Book Review: Mother of Learning ARC 2 by nobody103 or Domagoj Kurmaic

Book Review: Mother of Learning ARC 2 by nobody103 or Domagoj Kurmaic

Cover art by: Mansik Yang

Mother of Learning: ARC 2 by Domagoj Kurmaić

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Mother of Learning (Book #2 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Web novel

Pages: 644 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 1st December 2021 by Wraithmarked Creative (Indie)

Mother of Learning: ARC 2 by nobody103 or Domagoj Kurmaic was as good as the first volume. It almost completely topped ARC 1 that I read last month.

This series deserves more recognition in the fantasy novels landscape. Despite the popularity and praises of the web novel version, I am genuinely surprised that not many adult fantasy novel readers have talked about Mother of Learning. I had so much fun reading the first volume, and it has been challenging to not dive into the second volume immediately. I read the first volume with the hardback edition published by Wraithmarked Creative, and I could not wait for the hardback to be published next year. So I decided to read Mother of Learning: ARC 2 using the ebook edition available on Amazon Kindle. And the result? This was still another engaging and incredibly entertaining volume in the series.

“Picking on innocent people for the sake of personal training was not the road he wanted to take, and dismissing their plight as irrelevant due to the time loop struck him as an unhealthy attitude to have.”

The story in Mother of Learning: ARC 2 follows the heel of what happened at the end of the first volume. There’s no time jump whatsoever. It is essentially as simple as reading the next chapter after what happened at the end of the last chapter of the first volume. Understandably. Because this was originally a web novel re-edited and republished by Wraithmarked Creative into four installments. The months and years in the time loop add up without an end in sight. Zorian must form alliances with old and new acquaintances to solve the mystery of the time loop and save Cyoria—maybe even the world—from destruction. But while Zorian develops his mage skills and pursues more advanced and unusual forms of magic, he must battle necromancers, fanatical cultists, and vicious creatures—all while avoiding the attention of the lich who could kill him… Permanently.

“You just seem so straitlaced, you know? Then again, you’re a pretty driven guy, and my grandfather always said that nobody ever got powerful by following the law.” Such sage wisdom from the older generation.”

I mentioned earlier that this installment was as good as its predecessor. There is only one reason why, as a whole, I cannot consider this to be better than Mother of Learning: ARC 1. This was because Mother of Learning: ARC 2 did not start as smoothly as I hoped and expected. The same situation happened in the first quarter of Mother of Learning: ARC 1, but I did not expect it to occur in the first 35% of Mother of Learning: ARC 2, even if it happened for different reasons. Be careful what you wish for. In my review of Mother of Learning: ARC 1, I wished Zorian would explore the world outside Cyoria’s magical academy, and guess what? It immediately happened here. I should be thankful. But the result is not always as good as what we expected. The first 35% of ARC 2 deals with Zorian’s time outside of the magical academy, and it frankly felt tedious and forgettable. Maybe what he learned outside of Cyoria’s magical academy will play a more significant role later, but at this moment, I do not think they were crucial enough to warrant 35% of volume 2. The world-building and lore delivered during this section were, once again, done in a barrage of info-dump style, and it is hard to retain them in my mind.

“It is commendable that you are trying to correct your deficiencies on your own initiative. Too many mages with such natural talents mistake their inborn advantage for actual mastery, wasting their potential and putting everyone around them at risk. Even themselves. Especially themselves.”

Fortunately, this rough situation did not persist past the first 35% of the novel. If you, like me, have read and enjoyed the first book in the series, know that every great strength in the first volume returns and is enhanced powerfully once Zorian returns to the academy. I did not expect the best part of the book, or series, would be Zorian’s time at Cyoria’s magical academy, but hey, why fix something that is not broken, right? And yeah, this notion is strongly applicable here. Initially, I was worried about the negative potential that could be sparked by making the story too heavily centered inside the academy even longer. It could make the narrative too repetitive. But it wasn’t the case. I was pleasantly proven wrong. And this will sound repetitive, but without going into details, let me say this, I was thoroughly impressed by Kurmaic’s capability to constantly pour revelations and necessary character developments into the narrative despite the limitation of the setting and one-month time loop.

I am halfway through the series now, and the story has progressed four years in the time loop. Yes, Zorian has been repeating the same month over and over again for four years. However, this repetition never meant Zorian is stagnant as a character. I already talked about how I felt invested in Zorian’s character and story in the first arc, and that statement is evidently stronger in the second story arc. It is to be expected, though, because excluding the point that I am further into the series now, Mother of Learning: ARC 2 took everything remarkable about the first volume and undoubtedly improved upon them. I am more immersed in the world and story now. Not only was it rewarding to see the fruition of Zorian’s physical and magical development, but plenty of other supporting characters in the series (that were forgettably previously) starting to develop here, too, giving merit to the compelling pacing further. Zach, Taiven, Xvim, and Kirielle, in particular, felt more distinct as a character now comparatively.

“My brother is really great… He’s like a hedgehog. He gets nice once you get past his prickliness.”

I wish I could go into more detail regarding what made Mother of Learning: ARC 2 better, but they will go into spoiler-territory. I will end this review by saying Mother of Learning: ARC 2 was a magnificent sequel filled with well-written character developments, likable interactions, engaging pacing, more big action scenes, and tense revelations. Yes, the secret behind the time loop has been revealed in this installment, and you bet I am super excited to read the continuation of Zorian’s story as soon as possible, most likely next month. The potential for the remaining two books to become my favorite books in the series is strong, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that my goal to finish reading the series this year will end on a high note.

You can order this book from: Amazon US

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