The Menocht Loop

by caerulex

Ian Dunai thought he was powerless.

He’s not alone: only a small percent of the population have high enough affinities to perform magic. But in the eyes of his father’s gifted family, Ian’s impotence is a disgrace—and the stain of his mother’s common blood.

But on one fateful day, Ian awakens not in his college dorm but in the middle of the ocean on an old dinghy. Reaching land is the least of his problems as he encounters risen skeletons, tortured captives, and a shoreside city in the throes of contagion.

Ian doesn’t last very long without magic. But death isn’t the end: Ian wakes back up on the dinghy and relives the day again...and again...and again.

As Ian investigates the purpose of the loop and a way to escape, he begins to realize that he might be more powerful than anyone—especially himself—ever imagined.

Release schedule: Tues-Thurs-Sat releases (3 chapters/week) at 11:30 am EST. 

Book 1, The Menocht Loop, is complete at ~100k words (~370 pages; chapters 1-41).

Book 2, The False Ascendant, is complete at ~110k words (chapters 42-83)

Book 3, The Eldemari's Wrath, is complete at ~145k words (chapters 84-143)

Book 4, The Samsara Crucible, is ongoing (chapters 144 and on).

Constructive criticism welcome.

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Cover art by the very talented Jeff Brown. (Higher res version here; 3840 x 2400 ultra high res wallpaper version here)

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300 Review Upvotes
4th Anniversary
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Top List #4
Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Map of the World and Overview ago
1. Yet Again ago
2. Menocht Bay ago
3. The Flower District ago
4. World Shift ago
5. Getting Away ago
6. Confiding ago
7. Potentioreader ago
8. Death Affinity I ago
9. Wyrm ago
10. Invitation ago
11. Formal ago
12. Sylvestri ago
13. Return ago
14. The Prophet ago
15. Rinse and Repeat ago
16. Forward ago
17. Corona ago
18. Jupiter ago
19. Hollow Vengeance ago
20. Sword ago
21. Day One ago
22. Shade and Lux ago
23. The Palace of Fortitude ago
24. Tangled Fate ago
25. Stakeout ago
26. Bait ago
27. Hor'Well ago
28. Leviathan ago
29. Germaine on a Train ago
30. Winery ago
31. Julia Verina Dunai ago
32. A Forced Hand ago
33. A Plausible Theory ago
34. Soul Swarm ago
35. Vision ago
36. Ritual ago
37. Deconstruction ago
38. Flower District, Again ago
39. Remorse ago
40. The Wedding ago
41. Into The Black ago
[The False Ascendant] 42. Awakening ago
43. Reunion ago
44. Deliberation ago
45. The Bay of Ramsay ago
46. Landfall ago
47. Zukal’iss ago
48. Regret I ago
49. Regret II ago
50. Guardian Druni ago
51. Teatime ago
52. Oath-breaking ago
53. Aunt Maria ago
54. The Last Layer ago
55. The Primes ago
56. Royal Retainer ago
57. Restaurant Redo ago
58. The Demonstration ago
59. Skai’aren ago
60. Arrival ago
61. Practice ago
62. Ascendants ago
63. Appraisal ago
64. Interlude - Cunabulus ago
65. Memory ago
66. The Inevitable ago
67. Pain ago
68. Weaponized End ago
69. The Fassari Summit ago
70. Impulse ago
71. Interlude - Zilverna ago
72. Viable Strategies ago
73. Suran Rindo ago
74. Achemiss ago
75. Resolve ago
76. Gift ago
77. Gala I ago
78. Gala II ago
79. Life Versus Death ago
80. Rematch ago
81. Confrontation ago
82. Unplayed Ace ago
83. Finale ago
[The Eldemari's Wrath] 84. Alternative Routes ago
85. Auburn ago
86. Nightmare ago
87. Return ago
88. No Return ago
89. War Council ago
90. No Way Out ago
91. First Strike ago
92. Future Sight ago
93. Bluebird ago
94. Restless Repetition ago
95. The Meaning of Despair ago
96. Deathseed ago
97. Scouting ago
98. Wasps ago
99. Venom ago
100. Opening Fire ago
101. Reluctant Return ago
102. War ago
103. Respite ago
104. The Armada ago
105. Siege ago
106. Departure ago
107. Lighthouse ago
108. Feather ago
109. Demetrius ago
110. Gnoste ago
111. Morinapol ago
112. The Morinapol Loop ago
113. Going Off-Track ago
114. Yurusi Canyon ago
115. Soul Sight ago
116. Assessment ago
117. The Essence of the Soul ago
118. Interlude – Endgame ago
119. Convenient Distractions ago
120. Ethereal Touch ago
121. Vote of Confidence ago
122. Terms of Surrender ago
123. The Crowned Prime ago
124. The Second Gift ago
125. Desert Escape ago
126. Life and Death ago
127. Into the Depths ago
128. Nethereal Rift ago
129. End and Death ago
130. This Isn’t a Scenario ago
131. Promise of Change ago
132. Path of Blood ago
133. Reality or Nightmare ago
134. Beginning of the End ago
135. Armed to the Teeth ago
136. The Thread ago
137. Descendant ago
138. Weeping Willow ago
139. The Sezakuin’s Cradle ago
140. The Cuna ago
141. The Final Act ago
142. Wrath I ago
143. Wrath II ago
[The Samsara Crucible] 144. The Long Hall ago
145. Vizier’s Crown ago
146. Eternity ago
147. A Means of Return ago
148. Soul Oath ago
149. Ascendant Awakening ago
150. The End of Everything ago
151. The Fragrant Vale ago
152. Messeras ago
153. Intruder ago
154. Contingencies ago
155. Insurmountable ago
156. Escape ago
157. The Misty Plane ago
158. Crystal ago
159. Metamorphosis ago
160. New Territory ago
161. Assembling the Gang ago

