Paperback Í Iron Council PDF/EPUB Ò


Iron Council The third novel in his amazing imaginative sequence focused on the fabulous city of New Crobuzon and its very special world.It is a time of revolts 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 metropolis to the brink In the midst of this turmoil, 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, an undying legend In the blood and violence of New Crobuzon s most dangerous hour, there are whispersIt is the time of the Iron Council. ☉ [PDF / Epub] ☆ Book Lover By Jennifer Kaufman ❤ – 9facts.co.uk 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 metropolis to the brink In the midst of this turmoil ❮Epub❯ ➣ Secret Delivery / Her 24-Hour Protector ➢ Author Delores Fossen – 9facts.co.uk a mysterious masked figure spurs strange rebellion [BOOKS] ⚣ Kholodovs Last Mistress Author Kate Hewitt – 9facts.co.uk while treachery and violence incubate in unexpected places.In desperation ➿ Wicked Sinner (Regency Sinners 7) Gratuit ➶ Auteur Carole Mortimer – 9facts.co.uk a small group of renegades escapes from the city and crosses strange and alien continents in the search for a lost hope ❮Read❯ ➪ If the Stiletto Fits... Author Wendy Etherington – 9facts.co.uk an undying legend In the blood and violence of New Crobuzon s most dangerous hour [PDF] ✑ What Phoebe Wants (Harlequin Flipside, By Cindi Myers – 9facts.co.uk there are whispersIt is the time of the Iron Council. Recall in my review of The Scar how I was whining about my opinion of China Mi ville and his novels remaining relatively constant How I wanted to read something different, something I could say didn t rank equally with the other three novels by him that I have read This is the story of why I should have been careful with my wishing.I knew something was wrong perhaps I should say off almost from the beginning of this book The opening was grandiose in Mi ville s usual style which, if you ve read Mi ville, is explanation enough if you haven t why haven t you but our first meeting with the main characters is confusing than enlightening Worse still, none of the characters are all that interesting I didn t care about Cutter, Elsie, or Pomeroy I didn t care about Ori or Spiral Jacobs or Toro I certainly didn t care for Judah, who seems like a monumental jerk wrapped inside a coat of comfortable self sacrifice.Characterization in The Iron Council is not sloppy, because nothing Mi ville does is sloppy From purple prose to passive voice, Mi ville writes with impunity and a vocabulary to show it because the end result is something captivating and beautiful the novel itself is work of art So it s not sloppy it is, unfortunately, rather lacklustre Both of the preceding Bas Lag novels, Perdido Street Station and The Scar, had a strong central protagonist Isaac and Bella, respectively We lack such a protagonist in The Iron Council The present day narrative alternates between two convergent plots, with Cutter and Ori providing a perspective for each respective storyline The middle of the book tells the genesis of the Iron Council and follows Judah ironically, while Judah is my least favourite character, this is probably the best part of the entire novel.Cutter follows Judah out into the unexplored wilderness beyond New Crobuzon Judah is searching for the Iron Council, a runaway train of railworkers, Remade slaves, and prostitutes He knows that New Crobuzon is finally sending an expeditionary force to wipe out the train, and he wants to find the Iron Council first Cutter follows Judah not because he has faith in the Iron Council but because he has faith in Judah this point is important to the rest of the plot Cutter is in fact in hopeless, unrequited love with Judah.Neither Cutter nor Judah seem very real or three dimensional they are just names, with the barest amount of personality So I didn t feel a lot of sympathy for Cutter as he allows Judah to manipulate him There were none of the chances Cutter had wanted, no opportunity to tell the stories of the Collective, to ask for the stories of the Council It was rushed and ugly He felt desperately angry as the Councillors prepared to die He felt as well a sense of his own failure, that he was letting down Judah You knew I couldn t do it, you bastard That s why you re still there Getting ready some plan or other for when I fail Still, even though Judah had expected it, Cutter hated that he had not succeeded.The dynamic that Mi ville creates between these two is brilliant, and it s a rather timeless tragedy In this case, however, its characters are not drawn with enough depth, and so the tragic effect is instead rendered a clich.Back in New Crobuzon, Ori is the New Crobuzon equivalent of a Marxist disenchanted with all the talk and ready for some good ol proletariat revolution The New Crobuzon of The Iron Council is an even grimmer place than the city of Perdido Street Station The fallout from Isaac s alliance with the Construct Council caused a messy curtailment on the use of constructs throughout the city Coupled with economic recession and a war with Tesh, and New Crobuzon is under martial law in all but name These are not fun times But Ori is tired of reading newspaper articles and meeting with a group of people who all call themselves Jack the way a communist uses comrade He wants some action.Ori, like me, should be careful what he wishes