So I finally got around to reading ‘Iron Council’ after borrowing it from a friend several weeks ago. This novel is set in the same world as ‘Perdido Street Station’ and ‘The Scar’ and focuses on the city-state of New Crobuzon, though much of the events of the novel happen outside the city. Mieville weaves together many seemingly disparate stories that come together into a coherent and exciting tale about revolution and power.

It takes a little while for the story to get going, but I enjoy Mieville’s unique style and his fantastical worlds so much that I was able to just enjoy the process while the plot built up momentum. His writing is vivid, powerful and detailed and quickly draws the reader in. Every part of the book has a reason for being there, and all the different stories are eventually drawn together into one. Events that don’t seem important to the plot at the beginning become important as you go along.

The story follows three main groups, Cutter and company as they search for the Iron Council, Judah, and Ori, the young man who wants to revolutionize New Crobuzon. It’s difficult to discuss the plot in any detail without giving it away, but I’ll just say the way the events unfold in New Crobuzon and the aftermath struck me with the level of detail and thought that went into it, it all seemed very believable and real.

The story gets more exciting as it goes along, and the second half felt like it moved much faster than the first half. There are a lot of twists and turns as the story goes on and it builds to an anti-climatic, unexpected, but satisfying conclusion. This sort of anti-climatic but rewarding ending should be familiar to anyone who has read Mieville’s other books (particularly ‘The Scar’).

As for negatives, there were some descriptions that I had a hard time following- there’s only so much of things made of nothing and unlight that I can handle at once. But these moments were few and far between and overall I really enjoy Mieville’s writing style. If you’re not a fan of Mieville’s style I doubt ‘Iron Council’ will change your mind, however the focus of the plot- revolution, power and history, is handled so well that I would suggest giving it a try anyway. I preferred ‘Iron Council’ much more than ‘Perdido Street Station’, which I felt went on a bit long in sections and dragged a bit. ‘The Scar’ is still my favourite book by China Mieville, but ‘Iron Council’ was a great read and if you like China Mieville’s writing you should definitely give it a go.

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