Mother of Learning

by nobody103

Original ONGOING 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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Next Chapter Target Date: 2nd of June, 2019

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.

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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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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
Reviews

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mulox
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There's a small chance the writer will read the comments since so many people made a review. I wanted to thank him for this awesome work. Lots of novels have brought me joy over the years, but when mother of learning comes out, it's always a special day. Even at times where I had too much going on, and I stopped reading novels, this is the one novel I never even tried quitting.

Bandicoot
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You should just get ready for a great story

tl;dr -- just follow it.

as many have eluded, this story has been published elsewhere and has now graced Royal Roads.  I think I started following this story way back in 2013 or so.  First 20 chapters for sure.just follow it and enjoy the incredible world building.

 

whoever
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Examplary world building and story telling.

[This review contains very mild spoilers. I've tried to keep it limited to things introduced in the very first chapters, though.]

This stories name is shortened from the old saying "repetition is the mother of learning" and that the "repetition" is not in the title quite well describes the story: While the story takes place in an ever repeating month (a bit like the ground hog day film), it is not repetitive at all.

The world this story takes place in is a high fantasy world of magic, with a profuse backstory. It's not one of those common "magic keeps the world inthe medieval period" worlds and also does not feel like one of those "let's just add some magic on top where the story needs it without any actual integration with the world" at all. Instead the magic feels quite well integrated and history, economy and technology match how a world with actual magic might actually develop.

The thing I like the most about it though, is how this world building is revealed. It is not dumped on you, but slowly revealed over time and where it feels natural. For example look at the beginning of the first chapter. You learn that this world has magic by his sister asking the MC enviously about his learning in the magic academy. Like this many things are introduced almost alongsidely. Another way of introducing world lore is by having the MC reflect on something. (Which nicely avoids the pitfall of adding unmotivated lectures of topics noone would talk about seen in far to many stories). I especially like how information about a topic is spread over multiple chapters or even the whole story, seemingly reflecting how the MC learns more and more about magic and history.

This is also not limited to the world itself, but also skillfully done with the different characters (including the MC himself!) and what is happening in this repeating month. Over the chapters you learn more and more about it just as the MC learns more about it. I especially enjoy how the author makes an art form out of hinting at what comes later or rather incorporating things only revealed much later in a innocuous form you can only detect when rereading the story. Telling you I laught so hard when rereading the chapter with the cat on the bridge the first time for example might be technically quite the spoiler, but actually might only confuse you how this can be anything more than a atmospheric detail. If you ever need an example for Chekhov's Armoury, take a look at this story.

The author is also very good in shielding the repetition inherent in the plot from the reader. I suspect this mostly feels so naturally as the story's perspective follows the MC so closely, who will obviously not focus much on expected repetitions. Even the waking up part feels much less repetitive than in the groundhog day film.

Some other reviewer wrote that he thinks the story misses some "show not tell". I must quite contradict here. The story does a fantastic job of describing things in this indirect "show" way that deepens your immersion without overdoing it in a way that backfires. Where it does "tell" it does it in a way that perfectly matches the MC's perspective, effectively being a form of meta-"show".

In conclusion I can only say I really enjoy the story a lot. And I suggest to reread it from time to time to enjoy all the hidden hints and hidden running gags in it.

Hylith
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I was curious when I saw a new fiction take 1st place in the best rated category.

I wasn't prepared for this fiction to be so good. 5/5 perfect. Read it! I couldn't stop reading it until I finished all the chapters at one and a half in the morning.

The story is fascinating, the characters are more alive than me and the magic makes more sense than my professional career.

Everything is well executed. Congratulations for the first place, you deserve it!

Goldarch
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This isn't just an amazing web novel, it is an amazing novel, period! I would buy this from a book store, maybe even in hardcover... that is how good it is! If you like a story where the main character is constantly "leveling up," yet isn't overpowered, you will love this one.

DragonKnightHD
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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.

hi&hello
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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 :)

 

Isotomic
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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.

Him
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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 

bukvyrm
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Amazing Growth-type shotry

I just read up to chapter 91 on Fictionwise and i am not ashamed to admit that i got barely enough sleep and took overly-long breaks at work in order to read this story as fast as possible.  If you like tropes like Groundhog Day or Edge of Tomorrow/All You Need is Kill then you'll LOVE this story (but it's not done! nobody103 write faster! ;)  I will buy it when you put it on kindle!)

If you want to read a really good review, check out: https://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/comments/4x5qra/mother_of_learning_arc_1_aka_one_of_the_best_book/