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Overated fiction but quality character study

Reviewed at: 33. A Plausible Theory

At it's core, 'The Menocht Loop' is a character study.

Recommended for readers who like:

  • Character development
  • Stories exploring psychology
  • Time loops
  • Mystery
  • Overpowered Protagonist (Note: Very little action though)

Not recommened for:

  • Levelling up
  • Battle Junkies
  • Worldbuilding (Note: Interesting world but not explored well)
  • Intrigue
  • Refined writing


It's protagonist has been trapped in a time loop for years, all the while learning the darker arts concerning the dead to grow stronger out of necessesity in order to escape. After finally managed to break free of the loop only to discover that it was just the first of multiple layers.
The writing is an interesting look into the character and how being trapped within the time loop has effected them personally. There are many interesting philosophical questions that the author, Caerulex, allows the character and story bring to our attention. The protagonist's development as a character is subtle but it is golden. In this respect it is truly a brilliant piece of character writing.

On the other hand, whilst it is a good fiction on the whole, reviewers from Caerulex's other fiction Apex Predator, and readers from the recently finished Mother of Learning who are looking for more time loops have drastically overhyped this story. Whilst it is has been Good enough to keep me reading, I would be hesistant to suggest that it is Great and I feel as though people looking for advice in the reviews should be aware of that going in to avoid betrayed feelings.

Here are some comments and critiques of the story so far. Be aware that there are some minor spoilers regarding the content. I have avoided anything story ruining but if you want to avoid them entirely, I advise you skip 1.


 As a final note: 
Do not read the comments on chapters because the author has put so many spoilers about future plot. Like I'm up to the most recent chapter and I already have parts spoiled for me. No joy is to be gained from reading them.


Interesting loop but my interest waned after

Reviewed at: 61. Practice

I enjoyed the loop and the mcs interactions within the loop, but after it ended I had a really hard time staying interested in what was going on.  Maybe it was just me but the world didn't feel compelling at all and the new characters introduced after the time loop (actually almost every character) felt unininspired to me. Dropping at chapter 61.


How is this not illegal?

