Fans of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire have reason to celebrate today, as an official release date has finally been set for the fifth book in the saga, A Dance with Dragons.
According to EW, July 12, 2011 will see the release of the next book in the series, whose last book, A Feast for Crows, was released more than 5 years ago. The new book is reported to be almost 900 pages in hardcover, and will focus on characters from the series who were mostly absent in the previous book. The timing for the release of the new book will be perfect (assuming Martin is finished in time) as it will be coming out just after the HBO adaptation of A Game of Thrones, the first book in the series, wraps up.
The Song of Ice and Fire started in 1996 with the release of A Game of Thrones. The series revolves around the Stark family, and their roles in political intrigue and war in a fantasy land under threat of human and supernatural forces.
If you’ve never read the books, they are very good and are more of a realistic look at a fantasy world. Sure there are dragons and a few ghosts running around, but it’s more focused on humans fighting humans and the horrors we exact on each other. Be warned, all the books in the series are very long and can’t be tackled in an afternoon.
The TV series launches in April 2011 on HBO, and features Sean Bean as Eddard Stark, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, and Mark Addy as Robert Baratheon. We have seen a few previews of the show so far, and Geeks of Doom even received this incredible tie-in promo, so I’m really looking forward to it…so much so that I have to find a way to get HBO just for the few months that it’s on.
As a fan of the series, it’s good to finally get a release date for the new book. A Dance with Dragons was originally planned to come out fairly quickly after A Feast for Crows, but has seen delay after delay, with Martin taking his time to make sure every chapter is to his liking. I can only hope that we don’t have to wait another 5 years for the next book in the series, if only because then the TV show may have to come up with its own ending. I’m happy today though, because I know I’ll have a nice thick book to read this summer.