George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire contains so much adult orientated content, that I'm actually quite concerned my parents are watching the television adaptation, Game of Thrones. My mum really shouldn't be viewing some of those more racy scenes. It's just weird...
However, Martin has proven he's not all about boobs and blood in a new children's novel associated with, but not set in, Westeros. In fact, Martin has gone a bit meta in this book, as the fictional story also exists as a children's tale in Game of Thrones. Titled The Ice Dragon, the story tells of a young girl who befriends a massive icey dragon. If it sounds slightly familiar, it's because this story was one told to the Stark children by their carer, Old Nan. The synopsis is as follows:
Adara liked the winter best of all, for when the world grew cold the ice dragon came. The ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember.
Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold. In her fourth year she touched it, and in her fifth year she rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day, fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara's home. And only a winter child—and the ice dragon who loved her—could save her world from utter destruction.
However, given the world in which The Ice Dragon inhabits, I wouldn't be surprised if even this tale is a bit more mature than most. I'm thinking it's probably more akin to the original old-school Grimm tales as opposed to the happy, family friendly Disney versions.
The Ice Dragon will also feature 30 interior illustrations from the talented hands of acclaimed illustrator Luis Royo. Check out some of his work, including the cover art, below:
In addition to these images, we also have some preliminary sketches from Royo which will not appear in the final product, but which are still rather lovely to behold:
In fact, The Ice Dragon has been out for sometime and was originally developed for an anthology of fantasy stories as far back as the 1980s. With this in mind, you don't have to worry about Martin taking time off from working on the highly anticipated next book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. Instead, this appears to be a re-release, possibly to capitalize on Game of Thrones' current popularity, featuring a new cover and artwork.
The Ice Dragon is currently available to preorder online, with its eventual release coming on October 21st.