Reviewed at: 28. Leviathan

Like, really, most addictive substances are illegal, so why isn't this one?! I never was one for time loop stories, but this one had me hooked immediately. On to the review:


Style & Grammar Scores

Both the style and grammar of this story are amazing. The author is clearly more than fluent in English, to the point where I'm not bogged down reading the same words or phrases repeated over and over again.


Character Score

I'm giving this 4.5 stars instead of 5, not because of any deficiency on the author's part, but rather because the story is still just beginning, in all honesty. If I was just judging the main character, I'd give it a 5. However, since we have recently been introduced to the 2nd MC (and some seemingly important side characters), I plan on waiting a little longer to see how their characters develop before editing the character score further.


Story Score

So far the story is absolutely amazing. We know that there is a reason Ian entered the loop, though we still don't know what that reason is. I was tempted to give the story 4.5 stars, but decided against it, for the same reason that I didn't give the character score 5 stars. The story so far is amazing, and has yet to leave me dissapointed. However, if you aren't willing to wait and deal with the suspense of finding out the "why" behind the events of the Menocht Loop (which I imagine occurs is Book 2), then perhaps this story isn't for you.


This book/series is so brilliantly thought out, I love everything that the author has done. I started reading it originally because I was intrigued by the time loop plot and was only drawn in further by everything else that the author added in. As much as I love time loops such as MoL where we can see constant progression of the MC, I'm always left longing when they neglect to show how the MC handles life outside of the loop. Caerulex starts us off at the end of the loop and gives us the MC's experiences dealing with the aftermath of it. 10/10 overall.

The style of the book is phenomenal, mainly told from the MC's POV, and the few POV changes that we have throughout the books feel natural and give the world a much more rounded feeling as we see the effects the MC has on the world through someone else's eyes. 10/10

The story is also incredible, the world building and pacing allowed for a complete immersion into it. 9/10

The grammar was great, I never noticed any faults with the authors writing. 10/10

The main character is such an interesting and fleshed out person, and the internal struggles that he has both within and outside of the time loop do such a great job of showing that he's not some unfalliable hero, and that he has just as much issues to deal with as the next character. 9/10


A very well written begining that has instantly hooked me in with an intriuging system of magic that i can't wait to find out about. Hopefully this will be able to develope into a new favourite of mine now that mother of learnings finished. :)



Style Score: 

Five cookies, awesome work highly edited and with kickass powers!


Grammar Score: 

Grammar is superb, with basically zero errors. Obviously, caerulex has invested time in proofreading the make sure the reading experience is top notch!


Story Score: 

Caerulex has created an interesting take on the typical (if you can call them that) time loop scenario.

Well written and with enough description of the environment that you can really place yourself in the characters shoes. The arcs fit together nicely with little ‘down time’ as some call it. Pacing is great.


Character Score: 

We meet Ian, the MC, near the end of his looping time where he has already gained significant power, at the cost of much of his empathy for the rest of humanity. 

This definitely makes for a interesting character development as Ian struggles to connect the real world with his time spent in the loop. I’d love to see him become a bit more open with his emotions as the story develops but to date his still very much stuck in his shell so to speak.


Closing thoughts:

The story has a unique system of magic and a really interesting take of the standard elemental powers you typically see. 

Highly recommended story with regular updates. Give this a go folks!





An excellent time-loop fiction

Reviewed at: 27. Hor'Well

This one is hard not to recommend. The time loop is interesting and very well executed. The MC is OP but the reasoning for that is pretty good.Character execution is also top-notch ,and  interactions are not just one dimensional. It is, in fact similar in quality and feel to Mother of Learning(btw another great fic) but the magic and world are wildly different and still very well organised with affinities and all ,and it feels really well balanced.

We have here a College kid trapped in a time-loop who is searching for a way to get out of the loop. The technology setting is modern with magitech equivalent of our devices. The MC slowly evolves and learns more about the magic time loop(s) he is trapped in.

