Iron Council

I just finished reading it last week, and, yes, it can be read as a stand-alone. The events in the previous two books are only referenced fleetingly, and don't really contribute to the story that much.

Although I will say that I think this was the weakest of the three, it was still a great read! :)
You can read it as a standalone - it is a standalone, and the references to previous books are very minor - you don't need to know anything from them. I would advise you read Perdido Street Station and the Scar though, because they are really excellent novels and quite a lot better than Iron Council - Iron Council is also a much more overtly political novel than the previous ones, so it's not entirely representative of Mieville's style. It isn't a series as such, and you can read the books in any order, but I'd read Perdido Street Station beforehand so that you can get a very good image of New Crobuzon, which Mieville doesn't really explore in the same depth in IC.

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