Great news for fans of epic fantasy today: The great George R. R. Martin has announced on his web page that the long, long-awaited 5th book in his SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series is almost done. No kidding this time.

A DANCE WITH DRAGONS will be hitting stories on July 12, 2011. Although previous dates have been set and then cancelled, Martin says this one is “for real.”

In the author’s own words: “Barring tsunamis, general strikes, world wars, or asteroid strikes, you will have the novel in your hands on July 12.  I hope you like it.”

He goes on to add:  “The dragons are coming.  Prepare to dance.”

Quite possibly THE “big adult fantasy series” of our time, Martin’s SONG series has been a slow build with plenty of thrilling lesser climaxes along the way. We’ve seen the rebirth of three infant dragons into a world where they were thought extinct. We’ve seen the displaced queen whose power is rising and whose sympathetic magic hatched the eggs. We’ve seen them on her shoulder, belching tiny fires. Now it seems we will at last see the great war that has been building so steadily across the four books.

Martin’s characters are so pleasurable to read—even the villains—that returning to his world of Westeros is always an extreme pleasure.

This summer just got a whole lot more interesting…

For more info visit Martin’s official site: