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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1st Anniversary
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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Dell Ambraelle
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I've read this up to current on fictionpress. It is a story that really is one of the best around. It makes Harry Potter look like the utter trash that it is (Not that its unenjoyable trash) but it is lesser when compared to a work of this quality.

Read it.

Alina Zhou
  • Overall Score

How is this novel the highest rated novel here?

Reviewed at: 102. Giants

This novel is terrible. It relies on a groundhog day like gimmick. The characters are flat, not terribly nuanced, and don't transform themselves much over the course of the story. Furthermore, the plot has no surprises.

The entire novel falls flat.

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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.

Rowan saylor
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More (time)loops than a roller coaster and just as fun.

Reviewed at: Afterword

A wonderful world building with goals that make sense, villains that are realistic, and a plot that makes sense as it is revealed. The magic is a bit on the soft core and the focus is on the plot and secrets as well as trying to find a way to fix the ultimate hurdle. A wonderful novel to read of the timeloop genre. It is one of the few novels I have reccomended to real life friends.

  • Overall Score

 It's a good story. I felt aroused while reading this. The time loop portion is well executed and the plot is great. 

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Too short. Need 3k more pages minimun

Reviewed at: Afterword
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Excellent story that is worth the read. Has a great ending but I for one hope the author will continue with another book a few years down the line as it has so much more potential for more.                                                  


  • Overall Score

If you've not read it, why not!

Reviewed at: Afterword

I'm so glad people mananged to convince the author to publish the story on here. And I've very glad to have read it.


Unfortunately it's now reached the end, but I look forward to whatever is next.

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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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One of the best

Reviewed at: Afterword

I have a policy of giving reviews only to fictions I can say very nice things about.  

This is a smart webfiction.  I don't think there's a fiction on the web that does a better job of managing character improvement.  It's truly impressive.  As a fellow webfiction writer, trying to do the job of character growth ten percent as well as Mother of Learning seems a daunting task.   

It was written as a fiction with an end in mind. Unlike many stories here, this was no everlasting fiction.  There was a start, an end, and it progressed well. 

I hated waiting a month between chapters.  I hated even more waiting three or four months for the last three chapters.   

It was a magnificent story.   Clearly one of the best fictions ever to grace the pages of the web.