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The Minority Council (Matthew Swift #4)

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,943 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
Matthew Swift, sorcerer, Midnight Mayor, is in charge. Or so he'd like to think. London, being London, is having its issues. Drug use is rampant. Teenage vandalism is driving away business. Violent crimes are on the rise. Once upon a time, Matthew Swift wouldn't have cared. Now it's his mess to clean up.

Especially when the new drug on the market is fairy dust and the produ
Kindle Edition, USA Edition, 400 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2012)
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Apr 12, 2014 Carol. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of unusual urban fantasy
Recommended to Carol. by: Carly
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.

Well, sort of. Take two dislikeable tropes, refrigerator females and the drug scourge, and put them in the hands of a fine storyteller, set it a city with a millennia of history, and fill it with fascinating characters, particularly a reincarnated schizophrenic sorcerer, and you get something pretty amazing with a little side he
May 14, 2012 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Fourth book about Matthew Swift, recently-dead sorcerer and secret servant (or something) of magical London. This volume is considerably more sedate than the first three; we actually get to see Swift patrol, plan, negotiate, recover, rest, and maneuver in between bouts of getting the absolute crap beaten out of him. In fact, he gets nearly a third of the way through the book before something overpoweringly awful gets on his tail, and he has significant respites after that too. Somebody even brin ...more
Jul 10, 2016 Jason rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, read-2016
3 Stars

The Minority Council by Kate Griffin is the fourth and final book in the Matthew Swift series. This was a let down to me and it did not compare to the previous three books. But I will not spend much time with my negatives as the Matthew Swift series is a must read...A must read for urban fantasy fans. Heck, Griffin worked her magic over on me in book one A Madness of Angels and rekindled my love the for the genre. That book changed my reading habits and they are still that way today.

The Matthew Swift series involves one of the most fantastical and whimsically creative worlds I've encountered, one of the most fascinatingly broken protagonists that I follow, and a style that sucks me into the narrative. I accept that this series is not for everyone; it's written in lush stream-of-consciousness, and there are certain tropes utilized again and again which may be a turnoff for some readers. But if you haven't at least tried the books, you don't know what you're missing.

So why i
Mar 04, 2012 Kathy rated it really liked it
There's a drug on the streets of London destroying magicians and a shadow killing children and it's going to be up Matthew Swift to do something about about it, but can he trust his own council to help? Matthew has been settling into the job of Midnight Mayor in his own unique way, but it's not one which has gained him many allies among his own staff, or so he thinks.

I'm continuing to enjoy this series, though I think this installment was much darker in many ways than previous books. Also, the a
Mar 26, 2012 Artesia rated it really liked it
Kate Griffin's writing style is very distinctive - you're either love it with a passion or hate it with exact intensity. Fortunately, I'm in a former group.

I like her style, I really love setting (you can tell that the author loves London, and that love is reflected in her novels). But it's not all rosy with this series. As for UF genre goes, series with male protagonist are rarity, and lack of romance as main narrative focus is refreshing. But - I feel like the series are starting to repeat sa
JJ DeBenedictis
Jun 10, 2012 JJ DeBenedictis rated it really liked it
I've been lapping up this series by Kate Griffin, which is an incredibly fresh-seeming and imaginative urban fantasy. I think this book isn't quite as strong as the previous three, but it still delivers evocative writing, a loving portrait of London, a wonderfully quirky protagonist, strong action and a solid story. Yummy stuff!
Dec 23, 2014 Kristin rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I love the Matthew Swift books. I find them consistently solid, peppered with fascinating insights into the human psyche, and interwoven with that British sense of humor I've always enjoyed.

Our hero, Matthew, is flawed and reluctant to assume the mantle of his job responsibilities. His apprentice, Penny, is one kick ass sorceress with a heart of tarnished gold who is the perfect counter to Matthews often dark outlook. The supporting cast of characters are varied and multifaceted, the monsters w
Nov 29, 2015 Kate rated it it was amazing
Last we saw of Matthew Swift, he’s just solved the mystery of The Blackout with heartbreaking consequences. The Midnight Mayor’s duties still have to be carried out, however, no matter how devastated our hero is. He does everything in his power to ignore everyone in the office, most of all The Aldermen whom he loathes, but that is proven to be difficult with the addition of a new giddy but quite lovely PA named Kelly, who never, ever, stops moving and rambling. A random meeting on a boat, howeve ...more
Mar 14, 2012 Scruffy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kate Griffin's Matthew Swift series is one of my favourite urban fantasy series around at the moment. The biggest strength of the series for me is the central character. Matthew Swift is a sorcerer who was resurrected and inhabited by a supernatural force called The Blue Electric Angels. Matthew and the Angels have combined to form a unique personality, one who is not always sure who it is exactly. It's a very unique bit of characterisation which makes Matthew a very interesting character to rea ...more
The finale for the Matthew Swift series is probably the most epic ever, and encapsulates everything that made this an amazing series. The last ~30% I just devoured in one sitting, unable to stop.

