While "The Winds of Winter" will not see the light of day this year, it is not at all bad news for fans who have been wanting to return to Westeros.
"Fire and Blood," which author George R.R. Martin describes as "the first half of his monumental history" of the Targaryen kings of Westeros, will be released on Nov. 20.
In his latest post on his blog, Martin describes "Fire and Blood" as a "hefty" book, with 989 pages of manuscript, making it the same length as the "Game of Thrones" book or any of the later installments in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series.
While "The Winds of Winter" is not coming anytime soon, Martin hopes that this new book will keep fans busy and help them get by the long wait, which has been going on longer than they expected.
Readers have been waiting for the seventh installment in the best-selling series since 2011. "There's a lot of reading there, and I hope you'll enjoy it," he wrote on his blog.
"This first volume covers all the Targaryen kings from Aegon I (the Conquerer) to the regency of Aegon III (the Dragonbane), along with their wives, wars, siblings, children, friends, rivals, laws, travels, and sundry other matters," Martin wrote.
"For those not up on your Westerosi history, that's Aegon I, Aenys, Maegor the Cruel, Jaehaerys I (the Conciliator), Viserys I, Aegon II (and Rhaenyra), and Aegon III (the regency). Oh, and there are dragons too. Lots of dragons," he added.
The stories beyond that, Martin said, will be fleshed out in the second volume, which the novelist said is "a few years down the pike."
Whether this book will come out before or after "The Winds of Winter" remains to be seen, but the book will be his main priority now that work on the first Targaryen novella is over.
Indeed, it is a tough time to be a "Game of Thrones" fan since, not only they will have to wait much longer for the final season of the HBO live-action adaptation, they would also have to accept the fact that they won't be able to get their hands on "The Winds of Winter" this year after hoping for the longest time that they finally will.
Martin did not say that 2019 will be the release date for the book, though. He also did not offer any detail about how much work has to be done before he completes the book.
It is looking like the "Game of Thrones" series will beat its source material to the finish line since "Winds of Winter" is not the final book in the saga.
As for "Fire and Blood" potentially being an inspiration to one of the many "Game of Thrones" spinoffs that HBO is currently developing, he said that "no one is sure yet." Even if there are plans in place, he is not allowed to say a word anyway.
Even though "The Winds of Winter" will not be out this year, fans are thankful that Martin will not leave them empty-handed. The delay also means that the day the book is released will break the internet.