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Discover George R.R. Martin’s The Ice Dragon

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Poster Placeholder of - 17In the world of A Song of Ice and Fire 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.

The Ice Dragon is an enchanting tale of courage and sacrifice for young readers and adults by the wildly popular author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Song of Ice and Fire series, George R.R. Martin. Lavish illustrations by acclaimed artist Luis Royo enrich this captivating and heartwarming story of a young girl and her dragon. Please enjoy this excerpt.

Chapter One: Winter’s Child

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Art by Luis Royo

Adara liked the winter best of all, for when the world grew cold the ice dragon came.

She was never quite sure whether it was the cold that brought the ice dragon or the ice dragon that brought the cold. That was the sort of question that often troubled her brother Geoff, who was two years older than her and insatiably curious, but Adara did not care about such things. So long as the cold and the snow and the ice dragon all arrived on schedule, she was happy.

She always knew when they were due because of her birthday. Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone could remember, even Old Laura, who lived on the next farm and remembered things that had happened before anyone else was born. People still talked about that freeze. Adara often heard them.

They talked about other things as well. They said it was the chill of that terrible freeze that had killed her mother, stealing in during her long night of labor past the great fire that Adara’s father had built, and creeping under the layers of blankets that covered the birthing bed. And they said that the cold had entered Adara in the womb, that her skin had been pale blue and icy to the touch when she came forth, and that she had never warmed in all the years since. The winter had touched her, left its mark upon her, and made her its own.

It was true that Adara was always a child apart. She was a very serious little girl who seldom cared to play with the others. She was beautiful, people said, but in a strange, distant sort of way, with her pale skin and blond hair and wide clear blue eyes. She smiled, but not often. No one had ever seen her cry. Once when she was five she had stepped upon a nail imbedded in a board that lay concealed beneath a snow-bank, and it had gone clear through her foot, but Adara had not wept or screamed even then. She had pulled her foot loose and walked back to the house, leaving a trail of blood in the snow, and when she had gotten there she had said only, “Father, I hurt myself.” The sulks and tempers and tears of ordinary childhood were not for her.

Even her family knew that Adara was different. Her father was a huge, gruff bear of a man who had little use for people in general, but a smile always broke across his face when Geoff pestered him with questions, and he was full of hugs and laughter for Teri, Adara’s older sister, who was golden and freckled, and flirted shamelessly with all the local boys. Every so often he would hug Adara as well, but only during the long winters. But there would be no smiles then. He would only wrap his arms around her, and pull her small body tight against him with all his massive strength, sob deep in his chest, and fat wet tears would run down his ruddy cheeks. He never hugged her at all during the summers. During the summers he was too busy.

Everyone was busy during the summers except for Adara. Geoff would work with his father in the fields and ask endless questions about this and that, learning everything a farmer had to know. When he was not working he would run with his friends to the river, and have adventures. Teri ran the house and did the cooking, and worked a bit at the inn by the crossroads during the busy season. The innkeeper’s daughter was her friend, and his youngest son was more than a friend, and she would always come back giggly and full of gossip and news from travelers and soldiers and king’s messengers. For Teri and Geoff the summers were the best time, and both of them were too busy for Adara.

Their father was the busiest of all. A thousand things needed to be done each day, and he did them, and found a thousand more. He worked from dawn to dusk. His muscles grew hard and lean in summer, and he stank from sweat each night when he came in from the fields, but he always came in smiling. After supper he would sit with Geoff and tell him stories and answer his questions, or teach Teri things she did not know about cooking, or stroll down to the inn. He was a summer man, truly.

He never drank in summer, except for a cup of wine now and again to celebrate his brother’s visits.

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Art by Luis Royo

That was another reason why Teri and Geoff loved the summers, when the world was green and hot and bursting with life. It was only in summer that Uncle Hal, their father’s younger brother, came to call. Hal was a dragonrider in service to the king, a tall slender man with a face like a noble. Dragons cannot stand the cold, so when winter fell Hal and his wing would fly south. But each summer he returned, brilliant in the king’s green-and-gold uniform, en route to the battlegrounds to the north and west of them. The war had been going on for all of Adara’s life.

Whenever Hal came north, he would bring presents; toys from the king’s city, crystal and gold jewelry, candies, and always a bottle of some expensive wine that he and his brother could share. He would grin at Teri and make her blush with his compliments, and entertain Geoff with tales of war and castles and dragons. As for Adara, he often tried to coax a smile out of her, with gifts and jests and hugs. He seldom succeeded.

For all his good nature, Adara did not like Hal; when Hal was there, it meant that winter was far away.

Besides, there had been a night when she was only four, and they thought her long asleep, that she overheard them talking over wine. “A solemn little thing,” Hal said. “You ought to be kinder to her, John. You cannot blame her for what happened.”

“Can’t I?” her father replied, his voice thick with wine. “No, I suppose not. But it is hard. She looks like Beth, but she has none of Beth’s warmth. The winter is in her, you know. Whenever I touch her I feel the chill, and I remember that it was for her that Beth had to die.”

“You are cold to her. You do not love her as you do the others.”

Adara remembered the way her father laughed then. “Love her? Ah, Hal. I loved her best of all, my little winter child. But she has never loved back. There is nothing in her for me, or you, any of us. She is such a cold little girl.” And then he had begun to weep, even though it was summer and Hal was with him. In her bed, Adara listened and wished that Hal would fly away. She did not quite understand all that she had heard, not then, but she remembered it, and the understanding came later.

