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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2004 China Mieville (P)2014 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Continuously fascinating.... Miéville creates a world of outrageous inventiveness." ( The Denver Post)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim
  • United States
  • 03-11-16

Very Close to the First

The first book in this trilogy was my very first introduction to China Mieville. I dug "Perdido Street Station" and read almost every book from this author after that. It took me a few years to finish New Crobuzon Trilogy because I didn't believe that he could beat "Perdido Street Station." I thought that "The Scar" was well done, but not better than the first.

After starting this series three years ago, I finally wanted to finish the train saga with "Iron Council." The last book is my favorite in this series. I think that the "Iron Council" is far better than the second and very close to the first. I liked the drama from the council,more monsters, remade, the train and realism of each characters.

Mr. Mieville has a special talent of approaching science fiction and fantasy in a different way. It's almost addicting to read any of his books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Quite good

I loved this book, more than Perdido St Station but much less than The Scar. It did seem like a bit of a reuse of the idea of The Scar, a mobile renegade utopia of quasi-criminals constantly on the run through the wilderness, instead of the sea. However I found this to be compelling because of Judah. His relationships and talents and demeanor seemed very real and I thought his bisexuality was well handled. We need more representation in fiction as real people, it wasn't the only character point for him as queerness sometimes can be.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Imagination Plus

This book seems to end the trilogy...and it is as fine a piece of literary work as the other two. Mr. Mieville seems to be able to put more imagination and originality into a paragraph of science fiction than most contemporary writers manage to put into a novel...or an entire series, many of them. Although each novel in this trilogy can easily stand on its own, each one remains linked to the other two, even if the connections are not obvious. Each is well done, with fine characterizations and solid story lines. Each is a bit of a tragedy in its own right. But if they lack "happily ever after" endings, those endings evolve from the realistic interactions of the very human acting characters. Mr. Jackson's narration was first rate.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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worth the listen

A difficult and occasionally obtuse book hard to get through, but infinitely worth it in the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Incredible end to a FABULOUS Trilogy

If you crossed Tolkien with Verne, Martin with Lovecraft, & Dickens with Burroughs fused with the political sensibility of Orwell you get a sense of the breadth & daring of the radical & visionary Fantasy author China Miéville. His imaginary world of Bas-Lag is one of the great creations of modern literature, by turns Cinematic, Grand, earthy, & profane. Miéville's vision is both kinetic & subtle, erudite & punk, Victorian & Post Modern. The fictional city of New Crobazon is epic, terrible, and awesomeness in equal thirds. The Iron Council equals the power & grandeur of the previous 2 novels of the New Crobazon trilogy Perdido Street Station, & The Scar. Iron Council goes where few novels in the Fantasy genre date to go with extraordinary assuredness & style.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Long Live Bas Lag

As the second was so different from the first, so too does this instalment separate itself from its Sisters. At first that change stalled me but I found as I continued the tale that it was, for me, just as fantastical and horrifying as its predecessors. This one moved water to my eyes. I hope for a fourth episode from China.

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Ol' "Bittersweet Mieville" strikes again!

I'm a big fan of Mieville's work. The man writes elegantly. Every description, every scene, every character drips with atmosphere and purpose. His writing curls through your mind, campfire smoke rising through pine boughs into an open, starry sky. You live in his worlds. You stand beside his characters and cry with them, share their joy, feel their pain deeply in your chest. He pulls you through languid waves of joyous dread and prickling anticipation across every page. This story is not to be missed. A+

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The Human Engine That Could

What did you love best about Iron Council?

Having listened to the two books proceeding Iron Council, I was not surprised when China Mieville surprised me with a movable feast of words and images. One of our century's most accomplished and well-spoken authors, I felt his character development, plotting, and slice- of-life storytelling style have grown with each of his renditions. An enjoyable story and wonderful narration. Well done!

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    2 out of 5 stars

Heavy hitting but ultimately a storyline miss

Written in his classic way - this story aims for lofty narrative ambitions but falls well short of China's other great works (thinking of The Scar & Perdido Street Station).

Still full with the awe and magic that runs through his work, here I found myself uncaring about the plot, lives, motivations and ultimately the fates of the characters we encounter.

While a nice addition to Bas Lag's world-building, this is a read for fans of the series, but a pass for others not initiated in the world

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A choppy telling of a mediocre story

Like the first two New Crobuzon books, Iron Council is an unbelievably dense and complex bit of writing with intricacies that are clearly present in the author's mind, but unlike the other two, this book does a poor job laying them out in a way that keeps the reader interested. Worse yet, the story is hard to get hooked on due to the choppy timeline leaving the reader questioning the point of the book more than once. Disappointing, but not terrible.