for.He falls in with a group led by Toro, a character who wears a massive helmet forged in the shape of a bull With the helmet, Toro can sense magical energies and even teleport through space by charging like a bull and tearing a hole in reality with the helmet s horns The group plans to assassinate Mayor Stem Fulcher remember her from Perdido Street Station , reasoning that a successful mission would be like beheading the snake of Parliament I ll leave it up to you to guess how well that works out.I quite enjoyed Ori s storyline, if not Ori himself, and the tale of revolution on the streets of New Crobuzon It was almost like the good old times back in Perdido Street Station, when the city almost felt alive through Mi ville s careful descriptions Almost, but not quite New Crobuzon is present in The Iron Council, but it is no longer the front and centre locus around which the novel revolves.Instead, Mi ville once again chooses a mobile location as his central focus This time it s a train instead of a floating city There s some metaphor to be found within the idea of a train, which is bound to go only where there is a railroad, representing one s freedom Indeed, one of the conceits of The Iron Council is that these fugitive railway workers are constantly tearing up the track behind them and laying down new rails before the train It s odd, but it s very Mi ville As with so much else of his work, he creates an almost but not quite romantic vision of life on an ever changing railscape Like New Crobuzon and Armada, the citizens of the Iron Council are cosmopolitan however, the scale of the city is a lot smaller and constrained We get a sense of the fragility of the Council everything is reused, if possible, because their resources are limited as well as the sense of boundless adventure they have maps no one in New Crobuzon has In that respect, the Iron Council is as well developed, as a weird city, as any of Mi ville s creations.I m very ambivalent about the fate of the Iron Council and the ending of the book Part of me hates it, if only because it seems so inevitable the way Mi ville has written it Part of me enjoys its creativity It is consistent with my favourite thing about this book, which is its portrayal of the difficulty of staging a class revolution Ori quickly realizes that it s one thing to begin an uprising and quite another thing to succeed at it the militia is ruthless, and even the death of New Crobuzon s mayor is not necessarily going to stop them This real but unattractive truth fuels a lot of the tension in the last part of the book, as well as Judah s final act that affects the Iron Council and everyone aboard it.If anything, The Iron Council, with its brief allusions to the events of Perdido Street Station, hasjust made me want to reread that first Bas Lag novel all over again I want to return to the delightful machinations of Mayor Rudgutter and then secretary Stem Fulcher I want to see them negotiate with the Ambassador from Hell and the Weaver In addition to these allusions, there are plenty of new, small glimpses at the weird and wonderful world that is Bas Lag Once again, Mi ville shows that his imagination and his ability to create a world are without parallel And beyond the worldbuilding lurks a good tale too The Iron Council is a strong story of standing up to authority and striking, albeit not always succeeding However, none of its characters could interest me, and I found that to be a massive stumbling block in reading this book I read it, but I wasn t really into the story There was no point where I would have been disappointed if something had interrupted me during my reading I was a casual visitor to Bas Lag this time I suppose there is nothing wrong with that, per se, but with a writer as good as Mi ville, I m always going to be disappointed when the experience is just casual. I ve known about Mieville for a long time But I don t know if I ve ever read one of his books before Generally speaking though, people I respect enjoy his books, and that s the best way I know to find new things to read Simply said I really enjoyed it Strange enough to be wondrous, but not so bizarre that it s nonsensical Good story Good use of language Good characters Perhaps than anything else, I was impressed by the moral ambiguity of the book And I m not talking about cheap moral ambiguity, where characters disagree Or there s some questions along the lines of was that the right thing to do None of that weak tea here This book was full of difficult situations and choices, and I can t think of another book I ve read where so many people had radically different opinions about what the best course of action was They disagreed, each took their own path, and and at the end of things, I still don t know who was right What s , the author pulled that off in such a way that it didn t feel fruitless and frustrating to me as a reader My hat s off Mievile there, that s a very difficult balancing act My only irritation was that I picked this book up without doing my usual research though It s only now that I came to enter it into goodreads that I discover what I ve fucked up and read the third book of the series It speaks well of the book that that didn t keep me from enjoying the story or getting into the world Though it does explain the steeper than average learning curve at the beginning of the