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.

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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.

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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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nobody103

nobody103

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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
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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Average_Dexspir
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I'm not great at writing reviews and I'm not going to pretend to be. I'll leave all the fancy explanations of grandeur to the people who can actually write their complex critiques online without making the potential reader hop on to different fictions.

All I can say is that this story is engaging, thrilling, and I can't wait to read more from this author in the future. Give it a go if you're interested in reading a refreshing perspective on a fantasy world.

Dave Strider
  • Overall Score

It would take too much time to explain. All I can say is:

Read the first 4 chapters and you can then decide if you want to read or not. But know that this is a masterpiece, and one of the few completed novels out there with not only a great ending, but with an epilogue that really completes everything.

The quality never goes down, if anything, it only gets better and better. It's one of the best fantasy novels I have ever read, and way better than all of the other fantasy webnovels you can find on the internet.

Also, there is a chance the author will make a sequel and more world building articles/stories about this novel's world. So you might be looking at a new a extended fantasy world that will have some of the best fantasy stories out there.

Honudes Gai
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Lets talk about what I didnt like.

Since every reveiw talks about all the best things, I thought I would just mention the problems I had with it.

 

The author has a lot of problems seprating Zorian/Author knowledge from the other characters, it would seem characters suddenly know what they previously did not, just because the author doesnt want to spend time rehashing the scence again. Kind of a problem with a Ground hog story.

 

similar to the above, characters will almost complelty abandon their devloped personiailties to talk and act the same way Zorian does....it will honesly seem like Zorian is just confirming things he already knows with himself, the problem being he is talking to one of the other major characters. Sometimes they arent even aware of the time loop when they are doing their best(unitended) Zorian impression.

 

Both of these problems seem to me like a author trying to rush parts out. Chapters 88-91 just confirm that, feeling like an author who has gotten tired of  his own story.

 

I still compeltly recommend reading it, because you will find few stories as good as this in the online novel genre.

Leareth
  • Overall Score

I... Wow.

This is way more impressive than I thought it would be. I'm going to straight up say this author is as good as Worm's Wildblow.

This is a loop fic that somehow manages to be unrepetetive and original. I am, I admit, a speed reader. I finished reading chapters 1-100 today. I've read far enough to know that there is a wonderfully practical explanation for how the time loop works (okay, it needs magic, but it makes sense!) And am now biting my finger nails as the main character tries to foil the plot of the bad guy after they all escaped the time loop.

This is... wonderfully well done. I am grateful that I got the chance to read it. If the author publishes it as a book, I will gleefuly purchase it, doubly so if it's an audiobook.

Thank you, thank you so much for writing this. 

hyphe
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More passion for the craft than most published works.

Reviewed at: 106. I Win (III)

I honestly don't know if this person is a professional writer or not. I haven't looked into any background or anything at all.

What I do know is that this is undoubtedly a professional work. The only chapter I haven't read yet was the epilogue, which hasn't been released at the time of this review. Without a shadow of a doubt, this is a *book*. It's a long, sympathetic journey that hits common story beats with its own unique twists every once in a while, and not a single event in the story, growth of character, or conclusion the characters come to is without any reasonable buildup or foreshadowing.

Seeing this kind of journey through the eyes of one character is not something I have experienced in a long time. I can only describe it as sympathetic, relatable, and gripping. There were very few chapters out of this monstrous tome of a story that I felt disconnected, like the story was dragging on something not important, and even those moments, in the end or otherwise, were concluded masterfully.

World building was critical to this story - it all takes place in the neat time of a single month over and over again, of course, where the characters keep experimenting to find out what causes what. It was handled far better than most stories do. Not only are primary and secondary characters fleshed out and clearly driven, but tertiary characters that are never named have reasonable groundwork made for their actions before the story's climax - which is absolutely amazing.

As for writing quality, there are very few spelling errors or grammatical errors, maybe once per 5 chapters. I've read much better stories with more spelling errors that kept distracting me from the story itself and I am very glad this wasn't the case here.

Thank you, nobody103. I don't know any other name you go by, nor do I know of anything else you've written - but after this piece of art, I personally encourage you to continue writing, in this universe or another. As soon as I am able I am slamming some money down on whatever patreon or other crowdfunding towards you that I can find, and scouring your profile for more stories.

OrderedChaos
  • Overall Score

Hands down one of the best webnovels

This is the bar that most webnovel authors should try to aim for to be even considered for a 5-star. It is solid writing on all fronts and will keep you wanting more. Go on, give it a read if you haven't already. 

KingCrux
  • Overall Score

I remember having read this on fictionpress quite a while back .and I'm ecstatic that you're moving it to here. This would have to be one of the best and most well executed time travel fictions, with so many things to keep the readers attention.

This definitely deserves to be amongst the top of the rankings.

Twiningmage
  • Overall Score

Before I start let me say that I've read to chapter 102 and binged this thing in two weeks. With the epic saga it is that is saying something.  

Insane character development, awesome interactions and a great magic system make this a wonderful addition to my web-novel collection. 

initially there were some parrallels to harry potter but those influences soon fell out of place as the author quickly developed their own style and ideas. Turning this into a wonderfully original piece that I loved every minute of.  

five stars mate.

WanderingGaro
  • Overall Score

Why is this free?

I know there's been no update for a while and we're nearing the finale so it's a bit late to say this, but I'd pay good money for a hardcover of this work.

jase_LV
  • Overall Score

Just read it, it's worth it.

I can't write that much at the moment. I just want to say that if you read this, you will not be disappointed. One of the best groundhog day type of fantasy stories.