Some news from Marc Kleinhenz:
Our first ebook, A Flight of Sorrows, was an anthology jam-packed with insightful analysis of the Song of Ice and Fire series, but it only barely scratched the surface of the huge and complex world that George R.R. Martin has created.
Furthermore, with Sorrows only being our first release, we learned a lot from the experience. We’ve listened to all the feedback – both internal and external – and brought it all to bear on Spring, which has helped to make it the most comprehensive exploration of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros yet.
- For A Flight of Sorrows, each author was asked to contribute 3,000 words; for A Hymn for Spring, that minimum has been bumped up to 7,000. This means, of course, that the new anthology is more than twice the size of its predecessor.
- While half of the writers are returning, the other four are brand-new – an effort to help provide fresh perspectives on the well-trodden elements of the Song of Ice and Fire universe while also delivering original insights.
- The 11 essays touch upon all the newly published Ice and Fire material, including The Princess and the Queen, The Rogue Prince, and The World of Ice and Fire.
The single biggest difference, however, was a simple challenge that I personally issued to each and every one of the authors: when a reader finishes each chapter of the book, she should have a profoundly different perspective on the source material, whether it be looking at a character in an entirely new light or overturning previously-sacrosanct beliefs regarding Martin and how he handles his narrative (much like how Miles Schneiderman did with the “death” of Jon Snow in Sorrows).
This anthology, I’m happy to say, nails the challenge. Steven Attewell, the mastermind behind Race for the Iron Throne, corrects the mistaken belief that the more ruthless players in the game of thrones end up being the winners. Jeff Hartline, the founder of Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire, fundamentally changes the reader’s understanding of King Stannis Baratheon. And Amin Javadi, one of the co-hosts of A Podcast of Ice and Fire, ensures that the role of both songs and singers will never be looked at the same way again.
There is, of course, lots more, including the most authoritative histories yet devised in either academic or fan circles: Aziz and Ashaya from the History of Westeros podcast delve into Harrenhal, while our very own Jim McGeehin does so with Robert’s Rebellion. ASOIAF superstar Stefan Sasse touches upon a myriad of topics, including the debilitating effects of both patriarchy and civil war on Westerosi society, while the TOTH co-founders expand the focus to include other sources beyond the text – Alexander Smith considers how HBO’s Game of Thrones both improves and degrades Martin’s original story, and John Jasmin looks to traditional, tabletop games to help predict the success of all those who play the game of thrones.
Finally, there are several bonus features that are currently being planned, ranging from additional essays (from an even wider selection of authors) to sneak previews at the next big projects from the TOTH editors. (Trust me when I say that you won’t want to miss seeing how at least one of them is going to tie back into the main site here, completely for free for all our wonderfully dedicated readers.)
Tower of the Hand: A Hymn for Spring is available now for pre-orders. The ebook will release later this month, exclusively at Amazon, for $7.99. A print version will follow sometime at the end of this year.
In the meantime, be sure to check out our full-length sample here.