story. Overtly political, teasingly intricate, and deeply intertextual, China Mi ville s Iron Council is everything I expect to love in great speculative fiction, and nearly everything I know I love in Mi ville s work.Yet, since its publication, I have only read it once, and I still find myself ranking it third of Mi ville s Bas Lag books I ve been baffled by my restraint with Iron Council My admiration of Mi ville 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 Mi ville 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 literary 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 dreamshit as the people who lose their minds do And Mi ville 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 Mi ville offers too many places in his third book, and he never lets us 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.It is not a coincidence that all Mi ville s Bas Lag books have, thus far, been titled after places But Mi ville doesn t just love places, he 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 Mi ville does best.No, Iron Council isn t brilliant, but still it IS damn, damn good. Iron Council is China Mi ville s most overtly political fiction work, but don t pigeonhole it Between the revolutionary fervor, fantasy, trains, and Western like parts runs a common theme of love and the painful, desperate, doomed human longing I loved this book It was not the insta love like it was with The Scar but a long, careful, slow to build up affair that by the end of the story fully blossomed This book is fascinating, passionate, brutal at times, thought provoking and deliberately anger inducing But at the same time, it s like Mi ville deliberately made it not as easy to love as his other works Let me explain.I ve read 4 Mi ville s books by now, and I think one of his greatest strengths as a storyteller is the ability to not just create amazingly imaginative and creative universes but also to lovingly make the setting of the story a true protagonist Perdido Street Station was the ode to New Crobuzon The Scar was a love song for Armada The City The City was a story about the divide between Besz l and Ul Qoma Here, however, we are taken on the quest, getting glimpses into many different corners of Bas Lag, only quick looks at the really changed New Crobuzon, and for a while only a teasing promise of the titular Iron Council Yes, eventually I did love Iron Council, but it took so long to get there that it never became the same real character as Mi ville s other locales did.But once I got past the grief of not falling in love with a geographical location, I was able to fully appreciate and passionately love the painful and difficult themes of this book The ramifications of Crobuzonian politics, only glimpsed in the first two novels, finally take the center stage Mi ville is not subtle about where he stands on social rights and inequalities, and I loved the passionate and open expression of his views It is not difficult to draw parallels between our less than perfect society obsessed with money, power, greed, and inequality, and the world of New Crobuzon, on the verge of collapse and catastrophe.New Crobuzon, the in famous festering filth of a city, believe it or not, has changed for the worse The political oppression is at its worst, it s basically under the martial law, the xenophobia is at its height due to an undergoing war, the poverty and corruption are appalling, and no wonder that social dissatisfaction and unrest are brewing Instead of exciting time on the barricades, however, we get to take a look into the heart of the brewing revolution the tensions between revolutionary factions, the differences between the talkers and the anarchists, the plottings, the mistrust, the fear The oppressiveness is palpable, the atmosphere is rotten and suffocating, and the overall effect on the reader is powerful.At the same time, we get to see even of the single greatest horror and injustice of the Crobuzonian system the Remade The horrific bodily remaking that the criminals including the political ones undergo marks them as outcasts, permanent slaves, nobodies, people below the regard of society They were briefly shown in PSS their plight was mentioned in The Scar But it is only in Iron Council that we get to see of the ramifications of this We get to see their suffering and their fighting back I could not help but feel my heart break a bit over their pain and torture And it made me reflect on all the ways our present day society marginalizes those it does not approve of the effect I m sure CM was going for.We also see the gender issues that up until now were not addressed much in Crobuzonian universe I found it striking how women are degraded and marginalized, how a strong Remade woman is an abomination because of her unwomanly strength, how even during the strikes and rebellion the women are treated as vastly inferior, nothing but instruments for men s sexual satisfaction which they owe them to the point of creating rape squads , and how a woman s revenge is even described as simply a grudge Yet again Mi ville does not give us an ending we would love to have you know, the one where conflicts get resolved, the bad guys get their comeuppance, and the good guys are vindicated But life does not work like that, life tends to reset itself towards the status quo with maybe small new hope brewing under