Martin will publish Fire and Blood on November 28 as a fictional history of the Targaryens – a perfect companion for any fan of the Game of Thrones TV show or the A Song of Ice and Fire books upon which it is based.
“This is a book of imaginary history chronicling the Targaryen Kings of Westeros,” he said.
“It provides a context and a background for everything that happens in A Song of Ice and Fire.”
Teasing the book’s narrator, he quipped: “It’s not actually written by me – it’s written by Archmaester Gyldayn; a very distinguished shoclar but also a somewhat crotchety old man who has strong opinions on historical figures he’s writing about – so some of his views may creep into the text.
“I don’t vouch for its authenticity!”
He added: “The Targaryens were people; there were good ones, bad ones, some of them were mad… they were all a product of incest.
“You get people of extraordinary ability and extraordinary physical beauty, which was a Targaryen hallmark. They had certain attributes like purple eyes and silver hair.
“But you also get mad men or people who were troubled in one way or another.
“Not Gods, but people with a very particular heritage and very particular abilities that can be both very good and very bad.”
Plus, the author promised: “And it has dragons. A lot of dragons.”
The mastermind is also currently working on The Winds of Winter, the sixth entry in the ASOIAF series – now seven years after the release of its predecessor.
Speaking at the Emmy Awards recently, he confirmed that work is still ongoing, and that he wished it was done “four years ago”.
Furthermore, the Game of Thrones TV show will wrap up next year.
Its final season has been filmed and is expected to air in 2019, drawing to a close one of the most talked-about shows of all time.
Fire and Blood is out on November 20.