That gasp you just heard was yourself as you clicked on the above image to see the final full size wrap-around cover for George R. R. Martin’s The Ice Dragon!
The children’s illustrated book is a tale of courage and sacrifice set in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, with 30 intense interior illustrations and a full color cover from acclaimed artist Luis Royo. The cover you see above will only be available on the first edition of the book, which is out on October 21 from Tor Teen.
So how does the tale fit into the world of Ice and Fire?
As far as we readers know, The Ice Dragon is a tale in our world and the world of A Song of Ice and Fire. Jon Snow in particular recalls it being a bedtime story that Old Nan would tell the Stark children. Perhaps it went a little like this:
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.
Actual ice dragons have not appeared in the series. Yet.
But if they do, Luis Royo has already visualized them in extensive detail. Take a look at some of the interior art from the book:
You can see more interior art and the first sketch of the cover at this initial peek at The Ice Dragon!