George R R Martin is to release a new book in November – Fire and Blood – set 300 years before the events in A Song of Ice and Fire.
The first of two planned volumes, it will give the “definitive history” of the Targaryens in Westeros and chronicle the conquest that united the Seven Kingdoms under Targaryen rule through the Dance of the Dragons, the author revealed.
HarperCollins imprint Voyager will publish the volumes in the UK and Commonwealth, and Ballantine Bantam Dell with release it in the US and Canada.
Martin told fans on his blog that the long-awaited sixth volume in his Game of Thrones fantasy series, The Winds of Winter, would not be published this year, but instead Fire and Blood would be released on 20th November.
“No, winter is not coming... not in 2018, at least,” he said. “You're going to have to keep waiting for The Winds of Winter. You will, however, be able to return to Westeros this year.”
He added that Fire and Blood was “not a novel”, but an “imaginary history”.
“I do want to stress... indeed, I want to shout... that Fire and Blood is not a novel. This is not a traditional narrative and was never intended to be… let's call this one ‘imaginary history’ instead,” he said. “The essential point being the ‘history’ part. I love reading popular histories myself, and that's what I was aiming for here… As for me, I'm returning once again to The Winds of Winter.”
The book will be “lavishly” illustrated with over 75 new black and white portraits and scenes by artist Doug Wheatley, said HarperCollins.
“Fire and Blood will give readers a whole new appreciation for the fascinating history of Westeros and will be a must-have addition to every fan’s bookshelf,” the publisher added.