If you're a fan of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels, you've gotten very used to waiting. By now, we're all resigned to the fact that it's going to take Martin a good while to complete the final two books in the series and that HBO's Game of Thrones will wrap up its own version of the story well before the books.
That doesn't mean we'll be without other Westeros fiction, though.
Later this year, an Ice and Fire story from Martin will appear in The Book of Swords, a massive new anthology from Martin's friend and frequent collaborator Gardner Dozois. Titled "The Sons of the Dragon," the piece reads more like history text than fiction and follows the exploits of two early Targaryen kings who reigned more than two centuries before the events of the series proper.
"Those of you who enjoyed 'The Princess and the Queen' in Dangerous Women and 'The Rogue Prince' in Rogues will probably like this one, too. It's water from the same well. A history rather than a traditional narrative," Martin explained on his website. "A lot of telling, only a little showing. (The opposite of what I do in my novels). But if you're fascinated by the politics of Westeros, as many of my readers seem to be, you should enjoy it. As the title suggests, 'The Sons of the Dragon' chronicles the reigns of the second and third Targaryen kings, Aenys I and Maegor the Cruel, along with their mothers, wives, sisters, children, friends, enemies and rivals."
The Book of Swords also includes stories by, among others, fantasy bestsellers Robin Hobb, Garth Nix and Kate Elliott.
According to Martin, he had no time to write something original for the book, so he turned to numerous outtakes from the companion book A World of Ice and Fire, which he got "carried away with" while composing new history segments. Martin noted that all of those outtakes will eventually find their way into a massive history volume of their own, but for now they're making their way into the world like this.
The Book of Swords arrives to sate some of our Ice and Fire cravings on Oct. 10.