the surface and CM reflects this in his writing It is weird and fantastical, with adventures and monsters even though we can agree that the true monsters are always people but it is nevertheless very painfully real in its emotions and psychological effects of the outcomes Everything comes at a cost and the costs are often very hard to bear It s not a comfort read, not a book that will make you feel better but that is not always the purpose of literature, is it now Sometimes the purpose is to unsettle you and make you think.But the part I loved the most, the one that left perhaps the biggest impact on me, was the art about love and human longing It underlies every action, every event of this story The revolutionary fervor is fueled by longing for change and better life The Iron Council is triggered by the longing for freedom and justice And, of course, there was the love and longing of Cutter and Judah albeit, sadly, not for the same thing Cutter was heartbreaking in his love, devotion, and longing for Judah the feelings that he knew too well weren t shared or reciprocated, but quite often seemed to be simply used He was so touching, so pained in this that I felt a lump in my throat at times reading about him No one, I repeat no one should be doled out sorta kinda love simply as a gesture of kindness that is just cruel When Cutter understood that the sex would only ever be an act of patrician friendship, profane and saintly generosity would only ever be a gift from Judah, he tried to bring it to a close, but could not sustain the abstinence Judah, with his parasite innard goodness , with his never ending devotion to and obsession with the Iron Council to the point where we, along with Ann Hari, question whether his love gives him the right to do what he ended up doing Ann Hari and Ori, with their longing to change history, to find something bigger than them, to help make something better Toro, longing for revenge long overdue All of them are desperate, unhappy, driven by forces that they may not comprehend and yet cannot resist So heartbreaking He feels pinioned by history He can wriggle like a stuck butterfly but can go nowhere And this leads me to another theme that I felt I was not even qualified to talk about as I think I may have missed the significance of it in quite a few parts of the book was the power of history, its relentless march, sweeping everything in its wake towards something The relentless pull of history that makes you feel small and insignificant I may need a reread to fully grasp the implications Overall, a rather challenging but ultimately rewarding and emotionally uneasy read that makes you ponder quite a few difficult questions 4.5 stars I recommend it highly, and advise sticking with it even if you do not fall in love with it right away That love will come eventually, I promise.

    ☉ [PDF / Epub] ☆ Book Lover By Jennifer Kaufman ❤ – 9facts.co.uk 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 metropolis to the brink In the midst of this turmoil ❮Epub❯ ➣ Secret Delivery / Her 24-Hour Protector ➢ Author Delores Fossen – 9facts.co.uk a mysterious masked figure spurs strange rebellion [BOOKS] ⚣ Kholodovs Last Mistress Author Kate Hewitt – 9facts.co.uk while treachery and violence incubate in unexpected places.In desperation ➿ Wicked Sinner (Regency Sinners 7) Gratuit ➶ Auteur Carole Mortimer – 9facts.co.uk a small group of renegades escapes from the city and crosses strange and alien continents in the search for a lost hope ❮Read❯ ➪ If the Stiletto Fits... Author Wendy Etherington – 9facts.co.uk an undying legend In the blood and violence of New Crobuzon s most dangerous hour [PDF] ✑ What Phoebe Wants (Harlequin Flipside, By Cindi Myers – 9facts.co.uk there are whispersIt is the time of the Iron Council. Recall in my review of The Scar how I was whining about my opinion of China Mi ville and his novels remaining relatively constant How I wanted to read something different, something I could say didn t rank equally with the other three novels by him that I have read This is the story of why I should have been careful with my wishing.I knew something was wrong perhaps I should say off almost from the beginning of this book The opening was grandiose in Mi ville s usual style which, if you ve read Mi ville, is explanation enough if you haven t why haven t you but our first meeting with the main characters is confusing than enlightening Worse still, none of the characters are all that interesting I didn t care about Cutter, Elsie, or Pomeroy I didn t care about Ori or Spiral Jacobs or Toro I certainly didn t care for Judah, who seems like a monumental jerk wrapped inside a coat of comfortable self sacrifice.Characterization in The Iron Council is not sloppy, because nothing Mi ville does is sloppy From purple prose to passive voice, Mi ville writes with impunity and a vocabulary to show it because the end result is something captivating and beautiful the novel itself is work of art So it s not sloppy it is, unfortunately, rather lacklustre Both of the preceding Bas Lag novels, Perdido Street Station and The Scar, had a strong central protagonist Isaac and Bella, respectively We lack such a protagonist in The Iron Council The present day narrative alternates between two convergent plots, with Cutter and Ori providing a perspective for each respective storyline The