Cover art by: Mansik Yang
Mother of Learning: ARC 4 by Nobody103
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: Mother of Learning (Book #4 of 4)
Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Web novel
Pages: 601 pages (Kindle edition)
Published: 4th April 2023 by Wraithmarked Creative (Indie)
Mother of Learning was one of my priority series to start and finish this year, and I’m pleased Mother of Learning by nobody103 or Domagoj Kurmaic is the first web novel series I finished. It certainly won’t be the last.
“Children often do not understand the importance of what their parents try to teach them.”
At 784,000 total word count and approximately 2400 pages long, Mother of Learning is a relatively short web novel series. As I mentioned in an earlier video, many critically acclaimed web novels tend to have more than 2 million words long of word count. Compared to them, Mother of Learning is a short series. And just as a reminder here, Mother of Learning is a series that revolves around Zorian Kazinski as he accidentally gets caught in a time loop, and he is doomed or blessed to repeat it every time he reaches the day of the annual summer festival. It is a never-ending month for Zorian, and as he tries his best to find a way to escape the time loop, he’s taking advantage of his situation to advance his skill and knowledge as a mage. Think about how limited this premise is again. I was already impressed by what the author achieved in the first book to keep the narrative engaging, and this notion is incessantly escalated throughout the whole series. Zorian repeats this month over and over again for years. More or less a decade in total. In theory, this should get old quickly, but it did not. The constant acquisition of new abilities, mechanics, encounters, friendships, revelations, and the gradual progression of everything never fails to make the narrative captivating to me. Evidently, with this premise, nobody103 shows the countless paths that can transpire in our everyday lives daily. How the slightest change in action can cause a drastically different result. This time-loop fantasy series, among many things, is a story that works as a remembrance to appreciate what we have.
“It is good to sit down from time to time and appreciate the simpler things in life.”
It is shocking that Mother of Learning is the second new series (for me) I finished reading this year. The first was The Drowning Empire trilogy by Andrea Stewart. And this is unacceptable. I used to be much more focused on finishing a series than repeatedly starting a new series. And Mother of Learning: ARC 4 made me realize I should go back to concentrate on finishing more series as I did in the past. At least, I should prioritize it more. I felt immense satisfaction upon finishing this book. I believe many great fantasy or sci-fi series endings can make you look back to the beginning of the series. Remembering what you’ve read and experienced instead of immediately moving on to a new world and series. Whether it is true or not, it will make you think most of the plotlines and developments have been planned or foreshadowed since the early stage of the narrative. Reading Mother of Learning to its completion reminded me of that again. ARC 4 is the culmination of every meticulous plan Zorian has accumulated and prepared for years.
“It was just like that old saying: trust your neighbor, but lock the door. Even if you trusted someone to be a moral and principled person, it was better not to tempt them with easy opportunities.
A few readers have told me they couldn’t stand Zorian’s characterizations at the beginning of Mother of Learning. Nothing wrong with this; this is a fair criticism. But I need to mention Zorian is a character that started off unlikable, and he grew to become more and more likable and emphatic as the series went by. Remember the length of the series here; the first 25% of ARC 1 is not a sign of the quality of the entire series; far from it. The character development of Zorian, Zack, and I will even say the main villain, are some of the most remarkable things about Mother of Learning. The first half of the series was heavily centered around Zorian, his actions, leveling up, and his mission to escape the time loop. And although Zorian definitely played a significant role as the main character throughout the remainder of the series, Zack started to become one of the main characters in the series in Mother of Learning: ARC 3 and ARC 4. The knowledge, all the magic progression, and the friendships Zorian built and lost all played an irreplaceable spotlight in this final installment. I truly appreciate this. Characters or storylines I thought weren’t important turned out to be integral. Like Silverlake, for example. And with this decision, I felt more invested in the supporting characters, their actions, and their feeling for Zorian.
“Of course I’m not fine with it!… It’s just… if I have to murder my friends to survive, then what’s the point of all this power and knowledge? It’s not… it’s not how I want to live my life, okay?”
For years I stopped myself from trying out web novels. Many have voiced their opinions that web novels are filled with incredible stories but unpolished writings. Although I cannot say the same for other web novels, I did not feel that in Mother of Learning. This could be because I read the editions published by Wraithmarked instead of the web novels, so feel free to enlighten me on this. From my experience, though, the series may not contain the most beautiful writings or passages, but it is accessible, well-polished, and the pacing never felt distracting. If you like Sanderson’s style of accessible and vivid writing that focuses more on the narrative than the beauty of the prose, you might click well with Kurmaic’s prose. This series began as a time-loop magical school fantasy series, and it did not stay that way as Zorian started adventuring outside Cyoria’s magical academy in volume 2 and beyond. The world of Altazia is rich with history, and personally speaking, the way the intricate lore and legends were delivered in an info-dump manner was a bit difficult for me to register. This changed in the latter half of the series, and although I wouldn’t call Mother of Learning an action-oriented series, every volume in the series undoubtedly have pivotal and impactful confrontations. But no battle scenes in the first three volumes reached the stakes or the quality and quantity encounters in Mother of Learning: ARC 4. The final volume of the series has some jaw-dropping moments in the middle and last section of the novel. And the 100 pages climax sequences were totally magnificent, in my opinion. Those who have read it will know what I’m talking about. I am talking about the “I Win” chapters. These were badass and extremely well done. You have to read it and find out for yourself.
“He was Zorian Kazinski, third son of a minor merchant family from Cirin, accidental time traveler, and quite possibly the most powerful human mind mage in all of Altazia…”
There are many valid and believable reasons that Mother of Learning became one of the most popular and highly-praised web novel fantasy series. Mother of Learning: ARC 4 is my favorite of the entire series, and this is one of the relatively few series consistently superb from the beginning to the end. Do not let the stigma on web novels stop you from trying Mother of Learning. Great storytelling can be brilliant in any medium. If you love reading time-loop fantasy series with a coming-of-age and magical school trope, I cannot recommend Mother of Learning highly enough. The tale of Zorian Kazinski will be one to remember, and it has sparked my interest in trying out more fantasy web novels to read. Nobody103 is currently writing and publishing a new web novel series in the root of epic fantasy subgenre titled Zenith of Sorcery. And I am confident it will be another amazing fantasy series. Once more chapters are out in Zenith of Sorcery, I will immerse myself in the author’s next venture. Before that, you have plenty of time to catch up with nobody103’s engaging first series: Mother of Learning. And I hope you will have a blast with it as much as I did.
Picture: Mother of Learning ARC 2 by Daniel Kamarudin
Mother of Learning: 18/20 stars
You can order this book from: Amazon
I also have a Booktube channel
Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing!
My Patrons: Alfred, Aliysa, Anastasia, Andrew, Andrew W, Annabeth, Arliss, Barbara, Biskit, Brad, Cade, Casey, Chris, Cullen, David, Dernerror, Diana, Donna, Donuts, Dylan, Edward, Elias, Ellen, Frank, Gary, Gregory, Hamad, Helen, Jenn, Jesse, Jimmy Nutts, Joie, Justin, Kristina, Lara, Luis, Melinda, Michael, Michael, Mike, Miracle, Nicholas, Norbert, Radiah, Samuel, Sarah, Sarah, Scott, Shawn, Tori, Tracy, TS, Wendy, Wick, Xero, Yuri, Zoe.