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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Word Count (16)
2nd Anniversary
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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 The amount of description in this story is INCREDIBLE! I'll admit, I'm a little jealous!


Reviews shouldn't have titles

Reviewed at: Afterword

Mother of learning is an okay book.


Its pacing is mind numbingly slow and the tendency of the author to repeat what he has already said is so catastrophic that I'm sure you could skip every other chapter and still fully understand the story.


I myself skipped from chapter 45 to 85. It's not as if any particular chapter was bad it's just that the author kept repeating events, over and over and over, I don't mean that in an ironic way either seeing that the story is about a boy repeating the same month. No, the author will tell you things that you have already read ad nauseam, it starts off slow as only a few events have transpired to call back to, but the longer that you read the more that the author pokes you with a stick saying "Remember this ? No ? No problem, I'll just explain 1/2 to 3/4 of the event so you understand what this is about

Honestly there is no way for me to properly convey how mind crushingly boring certain parts of the story are. As I've said before I skipped forty chapters. Doing so probably made me skip over around 800 ish pages worth of content and I'll say it here and now that I'm incredibly happy that I did. Even missing a large chunk of story wasn't enough to make the story incomprehensible, quite the opposite as due to the author's repetitiveness I got caught up quite quickly to the events that transpired without having to pass through the author's usual bog of words. Now this doesn't mean that I understand the story fully, however, considering that I skipped two books worth of information I think that me saying that I still understand the story enough to mostly understand it's ending should be a good enough example of the author's constant call backs and repetitions.


I still recommend the book though, even if it does have flaws. The world building is extensive, the characters are alright, grammar and spelling are good, and the story line, from what I know of it, isn't that bad either.


If the author ever considers releasing this book then I hope that he first bring it to someone whom can separate the wheat from the chaff before release.


Also a change of cover art would probably help as well, but that really is just judging a book by its cover.

Spoiler: Spoiler


Spoiler: Spoiler

Great worldbuilding, no credible threats

Reviewed at: 98. Beneath the Surface

This story is, overall, pretty damned good. I love the worldbuilding, the magic system, the characterizations of both major and minor characters, the disparate races and cultures. What lost a star was the lack of credible threats to the MC. Anything the MC does, no matter how crazy, doesn't really matter in the end. He's in a time loop from the get-go, so everything is erased and reset every month. That leaves no room for honest consequences for failure, and this is a problem in the latter third of the story when more and more crazy and dangerous stuff is attempted.

High risk, high reward is fine, but when the risk is nonexistent it leaves me as a reader bored. The one time it seemed there was a longer-term consequence, it was gone a chapter later. I had hoped the time loop would end by 2/3 through and the rest would have real consequences, but that didn't happen and I really started getting sick of the story after that.

Also, the author loses track of how much time it takes to do the things the MC does, to the point that he starts doing not just one or two, but literally dozens of things in a month that EACH took three to four weeks in the past, with no explanation of how it got faster. That's a minor point, but again very noticeable toward the later parts of the story.

Finally, the story gets generally worse as it goes along. The first 40-50 chapters are damned good. The next 30-40 the author transitions to telling us what the characters are doing rather than showing. Some chapters read like fully fleshed-out "to-do" lists in past tense rather than storytelling. And in the last 20-30 chapters the spelling, grammar, and word usage get worse as well. I originally rated this story 4 stars, but dropped it by one since the story really does get worse as it goes on, not so much in what happens but rather in how it's relayed on the page.

Still, this is definitely worth reading, and if the down sides I mentioned don't bother you it might be worth five stars to you. The writing really is quite good early on.




It might get better but I won't find out

I have seen the other reviews but I'm not willing to put however much time is required in before the mc stops being such an angsty. edgy, spineless looser, it's typical fantasy SI bate and having read it, it makes sense why this story is so popular. It's blatent self fufilment with nothing interesting going on to make me want to slog through more. The complete lack of charecter descriptions is disapointing as well, it shouldn't even take that long but it's completly missing. The biggest dissapointment is how feely the author hands out the idiot ball to make the story work.


5 starts for grammar.That is the reason why I spend so much time at this. Had to read like half of this novel to realize that there is no story at all beside whole time loop. Twists are boring and predictable. Mc as a person closed in timeloop doesn't seems to mind. The only "reactions" we see are those between him and his sister and those are shallow and not real at all. There is no character build and progres. The only reason I gave it a 2 star no less as overall score is becouse it could be longer.  


Great though like all storie got it's quirk 😅

Reviewed at: Afterword

Well the storie was great the world building and the character devlopemeent as well ! It was a crazy ride from the start to the end, though there is on little thing that has buzzed me at the end because there was one spell that could have solved a few moral problem the Mc get at the end that is introduced at the beginning with a little bit of tweeking i believed spoiler alert don't read if you did not finished the storie !

The cause of the storie, the soul melding spell that the necromencer use at the the very start would have resolved the problem when going back in the real world after all the problem with that spell was the mixing of 2 different soul a little bit like the dark magic in tsukuyote saga ... am i wrong ???


Alina Zhou

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.


Thoroughly enjoyable throughout

Reviewed at: Afterword

I really only joined to leave a short note to day how much I enjoyed this story. There are minor items that could use light editing but the combination of great plot, good characters, and impressive mechanics and world building puts this in the top 10 books I've read.