middle of the book tells the genesis of the Iron Council and follows Judah ironically, while Judah is my least favourite character, this is probably the best part of the entire novel.Cutter follows Judah out into the unexplored wilderness beyond New Crobuzon Judah is searching for the Iron Council, a runaway train of railworkers, Remade slaves, and prostitutes He knows that New Crobuzon is finally sending an expeditionary force to wipe out the train, and he wants to find the Iron Council first Cutter follows Judah not because he has faith in the Iron Council but because he has faith in Judah this point is important to the rest of the plot Cutter is in fact in hopeless, unrequited love with Judah.Neither Cutter nor Judah seem very real or three dimensional they are just names, with the barest amount of personality So I didn t feel a lot of sympathy for Cutter as he allows Judah to manipulate him There were none of the chances Cutter had wanted, no opportunity to tell the stories of the Collective, to ask for the stories of the Council It was rushed and ugly He felt desperately angry as the Councillors prepared to die He felt as well a sense of his own failure, that he was letting down Judah You knew I couldn t do it, you bastard That s why you re still there Getting ready some plan or other for when I fail Still, even though Judah had expected it, Cutter hated that he had not succeeded.The dynamic that Mi ville creates between these two is brilliant, and it s a rather timeless tragedy In this case, however, its characters are not drawn with enough depth, and so the tragic effect is instead rendered a clich.Back in New Crobuzon, Ori is the New Crobuzon equivalent of a Marxist disenchanted with all the talk and ready for some good ol proletariat revolution The New Crobuzon of The Iron Council is an even grimmer place than the city of Perdido Street Station The fallout from Isaac s alliance with the Construct Council caused a messy curtailment on the use of constructs throughout the city Coupled with economic recession and a war with Tesh, and New Crobuzon is under martial law in all but name These are not fun times But Ori is tired of reading newspaper articles and meeting with a group of people who all call themselves Jack the way a communist uses comrade He wants some action.Ori, like me, should be careful what he wishes for.He falls in with a group led by Toro, a character who wears a massive helmet forged in the shape of a bull With the helmet, Toro can sense magical energies and even teleport through space by charging like a bull and tearing a hole in reality with the helmet s horns The group plans to assassinate Mayor Stem Fulcher remember her from Perdido Street Station , reasoning that a successful mission would be like beheading the snake of Parliament I ll leave it up to you to guess how well that works out.I quite enjoyed Ori s storyline, if not Ori himself, and the tale of revolution on the streets of New Crobuzon It was almost like the good old times back in Perdido Street Station, when the city almost felt alive through Mi ville s careful descriptions Almost, but not quite New Crobuzon is present in The Iron Council, but it is no longer the front and centre locus around which the novel revolves.Instead, Mi ville once again chooses a mobile location as his central focus This time it s a train instead of a floating city There s some metaphor to be found within the idea of a train, which is bound to go only where there is a railroad, representing one s freedom Indeed, one of the conceits of The Iron Council is that these fugitive railway workers are constantly tearing up the track behind them and laying down new rails before the train It s odd, but it s very Mi ville As with so much else of his work, he creates an almost but not quite romantic vision of life on an ever changing railscape Like New Crobuzon and Armada, the citizens of the Iron Council are cosmopolitan however, the scale of the city is a lot smaller and constrained We get a sense of the fragility of the Council everything is reused, if possible, because their resources are limited as well as the sense of boundless adventure they have maps no one in New Crobuzon has In that respect, the Iron Council is as well developed, as a weird city, as any of Mi ville s creations.I m very ambivalent about the fate of the Iron Council and the ending of the book Part of me hates it, if only because it seems so inevitable the way Mi ville has written it Part of me enjoys its creativity It is consistent with my favourite thing about this book, which is its portrayal of the difficulty of staging a class revolution Ori quickly realizes that it s one thing to begin an uprising and quite another thing to succeed at it the militia is ruthless, and even the death of New Crobuzon s mayor is not necessarily going to stop them This real but unattractive truth fuels a lot of the tension in the last part of the book, as well as Judah s final act that affects the Iron Council and everyone aboard it.If anything, The Iron Council, with its brief allusions to the events of Perdido Street Station, hasjust made me want to reread that first Bas Lag novel all over again I want to return to the delightful machinations of Mayor Rudgutter and then secretary Stem Fulcher I want to see them negotiate with the Ambassador from Hell and the Weaver In addition to