All right, I picked this book up because it had been nominated for the 2005 Hugo. Iron Sunrise, also nominated for the 2005 Hugo was brilliant.
Iron Council is not. Actually, it's just plain awful. It's impossible to figure out what is going on, who the different factions are, or why we should care about them. Worse, there is no explanation for the rules of how the planet works. It's a bad mishmash of fantasy and steampunk rather than science fiction.
I'm on page 110 or so, and only because it was the only book I had on a business trip.
Don't waste your time with this one.