Mother of Learning by Nobody103 Review
By: Preston Simmons | Written: 6 July 2021
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article where I stated that I was currently reading Mother of Learning by Nobody103. In the article, I said that it was a good idea to read more than one book of different lengths at a time. The other book I was reading (and still am) was the Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. The Name of the Wind, at 722 pages, is a relatively short book in fantasy terms. Especially so compared to MoL that has 2,882 pages.
For all intents and purposes, as I stated in the previously mentioned article, I should have finished the Name of the Wind well before I finished MoL. Everything pointed to that outcome. I started the Name of the Wind weeks before I began MoL. The Name of the Wind is a critically acclaimed masterpiece in fantasy. I bought the audiobook for it and am loving it! Really, I should have finished it weeks ago like was originally planned.
But I haven’t.
No, I haven’t finished reading the Name of the Wind yet. I’m probably at the 70% completed mark for the book. At least, that’s where I remember leaving off when I started reading Mother of Learning two weeks ago.
That’s right. I finished a book with 2,882 pages before I finished a book with only 722 pages. Why? Because Mother of Learning, a free web serial by a guy that goes by Nobody103, is just that good.
Mother of Learning Story Synopsis
The premise of MoL is simple. Zorian Kazinski is an average 15-year-old mage with equally as average magical abilities. At the end of the month, on the night of his cities Summer Festival, everything goes unimaginably wrong. Somehow, he finds himself reliving the previous month over again. He has to find a way out of this neverending time loop by any means necessary. To do that, he has to learn all there is to know about magic while finding unlikely allies along the way. Luckily, he’s got plenty of time to get things right. After all, repetition is the mother of learning.
It’s a simple but fun premise that’s been done plenty of times before (Groundhog Day, to name the most popular example). You may think reading about the same month over and over again for 2,882 pages would get boring or…repetitive. It doesn’t. Not in the slightest. Each iteration of the month is unique, compelling, a different enough to never feel boring or a chore to read. In fact, seeing the minute (or sometimes massive) differences between each iteration of the same month was probably the most fun aspect of the book.
A big part of why each iteration of the month was so different was thanks to the main character Zorian Kazinski.
Who is Zorian Kazinski?
Zorian, the main character of MoL, is the definition of a great protagonist for progression fantasy. Zorian starts completely average. Average in appearance, grades, knowledge, and magical ability. Early in the novel, he describes himself as the unimportant throwaway third child of a minor merchant family. As you can imagine, in the beginning, he’s moody, bitter, a little unfriendly, and above all else, hates being compared to his perfect older brother, Damien. This is who Zorian is at the beginning of Mother of Learning. By the end of the book, Zorian is a completely different character both in personality, and of course, in power. It’s not an immediate change, though. It’s a gradual one that forms as MoL progresses.
One characteristic that Zorian maintains from the first page to the last is his drive to better himself. His drive is the catalyst for what makes MoL such a success. From the moment the time loop begins for Zorian, he is determined to make the best of a horrible situation and become the best version of himself he can be. Instead of being a “woe is me” character often seen in progression fantasy novels, Zorian is always determined to be great. Instead of stumbling upon greatness like so many other progression fantasy protagonists, Zorian earns his greatness.
One of the best aspects of MoL is how different every iteration of the month is. Each time Zorian met someone new or learned a new power, he used his new knowledge in some way to achieve a better version of the month. Nothing Zorian did felt meaningless, and as a reader, craving to see how the results of the previous iteration of the month would change the outcome of the next iteration was what kept me coming back for more.
The Characters In Mother of Learning
Even though Mother of Learning is a massive book, surprisingly, it doesn’t have a huge cast of characters. Instead, MoL focuses on a few characters. This was a decision that served the book well. Instead of having a story bogged down with too many uninteresting side characters, MoL focuses on the main cast of well fleshed out characters that enhance the story. Gradually learning more about each character as the number of time loops increased was one of my favorite aspects of MoL.
Besides Zorian, some of my favorite characters included Xvim, Kirielle, Taiven, Damien, Alanic, Kael, Quatach-Ichl, Silverlake, and Zach Noveda. Without a doubt, the interactions between Zorian and these characters are among the strongest aspects of MoL. As the story progressed, just like Zorian, I began to care for each character, even if some were on the opposing side of the protagonists. I wanted to learn more about them, just like Zorian did.
These well-written characters were at the core of MoL, and it was them that made me not want to put the book down. Seeing their reactions to Zorian’s sudden (in their eyes) growth throughout the series made for some of the most hilarious, other times nerve-wracking, or even heartbreaking moments in the web novel.
Overall, I loved reading Mother of Learning. Not once did I feel bored or overwhelmed by the sheer massiveness of the story. The characters, especially Zorian, were the core of the story and brought me back to read more. The time loop never felt repetitive or exhausting, even though it consisted of reading about the same month repeatedly. If I had one complaint, the final few chapters before the climax felt slightly rushed compared to the previous 90 chapters.
In the end, Mother of Learning by Nobody103 was an addicting, fun, and overall joy to read. Even though this book was almost 3,000 pages long, I wish I could read more. So, maybe I’ll reread it. After all, repetition is the mother of learning.
Mother of Learning by Nobody103