these allusions, there are plenty of new, small glimpses at the weird and wonderful world that is Bas Lag Once again, Mi ville shows that his imagination and his ability to create a world are without parallel And beyond the worldbuilding lurks a good tale too The Iron Council is a strong story of standing up to authority and striking, albeit not always succeeding However, none of its characters could interest me, and I found that to be a massive stumbling block in reading this book I read it, but I wasn t really into the story There was no point where I would have been disappointed if something had interrupted me during my reading I was a casual visitor to Bas Lag this time I suppose there is nothing wrong with that, per se, but with a writer as good as Mi ville, I m always going to be disappointed when the experience is just casual. I ve known about Mieville for a long time But I don t know if I ve ever read one of his books before Generally speaking though, people I respect enjoy his books, and that s the best way I know to find new things to read Simply said I really enjoyed it Strange enough to be wondrous, but not so bizarre that it s nonsensical Good story Good use of language Good characters Perhaps than anything else, I was impressed by the moral ambiguity of the book And I m not talking about cheap moral ambiguity, where characters disagree Or there s some questions along the lines of was that the right thing to do None of that weak tea here This book was full of difficult situations and choices, and I can t think of another book I ve read where so many people had radically different opinions about what the best course of action was They disagreed, each took their own path, and and at the end of things, I still don t know who was right What s , the author pulled that off in such a way that it didn t feel fruitless and frustrating to me as a reader My hat s off Mievile there, that s a very difficult balancing act My only irritation was that I picked this book up without doing my usual research though It s only now that I came to enter it into goodreads that I discover what I ve fucked up and read the third book of the series It speaks well of the book that that didn t keep me from enjoying the story or getting into the world Though it does explain the steeper than average learning curve at the beginning of the story. Overtly political, teasingly intricate, and deeply intertextual, China Mi ville s Iron Council is everything I expect to love in great speculative fiction, and nearly everything I know I love in Mi ville s work.Yet, since its publication, I have only read it once, and I still find myself ranking it third of Mi ville s Bas Lag books I ve been baffled by my restraint with Iron Council My admiration of Mi ville 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 Mi ville 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 literary 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 dreamshit as the people who lose their minds do And Mi ville 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 Mi ville offers too many places in his third book, and he never lets us 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.It is not a coincidence that all Mi ville s Bas Lag books have, thus far, been titled after places But Mi ville doesn t just love places, he 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 Mi ville does best.No, Iron Council isn t brilliant, but still it IS damn, damn good. Iron Council is China Mi ville s most overtly political fiction work, but don t pigeonhole it Between the revolutionary fervor, fantasy, trains, and Western like parts runs a common theme of love and the painful, desperate, doomed human longing I loved this book It was not the insta love like it was with The Scar but a long, careful, slow to build up affair that by the end of the story fully blossomed This book is fascinating, passionate, brutal at times, thought provoking and deliberately anger inducing But at the same time, it s like Mi ville deliberately made it not as easy to love as his other works Let me explain.I ve read 4 Mi ville s books by now, and I think one of his greatest strengths as a storyteller is the ability to not just create amazingly imaginative and creative universes but also to lovingly make the setting of the story a true protagonist Perdido Street Station was the ode to New Crobuzon The Scar was a love song for Armada The City The City was a story about the divide between Besz l and Ul Qoma Here, however, we are taken on the quest, getting glimpses into many different corners of Bas Lag, only quick looks at the really changed New Crobuzon, and for a while only a teasing promise of the titular Iron Council Yes, eventually I did love Iron Council, but it took so long to get there that it never became the same real character as Mi ville s other locales did.But once I got past the grief of not falling in love with a geographical location, I was able to fully appreciate and passionately love the painful and difficult themes of this book The ramifications of Crobuzonian politics, only glimpsed in the first two novels, finally take the center stage Mi ville is not subtle about where he stands on social rights and inequalities, and I loved the passionate and open expression of his views It is not difficult to draw parallels between our less than perfect