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Game of Thrones fans will have to wait till at least 2019 to read Winds of Winter

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Readers will still have a chance to return to Westeros later this year

Sansa in the Game of Thrones season 7 finale.
Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) in HBO’s Game of Thrones, one of the characters who will have a point-of-view chapter in The Winds of Winter.
Helen Sloan/HBO

It appears that the Long Night for Game of Thrones fans won’t be coming to an end anytime soon, as author George R.R. Martin confirmed today that the latest book in his Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter, will not be released in 2018.

Martin confirmed on his website that the sixth book won’t be released this year. “No, winter is not coming… not in 2018, at least. You’re going to have to keep waiting for THE WINDS OF WINTER,” Martin wrote.

While this news may be a bit disappointing for fans, it’s certainly not surprising. But Martin’s post also contained some good news for readers who can’t get enough of Westeros, as he shed new light on his latest Game of Thrones tie-in, Fire & Blood.

Martin was careful to note that this latest work isn’t a traditional narrative story. “I do want to stress… indeed, I want to shout… that FIRE & BLOOD is not a novel,” he said. Instead, the book is more of a history; in fact, Martin calls it his “GRRMarillion (or the first half of it, at least); that is to say, my version of Tolkien’s mammoth history of Middle Earth.”

As for what we can expect from Fire & Blood, Martin said his manuscript is 989 pages, and details the first half of the Targaryen family’s reign over Westeros. This means that Fire & Blood will be full of stories featuring characters we have only heard about in the main Song of Ice and Fire novels and, according to Martin, will feature, “Lots of dragons.”

While Winds of Winter won’t be out this year, Fire & Blood will be; the book is scheduled to be released Nov. 20. As an added tease to fans, Martin mentions that while he is certain people will ask him if Fire & Blood provides the basis of one of the Game of Thrones spinoff shows in development at HBO, he isn’t allowed to say.