Mother of Learning

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.


Mother of Learning is now avilable for sale on Amazon at the following link. The story will remain avilable in full here on Royal Road and on Fictionpress, but if you're more interested to read the story as a Kindle Edition e-book you now have a way to do that.

The audiobook is available for on this link here. The physical edition is coming on February 15th, through a Kickstarter campaign.

I will keep you all updated on that as things develop.


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 Fictionpress version of the story 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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Word Count (16)
3rd 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 story starts out quite well, with deep characters, and good worldbuilding. however at some point it stops feeling like an exciting adventure, and more like a chore to follow. the story doesn't flow anymore and the characters and their interaction becomes a lot more shallow.  i wish the last 30 cahpters would be as good as the first 30, but alas....


I read this story years ago. Long before I made an account on the website. Ever since then. This review has been living in my head rent-free. Now that I can comment. I will.

First off. I want everyone to know, that I loved the first half of this story. Until the mysteries were solved, and the writer did something I think writers should never do.  

During the part. Where the main character meets a snake goddess. Who tells him that everything and almost everyone in this world, including him and the snake goddess herself, is a soul clone of their real selves; And that every time loop. Time simply doesn't rewind, it just kills all the clones and makes new ones. That his mind is being sent forward to a new clone. That everyone he knows, is getting replaced and that he can't save anyone.  Imagine if the movie groundhogs day had this rule. Instead of losing time, everyone in the town lost clones. It would be so sad.

I can't forgive a story that blatantly makes everyone, but the main characters, Ultimately unimportant in the  grand scheme of the story and world. 

The first half was amazing, but I couldn't read any of it afterwards. If the writer fixed the problems later, I just don't know.



Very good time loop story with limitations

Reviewed at: Afterword

I really like time loop stories, and it is really hard to find some good ones.

It is a good story. It is one of the best stories this site has to offer. I followed the story for some years before it got finished, and only now doing a review, to get some closure. I honestly don't want it, but I feel I have to lose some words in the review, summarise my thoughts and move on. To spare some time, I won
t spend much time praising it, other people did enough already.

Mother of Learning is a story, a fairytail if you want it. I know it is a big surprise. But no what I want to say with this, it feels like a fairytail to me. And not in a good sense. The short fairytails have limitations, they are short, limited in scope and often in ambition. The same feeling I got here. This story is of course not short, it is hardly limited by words, but it is still very limited. 

Maybe because I have waited so long for the ending, but I expected more from the story. I expected more ambition, grander design, more ornaments. I expected a cathedral and got a solid home. It is a good home, not everyone can build one, but not a cathedral, and you usually praise one and not the other.


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 ???



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.  

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.


Great read; Dialogue can be better.

Reviewed at: 42. Sum of its Parts

I've been reading Mother of Learning and it's been a great read so far. Zorian's character has developed nicely, and the side characters have their own unique personalities. His development so far feels realistic, as his magical skills are further hone the longer he stays in the time loop. It's also paced really well, and the twists are completely rational, and is possible in his current situation.

One of the biggest gripes I have, however, is how well-spoken most characters are. It's not usually a problem, but it does feel off when one character start using words which does not mirror what the character is supposedly is, like a tactless detective with an untidy appearance, a teenager, or a 9-year old girl having the same vocabulary of words as a professor. Granted, most of the characters that he meet are very well expected to be well-spoken and eloquent, but I digress.

Overall, the story is well-paced, and is written in a way that each action of the main character is in line with his personality. Dialogue could be improved upon, however its not that jarring to make me stop reading. The world is developed in a way that it feels like it'd be interesting to know more. There are certain historical world events that are told in passing, contributing to how dynamic the world actually is rather than circling around the protagonist. Conclusion? A story worth staying up for.


Absolutely great series!

Reviewed at: Afterword

Absolutely loved this story!!  Couldn't quit reading once I started.  Once I finished I went and immediately got the audiobook version and will absolutely be buying the hardback once it is released!!  

The way each arc ended was amazing!  It is well written and although his character descriptions are pretty bland, this is easily overlooked by the overall story.


The story that made me register an account here

Reviewed at: Afterword


Great story with good pacing and characters that does not have any major flaws. Read if you like classical fantasy with an interesting magic system and time loop plot where the MC is not powerful in the beginning.



A short synopsis of the story, Mother of Learning is a classical fantasy story with a unique take on the time loop aspect as in the MC is not in control and is only involved through an accident befalling the "real hero".

The author really should change his name since he wrote the best story on Royalroad I have read thus far, and he has by all rights earned the title of "somebody". Mother of Learning is a captivating and immersive story that combines its unique spin on the time loop trope with a rather intriguing magic system that lets the reader grow and learn together with the MC. I don't have anything negative to say in the general part of my review since this is by far my favorite story on Royalroad thus far and the author developed his story, world and characters in a concise and interesting manner.



The pacing of all aspects of the story are great. No matter if you are reading dialogue, world building and lore or action scenes, the story always keeps you immersed and wanting for more. Sadly this part is where I have to give some criticism because this wanes in the later chapters as our MC seems to get more disconnected from time and through some poor writing choices also the reader. We are more often told than shown something new and the progress is not as easy to follow as in the beginning. This however does not make it a bad style or ending, it just makes the MC feel distanced and maybe this was the intention of the author.



The story covers nearly all tags and emotions you can imagine apart from romance. And it does so in a very natural and fun way, we don't just jump from fight to fight from action to more action with stronger enemies or only dally in a comedy school section for chapters on end but progress through live and the intricacy of this time loop with the MC in a believable and realistic feeling story.



I am not a native English speaker, so I am not gonna comment on anything here, but I have not noticed a single mistake when it comes to spelling or grammar.



The MC and side characters are all neatly fleshed out and behave consistent with their behavior, which in my opinion is paramount to a time loop story. However, even though the side characters are enjoyable and necessary later in the story there are entirely too many who we need to keep up with and who are trying to be actively part of the plot. I feel like there could have been more of a culling, as the MC gets what he needs from them and does not include them in his future loops.