society obsessed with money, power, greed, and inequality, and the world of New Crobuzon, on the verge of collapse and catastrophe.New Crobuzon, the in famous festering filth of a city, believe it or not, has changed for the worse The political oppression is at its worst, it s basically under the martial law, the xenophobia is at its height due to an undergoing war, the poverty and corruption are appalling, and no wonder that social dissatisfaction and unrest are brewing Instead of exciting time on the barricades, however, we get to take a look into the heart of the brewing revolution the tensions between revolutionary factions, the differences between the talkers and the anarchists, the plottings, the mistrust, the fear The oppressiveness is palpable, the atmosphere is rotten and suffocating, and the overall effect on the reader is powerful.At the same time, we get to see even of the single greatest horror and injustice of the Crobuzonian system the Remade The horrific bodily remaking that the criminals including the political ones undergo marks them as outcasts, permanent slaves, nobodies, people below the regard of society They were briefly shown in PSS their plight was mentioned in The Scar But it is only in Iron Council that we get to see of the ramifications of this We get to see their suffering and their fighting back I could not help but feel my heart break a bit over their pain and torture And it made me reflect on all the ways our present day society marginalizes those it does not approve of the effect I m sure CM was going for.We also see the gender issues that up until now were not addressed much in Crobuzonian universe I found it striking how women are degraded and marginalized, how a strong Remade woman is an abomination because of her unwomanly strength, how even during the strikes and rebellion the women are treated as vastly inferior, nothing but instruments for men s sexual satisfaction which they owe them to the point of creating rape squads , and how a woman s revenge is even described as simply a grudge Yet again Mi ville does not give us an ending we would love to have you know, the one where conflicts get resolved, the bad guys get their comeuppance, and the good guys are vindicated But life does not work like that, life tends to reset itself towards the status quo with maybe small new hope brewing under the surface and CM reflects this in his writing It is weird and fantastical, with adventures and monsters even though we can agree that the true monsters are always people but it is nevertheless very painfully real in its emotions and psychological effects of the outcomes Everything comes at a cost and the costs are often very hard to bear It s not a comfort read, not a book that will make you feel better but that is not always the purpose of literature, is it now Sometimes the purpose is to unsettle you and make you think.But the part I loved the most, the one that left perhaps the biggest impact on me, was the art about love and human longing It underlies every action, every event of this story The revolutionary fervor is fueled by longing for change and better life The Iron Council is triggered by the longing for freedom and justice And, of course, there was the love and longing of Cutter and Judah albeit, sadly, not for the same thing Cutter was heartbreaking in his love, devotion, and longing for Judah the feelings that he knew too well weren t shared or reciprocated, but quite often seemed to be simply used He was so touching, so pained in this that I felt a lump in my throat at times reading about him No one, I repeat no one should be doled out sorta kinda love simply as a gesture of kindness that is just cruel When Cutter understood that the sex would only ever be an act of patrician friendship, profane and saintly generosity would only ever be a gift from Judah, he tried to bring it to a close, but could not sustain the abstinence Judah, with his parasite innard goodness , with his never ending devotion to and obsession with the Iron Council to the point where we, along with Ann Hari, question whether his love gives him the right to do what he ended up doing Ann Hari and Ori, with their longing to change history, to find something bigger than them, to help make something better Toro, longing for revenge long overdue All of them are desperate, unhappy, driven by forces that they may not comprehend and yet cannot resist So heartbreaking He feels pinioned by history He can wriggle like a stuck butterfly but can go nowhere And this leads me to another theme that I felt I was not even qualified to talk about as I think I may have missed the significance of it in quite a few parts of the book was the power of history, its relentless march, sweeping everything in its wake towards something The relentless pull of history that makes you feel small and insignificant I may need a reread to fully grasp the implications Overall, a rather challenging but ultimately rewarding and emotionally uneasy read that makes you ponder quite a few difficult questions 4.5 stars I recommend it highly, and advise sticking with it even if you do not fall in love with it right away That love will come eventually, I promise."/>
  • Paperback
  • 614 pages
  • Iron Council
  • China Miéville
  • English
  • 03 January 2019
  • 9780330534208

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