Prepare to Dance with Dragons in September

Somehow, I completely missed this, but last month, Random House announced that A Dance with Dragons, the latest novel in George R. R. Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series, will go on sale on September 30, 2008.

Here’s a brief synopsis:

In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance once again — beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has three times three thousand enemies, and many have set out to find her. Yet, as they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

To the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone — a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge yet. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

And from all corners, bitter conflicts soon reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all…

The whopping 1,008 page novel will pick up where 2005’s A Feast for Crows left off. A Feast for Crows threw some folks for a loop because it only contained about half of the characters and plotlines that had appeared in previous novels. Missing were such notables as Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, Davos, and Daenerys Targaryen.

Martin explained that, due to difficulties with the increasingly complex stories, it would’ve been too much to cram everything into a single novel, hence the split into A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons — and the three year wait.

Actually, it’ll have been about an eight month wait for me. I only started reading Martin’s series last year, when I picked up A Game Of Thrones while on vacation, and became so enraptured that I blew through the 800+ pages in about 4 days. Whatever the case, if A Dance with Dragons is anything like the previous novels, it’ll be well worth the wait.