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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Fortune wrapped in existential terror.

As of Chapter 92 on authors Fiction Press.

Story: Nobody has created a massive and sprawling world thinking through the politics, society, technology, theology and culture of mages, sentient psycic spiders, liches and hilariously stone age humanoid wasps; and how all of them would clash or cooperate with each other in tribes or countries over contenents.  The story reads like it was completly planned out and executed with a goal in mind. Not a stream of consiousness.

   MC time loops one month for years of subjective time.  Exploring learning and going to war with anything that stands in the way of not surviving (he dies sometimes)but existing.  

Style:  The Narration is Excellent and is consistent in following the actions of MC and some of his internal thought processes.  The Narration style is consistent and feels like a narrator telling a story.  Not a drunk bipolar schizophranic telling lies in a bar.  The mechanics of how Nobody shows the story while telling it seems natural and seemless. Narration stays in the present tense throughout.

Grammar: Better than mine ^^.  You can go through dozens of chapters and not notice anything that would distract and stop the flow of the story.  Very rarely there is a mispelled word.  Syntax and word choices make for a flowing enjoyable read.

Character Score:  I think this is where the story really shines.  Other characters see actions and emotions of the MC,  react and judge him in diffrent ways because of it.  All characters feel like real and unique people that grow or dont grow as a mechanic of the time loop.

The premis is good.  The characters are equal parts enjoyable and annoying.  Magic, the fallout of absent gods and politcal intrige run wild.  Pick it up you wont regret it.  

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Not gonna talk too much about it, but for anyone who hasn't heard about MoL or read it, just know that it's a classic among web novels. I'd highly recommend it if you love some time travel fantasy magical shenanigans 

JcW Swe
  • Overall Score

This is my first review on this site, and its a fun post to do for me, as this is actually the first ever webnovel i read.

I have read alot of novels over the years and the last year or two I have started using goodreads to find more. Somehow I ended up in Andrew rowe's author page and in a reply he did to a question suggested to read mother of learning and linking it. I absolutely loved it! The story felt fresh, had the whole young person learns magic in a school setting vibe that I especially like, and characters and story are spot on. The author does an amazing job so far, and I always look forward to the next chapter. 

I have since I started reading this novel, read ALOT of webnovels. So I just had to write this and say thank you for opening my eyes to webnovels and making me find this site and others like it! And now this webnovel got here too. :) 

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Well so far chap 18.

This is my first time reading this  story and oh boy was I surprised


This story is apparently well liked by others , as it was posted on an other site. It's supposed to be a master piece .

I won't lie I was sceptic , the community can be overwhelmingly positive about wish fulfillment stories. And not objective 


I'm happy to announce that in this case THE HYPE IS REAL PEOPLE!

So let's start the review :

Style : above average , I usually dislike or well like less 3rd persone point of views  over 1st. But it's well made here and above average . The names can be a bit repetitive but I'm bien really picky. It's well above average. Even professionally above average


The plot : it's not that original but at the same time unique . It has that little something that just brings you in. The mystery is so well made. That I suspect it's not the answer that matters but the travel, clues ect ect. I think this story has a re re readable potential .


Grammar : well as a dyslexic I can't find anytgihn to say negative.


Characters : well damn. If there's a reason to read this story it would be the character growth. This is surprisingly organic. I mean it's amazing. The character growth is part of the plot if it isn't the plot  And well I won't spoil but damn this is great. If you like well though out realistic personnes well come and read.



I strongly recommend 

Nicholas Obviouslyfakelastnamebecauseprivacy
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A fantastic story with incredie twists, an incredible plot, diverse characters, and a nearly flawless execution. This is by far the best book I have ever read. Ever.

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One of the best around

As a fic that doesn't simply copy an already established setting it obviously needs some time to set down the ...well, "setting", which does make for somewhat of a slow start.

Once the first loop (4 chaps) is passed the story kicks in a new gear and really starts to shine.

And outshines basically every fanfic out there.

  • Overall Score

This is just great. The freaking best. I got into royalroadl looking for substitutes for mother of learning and nothing has quite measured up to it. At that time, it was considered a somewhat fast release (once a month), btw.

I just hope i's the legit author who's responsible for bringing it to royalroadl.

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One of the best fantasy stories, you should definitely read this one!

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A must read for anyone who visits RR

Reviewed at: 102. Giants

This is easily the best story on RR and easily surpasses many 'mainstream' published books in story quality.

Characters are all incredibly well developed as is the worldbuilding. This is one of the best stories I've read anywhere and I am extremely excited to see how the ending plays out. 

Five stars all around and a definite recommendation to anyone.


  • 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.