Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.

9/23/2004

Review: Iron Council

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I finished Iron Council by China Mi�ville last week.

It was good, but not quite as good as his last two.
This one dealt with an attempt to run a transcontinental railroad across Bas Lag, home of New Crobuzon. Something goes wrong and the people building the railroad rebel and become their own, moving, city. While the idea is interesting, and the descriptions of magic and struggle are compelling, the book focuses elsewhere. Specifically, it seems as if Mr. Mi�ville has a social message to impart to us. A rather anti-capitalist, socialist message.
While there’s nothing wrong with that, per se, it does take away from the story in this case. The book seems less about exploring the world of Bas Lag than either Perdido Street Station or The Scar . It is not, by any means, his best effort.
However, it was a good book. I certainly enjoyed the previous two more, but I was not sorry that I bought Iron Council and read it.

If you’re already a fan, Iron Council will be worth it. But, if you’re new to China Mi�ville, it would be better to start with either Perdido Street Station or The Scar .

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