George R.R. Martin’s classic children’s book The Ice Dragon -- set in the same universe as the A Song of Ice and Fire series -- is getting republished, along with some brand-new, gorgeous artwork.
The story -- which has been out of print in the U.S. for several years -- was originally published as part of an 1980 anthology, Dragons of Light, which was edited by Orson Scott Card, before being republished as a stand-alone book in 2007.
This new edition by Tor books will feature some truly awesome artwork, of which you can see a sample below in the gallery, by renowned Spanish artist Luis Royo.
Although The Ice Dragon is indeed set in the same bloody Westeros world as Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga, don’t expect to find any HBO-style sex and gore in it: It is a children’s book, after all. Basically, it's what The Hobbit is to The Lord of the Rings.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Ice Dragon found on George R.R. Martin’s website:
The ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember.
Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold. In her fourth year she touched it, and in her fifth year she rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day, fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara’s home. And only a winter child—and the ice dragon who loved her—could save her world from utter destruction.
An article in theTelegraph points out that there’s a possible reference to this tale in Martin’s last Game of Thrones novel, A Dance With Dragons, in which Jon Snow recalls being told a childhood tale about an Ice Dragon.
The Ice Dragon will fly to shelves in hardcover on Oct. 21, 2014.