All in all an excellent read by a talented author.Recommended for time-loop fans and anyone who likes a decent fantasy read of an OP main lead



A loop is only as good as its protagonist

Reviewed at: 77. Gala I

*minor spoilers*

This story is on the better side of average, that is for sure.  It isn't bad, but it isn't nearly as good as "Mother of Learning."  Instead of getting sucked into this novel, I found myself becoming less invested the more I learned.

So the question I had to ask myself was, why?

The answer is that I don't like the main character, Ian, very much.  Actually, I don't like any of the characters very much.  I don't hate them, but they all disapoint.

While I love the author's style with the shifting point of view, that glimpse into the minds of the supporting characters fails to make them likable or interesting.  In fact, it serves to make me wonder, "why are you such an idiot?"

This doesn't matter much in the time loop, because obviously the main character can't form meaningful relationships when the world resets every so often.  But outside of the time loop, characters baffle me with their idiocy and their casual, unneccesary, cruelty.  I mean, the Crowned Prince (a ruler of a country) risks war and spends billions to aquire Ian's services when he emerges from the time loop with incredible power.

But he has nothing for him to do!

Worse still, Ian isn't willing to do much either.  He has no goal, no point, and that wouldn't matter if anyone else had a plan, but no one does!  All he wants is to never be bound by an oath, but why though?

Did he never realise that contracts - whether mundane or magical - are simply a part of normal employment?  Can he not see the obvious problems with having a walking nuke not have some kind of agreement with the government?  Does he think that he is unique or does Ian realise that every single powerful practioner is in the same kind of situation?

Why is his mom such a consistent asshole? And his Aunt too, for that matter.

Why is the Crowned Prince such a complete idiot?  How can he justify spending billions, altering his international policies, and making certain that in the future there will be a war with a larger and more powerful country, all for someone who refuses to do much beyond laze around his palace!?

It has become more and more distracting as the story has gone on, and I can only hope it improves in the future.


Intriguing story with great depth

Reviewed at: 146. Eternity

A great take on the time loop story, with in-depth character  exploration! A well thought-out magic system and geo-political interaction too!

the story is well written and structured, with a concice plot with a strong, focused progression. Though there are nice breaks that help give depth to the world around them.

the grammar is impeccable, if there have been errors I have either ignored it or missed it entirely. So well done Author!

I truly enjoy the way the story is written, being observatory from one persons point of view, with different points of view being presented to further enrich the story as we go along, and to give a different view of the protagonist.

——- quick recap of the books, might contain obvious spoilers for new readers! ——

The story itself follows Ian, our stuck-in-time-loop average joe who awakens his potential to the Dark Artes, wielding the powers of the dead and the bodily constituens in order to escape the loop - and in return grow evermore powerful as he continually fails. Until he doesn’t, and gets out. Or so he thought - there were more than one layer to the loop!

The second book entails his his escape from that damned loop, only to put him en ever more danger as his powers went above any expectations! Having reached the peak of his potential, Ian has startet to Ascend! The fate of a continent lies in his hands, and the surest way to save it is to put Ian to eternal rest! Due to a fateful meeting in the Loop, Ian gains a powerful friend and alt in the real world, and to help this friend, Ian dets forth to conquer the Fassari Tournament!

The third book is about Ians soon to be Ascension, and the people trying to stop it from happening. Terrible war, horrifying creations, and powerful practioneers are abound. The Wrath of the Eldemari is rapidly approaching!

The fourth book covers Ians Ascension to the Eternal, wonders waiting in lure, hidden truth yet uncovered!

So overall I would encourage people to give it a read, it is a wonderful story!

All Hail the Penguin Empire!


Surprisingly Deep and Creative

Reviewed at: 41. Into The Black

This is a take on a popular genre that manages to detach itself from most stereotypical tropes while it simultaneously explores different approaches to character, worldbuilding, etc. A particular blend of mostly soft magic systems with a tinge of hard that encompasses new schools of magic (they differ from most traditional ones in terms of nomenclature and interpretation). Somehow the world feels like a mixture between the modern age with a "victorian" period.

A great read that will entrance you!