Kate Griffin addresses a major issue I had with the previous book: Matthew's lack of understanding with the Aldermen. I understood his reasons, but maintaining that behavior would have felt artificial, and so in this book we see a gradual development in terms of co-operation. This also brings the series
Oct 31, 2012 MsSherlocked rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
In summary: This Matthew Swift story is a bit different from the others, but benefits from the change of pace.

Recommended for: As with the third, people who are deeply familiar with the earlier books.


Detailed summary: Rather unlike the first three books, this one does not start with Matthew being thrown into some danger or another. Instead, we are treated to a short but ultimately non-life threatening adventure he shares with another magical practitioner, Meera.

The story properly
May 02, 2012 Julia rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, urban, arcs
The voice is tricky to slip into, both Swift's plurality and the Beat poet run ons that paint the city around him. I don't think reading earlier books would have helped, other than giving me more pages to acclimate myself to the style. Over the course of THE MINORITY COUNCIL, lots of details regarding past events come to light, none of which can sum up Swift's eerie point of view.

Matthew Swift is immersed in the moment, a stream of consciousness pan of the city around him. I have a hard time dif
Apr 25, 2012 Fyonfyon rated it really liked it
This is probably my favourite current urban fantasy series by some way for a variety of reasons - I love the way Griffin evokes London, the plots are usually nicely dark and splattered with inventively high body counts and there is none of that irritating romance (especially of the being-torn-between-two-options rubbish that everyone's doing). However with that does come some issues and I began this installment well aware that the cast of recurring characters had undergone what can only be descr ...more
Nov 02, 2012 Wealhtheow rated it really liked it
Matthew Swift was one of many mediocre city sorcerers living in London until he was murdered.
Then, of course, he was a dead mediocre city sorcerer.

And then he came back.

And with him came the blue electric angels, magical beings created by all the emotional energy and power we pour into the telephone lines. Matthew Swift, now a "we" instead of a "me", is charged with protecting the city of London. He's stopped the Death of Cities, he's stopped Blackout, he's stopped the Neon army (the modern ver
Mar 28, 2015 Gregoire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Toujours aussi passionnant même si les descriptions de Londres semblent un peu répétitives après deux tomes(difficile de trouver des angles d'approche originaux quand l'action se déroulent toujours dans la même ville) ... mais j'adore et j'adhère au principe du Blue Electric Angel et si l'auteur se décide pour un 4e épisode, je suivrai avec grand plaisir les démêlés du Midnight Major avec le monde obscur
Apr 22, 2012 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still not reaching the heights of "A madness of angels" but it's certainly better than "Neon Court." There's at least more than one plot, it doesn't seem utterly predictable from the very start and by the end you feel that there's at least some evolution in the characters. Also the introduction of Kelly in particular is a spot of brilliance. She's funny and a good contrast to the cynicism of the general cast. The "clever new magic" parts are a little less infrequent than in the earlier books but ...more
Jul 22, 2016 Miranda rated it it was amazing
Another breathtaking addition to the series, perfect on all counts. It lived up to all of my high expectations from the previous books (this is my favorite series after all) and surpassed them. I was doubtful after the last book of what there was still left to say about this terrible, wonderful world and set of characters that Griffin has created. For though it all holds endless fascination and mystery to be unravelled, the previous books arced so perfectly that the story seemed complete. But, a ...more
Dec 04, 2012 Rosemary rated it it was amazing
Urban fantasy with a capital U. Also, frequently, a capital F. Reverse the order, add SNA before that, and you have arrived at hero Matthew Swift's basic existence as his most excellent and frequently royally messed up Midnight Mayor of London.

