The Menocht Loop

The Menocht Loop

by caerulex
Editor: sontagisme

Ian Dunai is trapped in the only maze an arch-decemancer can't escape.


Only 1% of the population is blessed with magic affinity at birth. Fewer still have high enough affinities to rule. Ian’s decemancy eclipses all, granting him ultimate control over Death. He conquers cities with a thought and turns them into ruins with a gesture. But overwhelming power isn’t enough to escape the time loop or reveal its purpose.

When Ian discovers a critical clue that he missed years ago, escape is finally at his fingertips.

Little does he know, it's only the first realm.

Release schedule: 2 chapters/week (Mon/Fri 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)

After being on Royal Road for nearly 20 months, Book 1 came down from Royal Road on Nov 17th, 2021, and Book 2 came down on Feb 8th 2022. Please consider buying the books on Amazon. The first 10% of book 1 and book 2, respectively, are still available to read on Royal Road so you can try before you buy. DM me if you want to read the books but do not have the financial means to purchase them.

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

Book 4, The Samsara Crucible, is complete at ~165k words (chapters 144-211).

Book 5, The Blade of Revelation, is complete at ~122k words (chapters 212-260).

Book 6, The Seed of Chaos, is ongoing (chapters 261 and on).

Constructive criticism welcome.

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View the wiki.

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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Table of Contents
73 Chapters
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
[The False Ascendant] 42. Awakening ago
43. Reunion ago
44. Deliberation ago
45. The Bay of Ramsay ago
[The Eldemari's Wrath] 84. Alternative Routes ago
85. Auburn ago
86. Nightmare ago
87. Return ago
[The Samsara Crucible] 144. The Long Hall ago
145. Vizier’s Crown ago
146. Eternity ago
147. A Means of Return ago
[The Blade of Revelation] 212. Send-Off ago
213. First Practice ago
214. The Looming Loop ago
215. The Regalia ago
Book 1 Release Announcement! ago
[The Seed of Chaos] 261. Ominous Promise ago
262. No Remorse ago
263. Hubris ago
264. The Key ago
265. Might Have Broken Him ago
266. Unmoored ago
267. Merge ago
268. Activations ago
269. A Man Who Has No Remorse ago
270. Soulcraft ago
271. Who Do You Hate? ago
272. Feeling Ancient ago
273. More Important Things ago
274. Theoretically Straightforward ago
275. Charting a Path ago
276. Reverse Transmission ago
277. Last Chance ago
278. A Better World ago
279. The Valley of Tents ago
280. A Different Angle ago
281. The Mysterious Black ago
282. Recording ago
283. The Tent of Flowers ago
284. As Eternity Wills ago
285. Euryphel’s Illusion ago
286. Holo Friend ago
287. Good Judgment ago
288. Devil’s Snare ago
289. Ascendant Sel ago
290. Favor ago
291. Discardia ago
292. The Dark Mistress ago
293. The Hunt ago
294. Ambition Isn’t Everything ago
295. The Second Round ago
296. Uprising ago
297. False Assumptions ago
298. The Director ago
299. Stages of Descent ago
300. The Shattering ago
301. The Final Round ago
302. Meet the Reaper ago
303. Welcome to Hell ago
304. Discardia’s Judgment ago
305. The Final Announcement ago
306. We All Wait for You ago
307. At His Own Hand ago
308. A Death Practitioner Like Me ago
309. The Indomitable Fist ago
310. Black Rock ago
311. Subterfuge ago

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I wanted to like this...

Reviewed at: 70. Impulse

The first arc, inside the time loop, was quite good.

Once the first book is over, though, the quality drops hard. The biggest problem is the pacing; if the first fourty chapters had a plot development every five chapters, the second fourty has half that or less. The rest of it is filler, info-dumps, and interludes.

Secondly, the style changes; if the first arc is action /mystery, the second is character melodrama. Once the puzzle solving in the first arc is done, the second arc is mostly spent sitting around whining. I got fed up and dropped out part way into the fighting tournament. Yes, there's a fighting tournament. Yes, it's full of filler, with the MC curbstomping throwaway cardboard-cutout characters then sitting around whining about how awful everything is in-between.

I dunno. I don't think leaving the loop ruined the story or anything like that, but it does seem like the author was doing a lot better writing within the constraints of the loop. If the pacing didn't tank, maybe the character development would happen at a reasonable pace, and it would feel less like the MC is sitting around angsting for no good reason.

The first arc is good. But the story fundamentally changes after, and I don't think the author handles it well.


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.


A sharp decline

Reviewed at: 164. Samsara

A series that painfully disolves before your very eyes. Each successive arc is a jarring departure and decline from the previous in terms of characters, story, world, and quality.

The time loop is spectacular. The escape and tournament are good. The war is mediocre with good parts. You may enjoy it if you are invested in the characters and the world.

The 4th arc is where almost everything and everyone interesting is thrown out the window and forgotten. Replaced with something new that I absolutely did not enjoy. Remembering how much I enjoyed the time loop arc turned this from unenjoyment to insulting.  

I recommend future readers enjoy the story as long as they are able, drop it without worry any arc after the first because it's a bumpy ride downward in quality.

For the author: This is just my opinion. Capture the lightning in the bottle that was the first arc or two and repelicate that in future works. Avoid creating a story that drastically changes almost everything inbetween arcs as it alienated me from what I enjoyed originally.


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.


Great half loop story

Reviewed at: 91. First Strike

The beginning of the story begins in a time loop and soon leaves it after a couple  dozen chapters to explore the world beyond the loop and I like it.  The characters are awesome and the magic system is interesting but not always explained until later. The story is high stakes at times and while serialized it doesn't feel like chapters are filler. The editing and grammar is all good and it is a great read


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.


Excellent worldbuilding

Reviewed at: 226. The Darkseers

A general review of everything so far (mid-book-five).

Great worldbuilding! A unique magic system, with pretty well thought out (and shown) consequences for society, as well as interesting concepts interacting (time loop, ascension).

Solid writing/prose.

My only (minor) criticism is that pacing is a little uneven; sometimes set up is very fast, sometimes it drags out a little bit. Series switches between ... not-quite slice of life to not-totally action, and those transitions are a touch jarring. However, this is true for nearly all episodic writing (including Charles Dickens), and the author here does a reasonable job.

A very enjoyable read!


At this point of time i am dropping the story.  Which does not happen often for me.

The Synopsis for this story is very misleading.  This story tries to get extra readers by saying its a timeloop progression story, but it is anything but.  The timeloop and location "Menocht Bay" is essentially a footnote in the overall story. Your introduced at the end of the first part of the loop where the MC is at peak power.  After he finally gets through the first part he just brute forces his way through the remainder of the loop and escapes, and then the story begins for real

Dialogue and Character Growth - Non-existent. The MC moves from plot to plot with almost no thought, disccussion, goal or interest.  New characters and viewpoints are brought up and never appear again. Dialogue is practically non-existent between himself and anyone other than two people.


I came over to RR after reading the first book on Amazon (so the author was correct, it does indeed get more readers). I've been reading avidly ever since and have now caught up to the present (Chapter 226 at the moment). I'm a happy reader and will continue to follow along! 


The story is pretty great during the loop. The story is amazing for a while after the loop. Then it becomes mediocre and boring. As of Book 5 the stakes are lower than ever and I can't bring myself to read the next chapter because I just find it really hard to care for anything that is going on.