Of the three story lines we are following, only one of them I cared about, Ori. His story was the most familiar in the style of storytelling with the lush details and we are learning along with him. The middle storyline, Judah, I emphatically did not care about at all. Cutter, the first character we follow around, was confusing. The story starts with him in the middle of a forest and a rebellion with zero context. Most of the characters that we’re introduced to (with scant details to remember them by) are systematically killed off a third of the way through.
Iron Council is the 3rd book in the Bas-Lag trilogy, preceded by Perdido Street Station and The Scar. The only thing that ties these three books together is that they all take place on the same planet. The events of the three books are unrelated and you could read them in any order.
The first two books, Perdido Street Station and The Scar, were great. I really enjoyed them. The settings and aliens are vivid and the characters are infinitely interesting. The best attribute of these books is that they were totally unpredictable. I thought we were going to go one way and then the plots zig and zag, bringing the reader to unexpected places. The settings are layered with rich detail that I still remember even years later.
I didn’t get any of this from Iron Council. Because of my experience with the previous two entries, I was excited to see more of this world and mythology. It was work. I had to psyche myself up to read the next chapter. Some people may really gel with Miéville’s style of writing and get some genuine enjoyment from the third entry. If that was you, awesome. I highly recommend Perdido Street Station and The Scar for a good reality break. For the third book, I leave up to you to decide if you want to give it a chance or not.