"Mother of Learning" review
Title: Mother of Learning
Subgenre: Progression fantasy
2022 Bingo squares: Rebellion, Timey Wimey (HM), Self-published (HM), Shapeshifter (HM), Family matters
Recommended if: you want a fun progression fantasy featuring a time loop
Not recommended if: you care a lot about excellent prose and/or want deep meaning
LGBTQ rep: N/A
How to read it
The entirety of Mother of Learning can be read for free on Royal Road. You can make an epub from the chapters using the Chrome extension WebToEpub (if you do this, I recommend leaving out the author’s notes; they’re all identical).
I would recommend the ebook over Royal Road for arc 1 and then generating an epub for the rest (that’s what I did). Not only do you support the author, but it’s a much nicer experience to have single-spaced paragraphs and indentation rather than the line breaks that you get from Royal Road.
I binge read all of Mother of Learning in four days. It’s wonderful fun fluff progression fantasy. Don’t expect any kind of deep meaning or metaphor out of it, just go in and have fun in a time loop with Zorian as he learns from his classmates and builds a bunch of cool toys and tries to save Cyoria from invasion.
Mother of Learning is divided into three arcs; the first one is magical school (plus a time loop), the second one is a bunch of worldbuilding (plus a time loop), and the final one is a bunch of fetch quests (plus a time loop). I liked the second arc the best, but all three were quite enjoyable.
Because we’re in a time loop, one of my favorite aspects of the story was the way we get to explore not just the world, but each of the characters who would normally be background characters and completely ignored in a story like this. Instead, Zorian spends some iterations with all of his classmates, discovering what knowledge they can share with him, and how they can help him grow his powers.
The story reads extremely quickly; the prose is very straightforward, and the language is very plain. If you’re looking for something with beautiful language, this may be a downside, but if you’re looking for something light and fun that’s very easy to hold your attention, it will certainly do that for you.