over again seemed boring to me but the reviews and ratings made me decide to push through the first, brief, moment of "ehhh maybe not" and boy am i glad I did.

The story is just...awesome!

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"Practice makes perfect."


No idea who quoted that, but this novel emphasizes on that phrase down to the "T."  And what is more, even with seemingly unending repetition involved, the story proves that perfection is impossible.  XD


Now that was my little comment for the story.  As for my review...


The style.  I loved how this was written mostly from the view of the protagonist and strayed away from going down a first person POV.  If the writer had gone down that path, we'd lose out on a number of character reactions and responses that would otherwise been missed by the protagonist.  That may have expanded the work into something longer, say the character having taken note of this or that later, but I enjoyed the notes on everyone involved in this "loopy" world.  :)


The story.  Of course, I was pulled in almost right away.  I'll admit, the first part of the initial chapter had me wary of what I was getting myself into, but I became thankful for taking the risk on my time.  And dear God was reading this novel time consuming!  XD


In my opinion, the time investment paid off.  I learned quite a lot of new writing tricks and am a tad bit more interested in how this wonderous monthly circuit had been outlined.  It had to have been difficult to keep track on who was doing what, where, when, why, and how with the potential of interference from any changes -- big or small.  That boggles my mind how that had been mapped out.  o_o


The grammar.  I'm not a fan of English.  Not saying I know another language, but over the course of generations and regions, the proper way to speak or write has been damned by dialect.  Anyways... I found only a few, more pressing, issues in the most recent chapters.  Things like a "she" here should've been a "he" there or a verb accompanied by an unnecessary additional verb that could still associate themselves separately with the following noun.  So long as I may grasp the gist of what is being portrayed, I find it to be no big deal.  :)


The characters.  Each and every character in this story has their own quirk.  I can easily envision who they are and what they'd be doing in any given situation.  And if I can do that, I'd say these characters have successfully featured their, well, character.  XD


About the characters, the only thing that stood out to me was their speach.  Quite a few times, I came across characters who spoke the same phrases or displayed a speach pattern that was identical of one another.  I don't mind it at all, but like I said, I had noticed the similarity between them -- not all, but most.  And that had been peculiar for, say, somebody who'd spoken in the same mannerism as someone from a different continent.


Overall, I loved the novel, and quite frankly, I really cannot wait to see how this will all go down in the end.  I hope and look forward to seeing the epilogue.  :D

  • Overall Score

 This is very much a novel, not just a story.


I say that because it contains all the elements of a professional book more than most online web series. 

First off, it is well thought out. Everything from the character development to the rules governing the world makes sense and there isn't a sense of overstepping from the author. 

Secondly, it was planned. I presume...The story flows with a clear path and easy to see goals. There aren't fillers.

Lastly, the story feels polished. Like you would expect from a paperback. If that makes any sense at all.