more . . .

Mother Of Learning » Member Reviews, page 2

« previous

the_author() rating onrating onrating onrating onrating on


An extraordinary fantasy that continues to outdo itself, one of very few that are a MUST-READ.

By nyteli, member

Jul 3, 2017: This is the time loop story that anyone and everyone who’s a lover of fantasy never knew they wanted. And oh boy, once you start, it is soo addicting so prepare yourself for hours gone by in a blink and sleep deprivation. I should also mention the hair-tearing wait in-between chapters . . . 

I think all you really need to know summary-wise can be condensed into the author’s own blurb: "Zorian, a mage in training, only wanted to finish his education in peace. Now he struggles to find answers as he finds himself repeatedly reliving the same month."

But what really sells it is how the author exploits the time loop mechanic into something that lets him build a truly original and ever expansive fantasy world around Zorian’s relatively small locus at the start. Zorian’s no charming hero, but you get to follow him as he tries to make heads or tails of a phenomenon way out of his paygrade (but wait, he’s just a student!) and slowly (really slowly) grows as a person and a mage.

This is the paradigm for a slow burn to competence. If you love characters bootstrapping themselves out of hot potato quandaries, with rational/realistic (for fantasy) solutions to their problems, then look no further. Every little detail is a Chekhov’s gun pointed to a beautiful culmination later in the plot. And for a fiction that’s core is about resolving an arcane mystery, there are many wonderful moments of character interaction as Zorian stumbles around and (incidentally) learns more than he ever expected about the people around him.

Delight in a fantasy that just never lets go once you’re drawn in.

Join the reddit speculations over at r/rational and contribute your own elegant/convoluted theories on the mysteries!

2 of 2 members found this review helpful.
Help us improve!  Register or log in to rate this review.

next »



Cleverly designed world with a pretty good mystery at its core

By ConanLe, member

Mar 14, 2018: I got into reading web fiction after running into Worm.

Quite possibly the worst thing about reading an extremely good, extremely long book like that one is that anything after it is likely to be a bit of a disappointment. Most web serials aren’t going to hold up well when compared to something of that scope.

At first, Mother of Learning was no exception. The first chapter did little to convince me to keep reading. In fact, I distinctly remember putting the book down for a while and reading other things before coming back to try again. I’m glad I came back, though.

Both the characters and the setting of Mother of Learning needed time to grow on me. At the very beginning of the story, Zorian, the protagonist, came off as a bit petty and, frankly, not all that interesting, but part of that was by design. Yes, that is typical for a coming-of-age story, but the first chapter also failed to set up any sort of interesting long-term conflict. Things didn’t really start to get interesting at all until the end of the first time through the time loop.

"The what?" you might ask.

Oh, yes, the time loop. This story is basically Groundhog Day set in a Dungeons and Dragons world. Once all that stuff starts up, stakes get established, and things get interesting.

In fact, once I got past that hurdle, I found myself reading through the rest of the story as fast as I could.

Zorian, who most likely is supposed to resemble a young Bill Murray, in personality if not in appearance, takes full advantage of the fact that he’s in a time loop to explore his world, solve his life’s problems, and look for answers to the mystery of why he’s trapped in a loop to begin with. Along the way, he runs into quite a few interesting situations, though I will say that the monsters he encounters are more compelling than most of the people.

I hate to compare everything to Worm, because that just isn’t fair, but most of the human cast is not developed as well as the human characters in Worm. This isn’t a deal breaker, but it does make the story a bit less immersive, because it’s clearly just Zorian’s world. Everyone else exists either to help him solve the mystery or to oppose him. However, the story does manage to avoid pushing too much plot-induced stupidity on its secondary characters.

The monsters are a highlight, and the bits of the mystery revealed so far have been a treat. I particularly enjoy reading about some of the technical problems Zorian’s universe faces as a result of the time loop. Clearly, the author put quite a bit of thought into the story’s world.

Ultimately, that’s what makes the story worth reading. It’s clever. It’s pretty much what you’d expect if Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality got together with Groundhog Day and had a baby.

1 of 4 members found this review helpful.
Help us improve!  Register or log in to rate this review.

next »