Iron Council by China Miéville

Iron Council

byChina Miéville

Kobo ebook | July 27, 2004

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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from China Miéville’s Embassytown.

Following Perdido Street Station and The Scar, acclaimed author China Miéville returns with his hugely anticipated Del Rey hardcover debut. With a fresh and fantastical band of characters, he carries us back to the decadent squalor of New Crobuzon—this time, decades later.

It is a time of wars and revolutions, conflict and intrigue. New Crobuzon is being ripped apart from without and within. War with the shadowy city-state of Tesh and rioting on the streets at home are pushing the teeming city to the brink. A mysterious masked figure spurs strange rebellion, while treachery and violence incubate in unexpected places.
In desperation, a small group of renegades escapes from the city and crosses strange and alien continents in the search for a lost hope.
In the blood and violence of New Crobuzon’s most dangerous hour, there are whispers. It is the time of the iron council. . . .

The bold originality that broke Miéville out as a new force of the genre is here once more in Iron Council: the voluminous, lyrical novel that is destined to seal his reputation as perhaps the edgiest mythmaker of the day.

Details & Specs

Title:Iron CouncilFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:July 27, 2004Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345478541

ISBN - 13:9780345478542

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Customer Reviews of Iron Council

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from The greatest fantasist of our time! Currently, there is no single author that can create a believable world like Mr. Mieville. His style is somewhere between Charles DIckens and H.G Wells - a Victorian milieu with handfuls of esoteric science and steampunk thrown in. If you like your fantasy riddled with eldritch machinery and bizarre half-human chimeras, you will adore this writer. His work is very intense and multilayered, similar to Tim Powers in some respects. This story concerns New Crobuzon, a city in the far future when most of our technology has been forgotten and replaced with a bizarre amalgam of steam and magic. Although this is the last novel of three concerning this world, it stands alone in terms of plot. I enjoyed this book immensely and the only criticism is that it did not quite measure up to the first two (Perdido Street Station and The Scar being simply too great to duplicate). Buy it and read it.
Date published: 2009-04-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brilliant but... Overtly political, teasingly intricate, and deeply intertextual, China Miéville's Iron Council is everything I expect to love in great speculative fiction, and nearly everything I know I love in Miéville's work. Yet, since its publication, I have only read it once, and I still find myself ranking it third of Miéville's Bas-Lag books. I've been baffled by my restraint with Iron Council. My admiration of Miéville's other books is boundless, bordering on madness, and I haven't understood how a book so filled with wonders -- Toro and its teleportation headdress, Judah's time-golem, the Iron Council train and its unparalleled mobility, Spiral Jacob and his Teshian machinations to overthrow New Crobuzon -- could keep me at such a distance -- until today. Today I recognized my problem with Iron Council (I am making my way through The Scar for the fourth time, you see, and it finally came clear). There is a character missing, a character that is fundamental to my admiration of Miéville's work. I can still appreciate him without this character; I can luxuriate in his gorgeous prose without this character; I can even lose myself in Bas-Lag without this character; but it is this character that makes Perdido Street Station and The Scar such fundamental books in my speculative fiction pantheon. And that character is place. Perdido Street Station introduces us to New Crobuzon. And New Crobuzon becomes a character, not just a setting. It is not just the people who are being ravaged by the Slake Moths, but the sweltering, desert dryness of the Glasshouse, the shadows of the Ribs, the gardens of Sobek Croix, and the refuse of Griss Twist. These boroughs, bestowed with sensual reality, suffer as much from the literal "dreamsh*t" as the people who lose their minds do. And Miéville spends time making us know New Crobuzon. He lingers in every borough, makes us smell and taste and feel everything. It's his intention, and it makes New Crobuzon, perhaps, the most important character in Perdido Street Station. The Scar, then, gives us Armada. Another character setting. Another unruly, sensually realistic, passionately crafted city, this time floating over the oceans of Bas-Lag, a giant Pirate vessel with its own internal politics, its own "quarters," its own industry, its own secrets and identity, all tethered loosely together as each ship is tethered to each ship in a technicolor mosaic of shipbuilding eclecticism. But Iron Council gives us the world, and it is too much. Miéville offers too many places in his third book, and he never allows us to know one place with anything close to the depth or intimacy we come to know New Crobuzon and Armada. There are wonders, yes, but they are too scattered, too sparsely drawn, too quickly passed over and through for them to percolate into our imaginations. And that is why Iron Council fails to live up to its predecessors (although I consider that higher praise than I would give most books). Place is important to Miéville. It is not a coincidence that that all his Bas-Lag books have, thus far, been titled after places. And he doesn't just love places, Miéville loves cities and expresses cities, stationary or floating, better than any author I've read, so his next book, The City & The City, should be a cracking return to what Miéville does best. Not that Iron Council isn't brilliant, but still....
Date published: 2009-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from *Rave Review* A friend lent me this book a year and a half ago, and since completing it, it has been at the top of my favourites list. Never have I read a book as good as this one, and that is saying a fair bit. The language is wonderful, the setting is shockingly imaginative, and the characters are every bit as alive as you are. When I finished this book, I curled up in bed and cried. I actually cried. This book will engulf you; it is not something you merely read as something that you inhale. And it eats you. From the inside, it just devours you. Cutter, Judah, Ann-Hari. You will never forget them. As much as I love this book, I have to issue warning; it is not for everyone. It is edgy, punishing, dark and twisted. Those who like to read about sunny days with your sister and iced tea should not pick this up. Those who like to have their minds played with like a yo-yo, here. Read. This. Book. I must borrow the words of another when it comes to speaking of China Mieville because I can't think of a way to phrase it any better. "Formidably brilliant". How many authors today can boast such a title?
Date published: 2006-05-13