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YMMV / The City Without Memory

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • The rememberers kidnap children to teach them. How much of it can be justified as a Necessary Evil? It’s worth noting that Old Mole’s kidnapping of Centipede outrages Radiculitis and the poklons, and Veri-Meri’s attempted abduction of Squirrel is treated as practically a Moral Event Horizon by the rememberers themselves. Granted, children’s lives are much happier in the Shelter than Centipede’s life with Old Mole or what Squirrel’s life with Veri-Meri could have been, but still.
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    • 99% of the Moles’ Character Development happened offscreen, so it’s unknown whether they have actually changed their ways by the time of the epilogue. But then again, of course, it’s said that the unicorns have returned to them.
    • Does Veri-Meri have any feelings for Squirrel? There is the fact that he talked to her quite a lot and encouraged her with the thought she’d be her own mistress one day. It might have all been his elaborate scheme of Wife Husbandry, but since nobody in the family particularly cared for Squirrel, the Moles might have also been happy to marry her off to the atani without much ado – so the whole manipulation thing might not have been so necessary. Since Veri-Meri isn’t one to waste his time, was he perhaps trying, at least partly, to sympathize with the girl? On the other hand, as much as they don’t like their sister, the Moles hate Veri-Meri so much they could have refused to be related to him in any way. Then again: when just before his memory wipe he cried about losing her love, was it genuine or was it him Playing the Victim Card once more, still hoping to avoid execution?
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  • Even Better Sequel: According to many fans, in relation to The End of Atlantis. The more serious and realistic tone, the more colorful and detailed setting, and the much more interesting and complex characters and plotlines certainly do the job. The End of Atlantis isn’t the only Alice story that goes "Alice and Pashka go underwater and discover aliens/time travelers", while The City Without Memory is one of a kind in the series. Some consider it to be the very best of Alice books.
  • Magnificent Bastard: His Rulership Lord Radiculitis the Terrible. He has survived forty-four plots and three rebellions, and he manages to hold three different fractions (the poklons, the wisemen and the vkushetses, all of them constantly fighting with one another) under his control. He secretly has a library and delights in snarking at his ingratiating vassals – all of it while maintaining the exterior of a honey-tongued, slightly senile and grandfatherly old man. It’s a pity his fate after the rememberers’ victory isn’t specified.
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  • Nightmare Fuel: Old Mole's death, even though its description is brief, is rather horrifying. He got lost in the woods, fell into a ravine with the remnants of the memory-wipe field, and became a Blank Slate. His sons found him starved and exhausted, and brought him back to the castle, only for him to have some horrible nightmares and hang himself in the tower.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Probably holds the record among the series for all the shipping of recurring characters with non-recurring ones.
    • Boar is sometimes shipped with Iria, even though they only meet once, he is killed just several hours later, and Iria is Happily Married. Nevertheless, some fans suppose his gentle treatment of her injured hands could have strayed towards more Intimate Healing.
    • There are fanfics with Left Mole/Alice. Again, they only meet in this book and also six years later in the epilogue; Alice is twelve at the time and Left Mole at the very least eighteen, and anyway he views her merely as a gifted acrobat who can bring him good money at the slave market. Nevertheless, his Pragmatic Villainy (more so than in his brother’s case) and Pet the Dog moments contribute to the shipping.
  • The Woobie:
    • Every good guy on Krina needs a hug badly. Starting from the Fridge Horror-fueling lives of Squirrel and her mother, and ending with Dr. Crack and other rememberers who, despite rising above medieval realities, still struggle to survive, and before Alice and Co. arrive, many of them don’t have much hope in preserving knowledge.
    • Iron Woobie: Iria Gai. Her beloved husband Tadeusz goes missing during an extremely risky mission, she goes to rescue him, leaving her infant daughter with relatives, then she discovers increasingly alarming clues of his fate, and then she learns he has completely lost his memory and the planet is living through the Middle Ages again. She goes to search for him, ends up being held prisoner, barely escaping a forced marriage, nearly getting sold as a slave, and nearly losing her own memory, only for Tadeusz to stare blankly at her as they are reunited. All the while managing to keep her cool, remain a badass and play Team Mom to Alice, Pashka and Squirrel.
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