Six years after the fifth book in his "A Song of Ice and Fire" series was released, George R.R. Martin is still working on the sixth installment. However, the widely-acclaimed author recently dropped a huge but rare update for fans who have long been waiting for the release of "The Winds of Winter."
Martin has been asked numerous times when he will launch "TWOW," and over the past few months, he has not addressed the matter. The book has seen several delays, and at some point, fans expressed disappointment over the author's slow-paced writing.
However, GRRM has finally spoken up. Responding to a fan on his official Live Journal blog, Martin said when asked when "The Winds of Winter" will be out, "Not done yet, but I've made progress," he said.
While there have been developments with the book's story, GRRM added, "But not as much as I hoped a year ago when I thought to be done by now." Finally, the big drop came: "I think it will be out this year."
This is the biggest and most direct answer yet that GRRM has given about his upcoming book's launch. On the other hand, the aged author made sure not to raise too much hope for his fans as he said, "(But hey, I thought the same thing last year)."
Over the past months, there have been rumors suggesting that "TWOW" will be out before "Game of Thrones" season 7 starts airing. Martin has not addressed the speculations and HBO has yet to announce an official premiere date for the hit series' upcoming season. Since Martin is not giving any specific dates away, it is best to trust the author's latest remarks of a potential 2017 release without making conclusions or speculating on a certain month or day.
Meanwhile, The Telegraph notes that "The Winds of Winter" will be one shade darker than the previous "ASOIF" installments. Martin said last month that in the upcoming novel, "Things get worse before they get better..."
"The Winds of Winter" follows after "A Dance With Dragons" and will be followed by "A Dream of Spring."