If you’re like me, you’re laying on a tortuous bed of anticipation waiting for both the new season of HBO’s Game of Thrones and the arrival of George R.R. Martin’s next written installment in his A Song of Ice and Fire saga. As cold as it is in L.A. and across the U.S., The Winds of Winter can’t come soon enough. While neither of those things are right around the corner, you CAN visit Westeros in an age before with Martin’s new novella, The Princess and the Queen, or, The Blacks and the Greens.
The story is part of an anthology series entitled Dangerous Women, a short-story collection that Martin co-edited with Gardner Dozois. The plot of The Princess and the Queen takes place during a time in Westerosi history known as “the Dance of Dragons,” not to be confused with the name of the last book, A Dance with Dragons. After King Viserys I dies, his daughter, Rhaenyra, assumes the throne, but the King’s widow, Queen Alicent, wants her son Aegon to rule instead. This results in a bloody Targaryen civil war in which dragon fought dragon. As you might expect from Martin, the novella is full of murder, betrayal, and all around background nastiness.
The compilation is available now and also features original work by Jim Butcher, who adds a new Harry Dresden tale, and Diana Gabaldon, who gives us another fable in her Outlander series. The book is available now from Tor Publishing. If you’d like to read an excerpt from the Westerosi history lesson, check out Tor’s website.