She did not cry; not at four, when she heard, or six, when she finally understood. Hal left a few days later, and Geoff and Teri waved to him excitedly when his wing passed overhead, thirty great dragons in proud formation against the summer sky. Adara watched with her small hands by her sides.

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Art by Luis Royo

Copyright © 1980 by George R. R. Martin

Order Your Copy

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Tor Books Announces Programming for San Diego Comic-Con 2015

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Tor Books is heading to San Diego Comic-Con!

 

Once again Tor (Booth #2707) continues our wildly popular *in-booth signings and giveaways, offering you a chance to meet your favorite authors up close and personal and pick up free books. We’ve got a great line up including appearances by: Brandon Sanderson, Charlie Jane Anders, Susan Dennard, and more!

For excerpts, a spotlight on our newest authors, panel schedules, giveaway times and much more, please visit torbooks2015.com. And make sure to follow @TorBooks on Twitter for up to date information and last minute events.

Wednesday, July 8

Thursday, July 9

  • 1:00pm—2:00pm Resurgence of Science Fiction, Room 32AB
    Welcome to the promised land, oh geeks and nerds: your time has come. Star Wars is getting new movies, and so is Star Trek. Andy Weir’s The Martian and John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War are heading to the big and small screens and Mars One is looking for volunteers—Science Fiction and the draw of technology, futurism, space and the final frontier are hot on everyone’s mind. Come join Adam Christopher (Made To Kill), Margaret Stohl, Peter Clines, and others as they discuss this renaissance of SF and why now is an exciting time to live in, for both fiction and fact.
  • 2:30pm—3:00pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA06
  • 1:30pm—2:30pm Authors of Epic Fantasy, Room 24ABC
    How do you best describe stories of epic fantasy? Expansive worlds with long histories, huge casts of characters, political intrigue, massive battles, magic, legend, and much more… they are indeed epic! Join authors of fantasy fiction Peter Orullian (Trial of Intentions), Susan Dennard (Truthwitch), Peter Brett, and others as they discuss their own works, as well as other popular series that have made epic fantasy one of pop culture’s most successful genres.
  • 3:00pm—4:00pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09
  • 2:00pm Tor Booth (#2707) Signing: Greg Van Eekhout, Pacific Fire
  • 3:00pm—4:00pm Worldbuilding, Room 25ABC
    Fact: worlds are important. But how are they made? Join our panel of top authors as they describe how they set the stage for their stories and create a living universe for their characters. Moderated by Charlie Jane Anders (All the Birds in the Sky).
  • 4:30pm—5:30pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09
  • 4:00pm—5:00pm I’m Sleeping with the Lights On: Horror and Thriller Authors in Discussion, Room 25ABC
    Horror and thriller books have an amazing way of keeping readers up at night. From demons to zombies, and from historical to even seemingly mundane settings, certain authors can find bone-chilling ways to make sure the reader keep turning the pages. Join Robert Brockway (The Unnoticeables), Mary Kubica, Matthew Riley, and others as they discuss their books and what motivates them to scare you! Moderated by Del Howison (Midian Unmade), owner of the Dark Delicacies Bookstore.
  • 5:30pm—6:30pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09

Friday, July 10

  • 11:30am—12:30pm Gender in Science Fiction, Room 24ABC
    Pizza rolls, not gender roles! From the strong female protagonist to the battle of the sexes, Science Fiction has long given us the ability to challenge the way we think about traditional gender roles. Come listen to Maryelizbeth Yturralde, owner of the bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, lead acclaimed authors such as Wes Chu (Time Salvager), Nick Cole, and more in a discussion about the importance of gender in Science Fiction, how Science Fiction novels open our minds to non-traditional ideas, and just what is the difference between gender and sex.
  • 1:00pm—2:00pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09
  • 12:00pm—1:00pm Autographing Area, Table AA18 Signing: Luis Royo, The Ice Dragon
  • 2:00pm Tor Booth (#2707) Signing: Brandon Sanderson In-booth sales by Mysterious Galaxy

Saturday, July 11th

  • 12:00pm—1:00pm Family Feud: Sci-Fi vs. Fantasy, Room 7AB
    Calling all Nerds! Since the dawn of time we have argued and contemplated crucial matters: What’s cooler? Who would win in a fight? Who would lose? Star Trek or Star Wars? Ironman or Captain America? Now, in an open forum, join us as other diehard Nerds and geek experts—including Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn series), Chuck Palahniuk, Ernie Cline, and others—prove their mettle by squaring off into furious debates about the hottest topics in geek culture.
  • 1:30pm—2:30pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09
  • 4:00pm—5:00pm Epic Fantasy, Room 29AB
    Learn about fantasy literature and book-to-movie adaptations from New York Times bestselling authors Heather Brewer, Jonathan Maberry, Kami Garcia, Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn series) and Maggie Stiefvater. Moderated by Henry Herz.
  • 5:00pm Tor Booth (#2707) Signing: Adam Christopher, Made to Kill

Sunday, July 12

All Tor Booth signings are on a first come first serve basis and while supplies lasts. Limit one book per person.

Ice Dragon Poster Sweepstakes

Ice Dragon Poster

We’re offering you the chance to win a poster that features the gorgeous artwork Luis Royo created for George R.R. Martin’s The Ice Dragon!

Comment below to enter for a chance to win.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 as of the date of entry. To enter, leave a comment here beginning at 10:00 AM Eastern Time (ET) October 15, 2014. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET October 21, 2014. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

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