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"A Dance with Dragons" will finally appear – George R.R. Martin fans rejoice!

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(Read caption) Martin told EW that his long-awaited book "Dance with Dragons" would combine beloved characters from earlier books – Daenerys, Jon Snow, and Tyrion – with "new characters and viewpoints."

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It's been a long cold lonely winter for George R.R. Martin's legion of fans. Hooked – hopelessly, some of them claim – on his "A Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series, they have waited for six years for the latest installment to appear. Now, finally, "A Dance with Dragons" has a publication date. The 900-page-plus book will be available starting on July 12.

"I'm not sure I have a good answer," Martin told Entertainment Weekly when asked why the book has taken so long. "If I did, I would have taken less time."

Martin did, however, point out that "A Dance with Dragons" is "enormous. It's as long as 'A Storm of Swords' [Book 3 of the series which tops 1,000 pages]. It's very complicated. I have a lot of characters and points of view. And I've been doing a ton of rewriting."

The first book of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, "A Game of Thrones," was published in 1996. Three more books – "A Clash of Kings" (1998), "A Storm of Swords" (2000), and "A Feast for Crows (2005) – followed.

The series is set in a fictional world divided into the continents of Westeros and Essos. Humans and other races mingle and must deal with a civil war in Westeros, the frightening Others who live behind a wall of ice to the North, and an exiled royal who returns to claim her throne. Multiple characters tell their stories from their own points of view as storylines cross and interweave.


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