Start with the first book and cheerfully explore London with Matthew. Be thankful that you are not an all powerful sorcerer with angels singing in your blood. Be thankful that you can get bed rest when you need it. Be thankful that Kate Griffin keeps writi
Jul 15, 2015 May rated it really liked it
Domine dirige nos
Luke Kendall
Jun 19, 2015 Luke Kendall rated it it was amazing
Characterising the Matthew Swift series as “Neverwhere for the digital age” is a fair “elevator pitch”. They certainly invite comparison with that Neil Gaiman story, as well as with Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series, and Ben Aaronovitch's Peter Grant. I can't decide if I like Matthew Swift or Harry Dresden best. This is the 4th in the series.
Anyway, we have the same main characters, of course – and it's great to see Penny Ngwenya take a well-earned centre stage for a while. We also have some g
Mar 30, 2014 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Like other reviewers have noted, this book is somewhat different to the three that came before it, and in my opinion, this is in no way a bad thing. The books in this series are not designed to be read as stand alone partially because you would not be able to grasp the depth and diversity of this universe, but also I think that only by reading them as a series do you fully grasp how Matthew has grown and changed. While this book was filled with just as much action,magic and Matthew getting his a ...more
Feb 14, 2016 Jaimie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's rare that I read an entire series of books back to back; I spread them out to savour them, to keep from getting overwhelmed by too much of the same thing, and to make sure that I don't neglect the rest of my extensive reading list. But, the more that I read of Matthew Swift's London, the more I wanted of it - and now I'm finished the entire series (totalling around 1.5k pages) in less than 6 months. Griffin's magic-filled city is exactly the kind of urban fantasy that the world needs more o ...more
Karen Desmond
Apr 22, 2012 Karen Desmond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing series - an auto buy for me. I've lived in or near London my whole life and this book introduces me to parts even I only know as tube or train stations. A love affair with London but with dark magic elements thrown in. Better than the Dresden books in my view.
May 19, 2012 Dan rated it really liked it
Still pretty good. I'm not completely comfortable with the way the main character has been accumulating friends and then they've all been getting killed to show how dangerous various badguys are. I think it would be less annoying if 90% of them weren't female.
Ann Thomas
Feb 05, 2014 Ann Thomas rated it really liked it
This is the fourth book in the Matthew Swift stories, and I read it straight after the third book, which may not have been the best idea. His habit of going it alone and rushing into things, ending up severely injured, started to get a bit annoying. It was good to see in this book that he actually makes some mistakes and has to learn some hard lessons. Maybe he will grow and do things a bit differently if there are future books.

Matthew Swift is an urban sorceror. His magic comes from the city of
Mar 16, 2016 Grimread rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"We be light, we be life, we be fire! We be sunset blazing, we be heaven burning, we be darkness falling, we be sky cracking, we be earth shaking, we be...
We be wall cracking, we be glass tearing, we be skyline tumbling down!" we bellow, rising to our feet, and the floor burns beneath us, the air shimmers from the heat rolling off our skin.

It's incredible how one single sentence in the epilogue can make you want to read the next book even if there is no next one (and maybe it's for the best).
Nov 06, 2015 Amelia rated it it was amazing
Knowing this was the last book (...maybe not? Please?) made me try to extend the time I spent reading it- I didn't want it to end!

It seems like every book, Matthew successively has more and more to juggle. I've read other reviews that talked about how this was a book of consequences, responsibility, and owning up (to yourself, flaws, others, responsibilities, etc.) I would actually agree with this, but in a fantastic way.

I think there's a significant difference in the type of story and the cha
Isabel (kittiwake)
Apr 22, 2014 Isabel (kittiwake) rated it it was amazing
I could feel all the shadows here, taste the power in the streets, deep and dark and waiting, feel it move beneath my feet, a well of time and magic that had no bottom, waiting to be tapped. The old stone city walls may have been mostly demolished centuries ago, but there were other barriers, unseen, wrapped around this part of the city, designed as much for keeping secrets in as enemies out. On street corners or embedded in coats of arms on grand municipal buildings, we could feel the watching ...more
All Things Urban Fantasy
The voice of THE MINORITY COUNCIL is tricky to slip into, both because of Swift's plurality and the Beat poet run-on sentences that paint the city around him. I don't think reading earlier books would have helped, other than giving me more pages to acclimate myself to the style, but finishing this story has me eager to go back and start at the beginning.

Matthew Swift is immersed in the moment, a stream of consciousness pan of the city around him. I had a hard time differentiating between his own
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Urban Fantasy Afi...: Matthew Swift 6 28 Nov 11, 2014 02:17PM  
US Publication 1 17 Feb 08, 2012 09:46PM  
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Kate Griffin is the pen name under which Catherine Webb writes fantasy novels for adults. She also uses the pen name Claire North.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
More about Kate Griffin...

Other Books in the Series

Matthew Swift (4 books)
  • A Madness of Angels (Matthew Swift, #1)
  • The Midnight Mayor (Matthew Swift, #2)
  • The Neon Court (Matthew Swift, #3)

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“My name is Matthew Swift. I’m a sorcerer, the only one in the city who survived Robert Bakker’s purge. I was killed by my teacher’s shadow and my body dissolved into telephone static and all they had left to bury was a bit of blood. Then we came back, and I am we and we are me, and we are the blue electric angels, creatures of the phones and the wires, the gods made from the surplus life you miserable excuse for mortals pour into all things electric. I am the Midnight Mayor, the protector of the city, the guardian of the night, the keeper of the gates, the watcher on the walls. We turned back the death of cities, we were there when Lady Neon died, we drove the creature called Blackout into the shadows at the end of the alleys, we are light, we are life, we are fire and, would you believe it, the word that best describes our condition right now is cranky.

Would you like to see what happens when you make us mad?”
“I hesitated. Truth shot a sly glance at expediency, expediency waggled its eyebrows significantly, truth made a little noise at the back of its throat, and expediency jumped straight on in there.” 2 likes
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