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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.
don’t keep it still I’ll shoot it, I swear. We can’t risk it triggering anything.” There was an instant when it seemed the whispersmith might fight, but he turned and ran again, and the horse was still. Cutter looked back and cried out. What followed them, dangling, had the shape of a man. It carried a burden. It was scant miles off, arrowing with grim unnatural motion toward the wall and the shaft. On the other side they looked down across sierras, a slowly rising landscape. In the full sun of
the still-beautiful blooms and putting them in water. He is poised. His hair is white and gathered in a precise pigtail. He has very vivid blue eyes. Judah rummages in his bag (the bodyguards stiffen and raise pistols) and brings out a figurine. —This is for you, he says. —From the stiltspear. The man receives it with what seems very genuine pleasure. —It’s a god, Judah says. —They don’t do so much by way of art or carvings. Only little simple things. Miev_0345464028_2p_all_r1.qxd 5/18/04 8:24
172 CHINA MIÉVILLE prison-trucks of the Remade. Judah sat with other surveyors. He listened to the pistons. The squat, simple trains within New Crobuzon were always accelerating or slowing, only ever jerking between stations. There was no time for them to pick up pace, to maintain it and create this new sound, this utterly new beat of a speeding train. They passed a village: an odd and ugly sight. Sidings slid toward it, and Judah could see the original wattle-and-daub dwellings alongside
cards. They turn them, discard some, concatenate others in an overlapping pattern on the tabletop. Other players come and go, raise bets by some opaque system, lose, while the pot grows, and only How and the hermaphrodite remain. Each bet now causes How some physical pain. A crowd has gathered. With the turn of a card the Maru’ahm gambler wins the life of How’s ward dæmon, and the little presence manifests as a flaming marmoset that screams and clutches How’s lapels and makes them smoulder, but
unfolding his arms. He picked up speed, gliding full of wrongness. A bird was his companion but it did not fly, only clung to his head. It opened its wings and let the air spread its feathers. There was a growth on it, something that mangled its outlines. The man passed villages. What animals were there to see him howled. At the stub-end of the hills, in a drying landscape, the drifting man neared an interruption. Something embedded in the dirt, a star of rust-red and ragged brown-black cloth. A