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: November, 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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The Abyss
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Mother of Learning is an uncommon find among fantasy stories, and one that enamoured me like no other.

Try as you may, but you will find no major fault in this story. All the plot points are well thought out, leaving no questions regarding what exactly is happening to our dear friend Zorian. All of the characters have proper motivation behind their actions, and there is no obvious deus ex machina that pops out for conveniences sake, at least until the point that I read. Which, if you were curious, was chapter 23.

Though the blocks of text may seem intimidating, and may even cause your eyes extreme fatigue (as it did mine), I can guarantee that the read is more than worth it.

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One of my favourites ever

Can't stress how good this is. The world building, the character development, the twists and turns of the story, the grammar, everything is top notch.

One of the best web fictions there is.



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This serial has been going on for 7 years...

This is definitely my favorite web serial of all time, and it's great to see it appear here at last.  I believe the story is almost finished, but I could be wrong.

This is my first review on RR, so if I screwed it up, it should have 5 stars.  There's really nothing bad I can say about it...  It does the whole concept of time loops extremely well, great characters, plot, world building, etc.

If you haven't read it, you should.  Unless you have extremely specialized tastes in writing...

Better than most published fiction...

(Even though I haven't done any reviews previously, I've mostly lurked here for a few years.)

Although the older chapters are flawless gramatically, some of the new chapters, right after being posted, do have a few typos & errors.  The author seems to do a good job of fixing them eventually, and they never are very bad.  It's quite possible that all of them will be fixed before being posted here.

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The novel i enjoyed the most ever. no kidding:)

a must read for everyone, this is bound to be a classic in a few years given how amazing this story has been. We are currently 10-15 chapters from the end and i never got such a blast reading something (and i'm a big reader. I read hundreds of books in my life so i'm not saying it lighly).

the story follow zorian, a teenage mage having some family troubles and kinda self-centered, as he grow through a time looping world where he found himself without knowing anything. We follow his struggles (and struggles there is, holy shit :o) and internal changes while we learn more and more about the people living in this world. This is a page turner, most people starting to read it have a point where there can't stop reading and waste whole weeks of free time just to get their fix. 

If there a novel you must try in your life, this is it. I'm not kidding at all xD

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A long-time favorite.

I have been a follower of this novel for years. I was lucky enough to run into it when I first started reading web novels, and have periodically checked back and read updated chapters about once a month. This novel excels on a plethora of fronts. The author uses impeccable grammar and structure that makes reading easy and pleasing, and it is rare to find a spelling mistake or word oversight.

Pacing as well is accomplished phenomenally, with both character personality and power growth occuring at an onverall consistent rate with small breakthroughs at well-placed and natural intervals that are just enough to keep them moving forward without overreaching.

When I have the time I will come back and do a more in-depth review, because this story is one that deserves to have it's virtues extolled at length, but for now I will just say this: Mother of Learning is a fantastic story that consistently ranks itself among my favorite three web novels, often holding first place. It has been the story that I have returned to most often over the years, and I have never once been disappointed with it. If you want a good read, you'll find it here.



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Pretty good, totally worth a shot

So this is my first review so take anything I say/write with a grain of salt.


So "Mother of learning" is in my opinion a pretty good novel which I like.


Mol has much potential to be one of the best novels on this site (in my opinion at least) and is unique in it take on time travel since I don't know of manny with such story element.

The chapter are all pretty long so one chapter feels to me like three and our protagonist feels like a human being, which goes frome being a a social jackass to a teenager a little bit on the awkward side, so character development is there.

Grammar, well what can I say, my mother language is not English and I am not extremely good at English and I didn't find any misspelling or if I found any those would have been insignificant since I forgot them, so in my opinion pretty good.


And I would everyone recommend to read or to give it a try.

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Best Character Growth I've Seen

I'm not an exaggeration when I give this story all 5 stars, it's really that good. The over reviews do a good job of telling you how well the time loop mechanic is used, the brilliant plot and the sidestepping of OP character pitfall so I'm just going to mention my favourite thing about this fiction that I have not seen mentioned.

People have already said that the characterization is good, but that does not quite do the story justice. Zorien grows a lot throughout the story and I'd even go so to say that he grows more in character then inability (which is saying a lot). He starts off a bit of an ass. Relatable? yes (especially for RR readers). 


He's anti-social hates his family, has few friends to mention and isn't really all that close to them. His priority is studying and getting away from his family. And he has a brother complex of the inferiority kind. As the story progresses you see him change, his worldview expanded and his relationships depend. He comes to face with his own Biases and really grows as an individual.

The best part is? You actually believe it! Zorian doesn't just change out of nowhere and it all happens gradually; there is no chapter where all of a sudden he's "a new man"

hope this helps :)


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One of the best stories ever told

I can't believe that this has come to Royal Road. This is my all time favorite fiction ever. The story is amazing, the characters change and develop, and the world around the story  is well built without getting bogged down.

If you want an amazing story set in an awesome fantasy world with well thought out characters  this is it. This story is one of the few time travel stories that doesn't get stale or remove any tension, in fact when the characters learn about the nature of the time loop it dramatically notches up the tension. The only criticism I can give is that there are occasional mistyped words/sentences, and some words can be repeated a little too often or too soon. This doesn't keep the story from being the masterpiece that it is in any way. Go read this now.

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I can't get enough of this story!

I have been following this story on Fiction Press for several years and I anxiously await every chapter release. The story, environment and characters are brought to life with a level of quality that is rarely seen in fiction these days. The Author's dedication to quality and substance in this story is on par with the Masters of the Golden Age of Science Fiction and Fantasy from the mid 20th Century.

Each chapter is something that you can sink your teeth into, and unlike most long form fictions or web serials this story has not suffered from any loss of pace or Author burnout.

The characters are fully fleshed out and their personalities are consistent throughout the story. The growth of the main character is not just in his personal power level either, but through his personality and how he views and interacts with the world and characters around him.

The story itself is amazing and I cannot recommend it enough. As I said above, I can’t get enough of this story.

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This story was a rather interesting change of pace from all the books I've read recently and even more so for the Royalroad platform. It produced a new take for a magic system that was thoroughly refreshing. This change isn't left only to the magic elements, but also in the assimilation of the some what modern technologies and their overall use.

What I'd say was the impliminatation of a time travel aspect that wasn't either extremely boring or filled with plot holes is lack for a better word impressive. On the topic of plot holes, this story did rather well staying away from such things and shows actual thought being put into each chapter to avoid complications with future or past information, with minor exceptions of course.

If there would be much to complain about It would definitly be the interaction between characters. Interaction has felt somewhat stale. The more interesting parts of this story are in Zorian's own head and a lot of characters have just come off as walking encyclopedia, each with there own specilizations and missing pages, but encyclopedia all the same. Some characters are saved from this fate such as classmates and antagonists, but even still these characters are forced into a show and tell ordeal which usually ends with the character being pushed to the back of the mind for a potential reappearance or further fleshing out.

With all that said, I've only gotten to the currently avalible chapter and what I've said so far is likly to change in the future. Still, as of now, I'd recommend this to anyone even slightly interested in a fantasy driven story with hints of sci-fi thrown in or maybe just to anyone looking to pleasantly surprised, as I was.