The writer, who was recently selected by USA Today as their author of the year, allowed six years to go by between the release of Book No. 4 and Book No. 5 in the "Song of Ice and Fire" series. Book No. 5, “A Dance With Dragons,” came out this past July and is still number 23 on the New York Times fiction bestseller list, with four of Martin's other books appearing on the paperback mass-market fiction list. Fans, who have been eager for more of the fictional land of Westeros, also depicted in an HBO series based on Martin’s books, have been frustrated by the fact that Martin has not yet committed to a release date for Book No. 6, which is titled “The Winds of Winter.” Martin has said the series will consist of seven books.
The excerpt of “The Winds of Winter” is more than 6,000 words long and consists of a section of the story from the viewpoint of Theon Greyjoy, the former ward of protagonist Eddard Stark. According to Martin’s website on Livejournal, another new sample chapter from Book No. 6 will be included with the paperback version of “A Dance with Dragons,” scheduled to be released in July.
Martin said on his website that the sample chapter told from Theon’s point of view will be at the beginning of “The Winds of Winter” although the events it narrates take place before some of the events in “A Dance with Dragons.”
As of yet, there is no scheduled release date for “Winds.”
Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.