George RR Martin
George RR MartinReuters

The absence of any solid update from author George R. R. Martin regarding "The Winds of Winter", the sixth novel in the fantasy series "A Song of Ice and Fire", has sparked rumours that the release of the book will be delayed.

It was earlier expected that "The Winds of Winter" would be published before season 6 of "Game of Thrones", the HBO fantasy series based on "A Song of Ice and Fire", is aired, presumably in April. Martin has been mum regarding a possible release date, and some believe it could be because he is yet to finish the book, and fans might get hold of it only by late 2016.

In the meantime, a 2016 release has been guaranteed by Alejo Cuervo, the editor for Ediciones Gigamesh, the Spanish publisher who owns the rights to the books.

In an interview with Catalan radio station El Mon a RAC, the editor said the Spanish version will be released shortly after the English version hits the market.

"It is expected next year," Cuervo said, according to Watchers on the Wall. "We have been promised the manuscript in advance of the release in English which we will translate, there won't be a big difference."

One of the reasons why people are so excited for "The Winds of Winter" is because it will finally solve the puzzle regarding Jon Snow's apparent death. Despite the HBO television series diverging slightly from its source material, Jon Snow's fate is expected to be the same in both the book as well as the series.

Also, Martin had earlier hinted at a twist for one of the major characters that will affect every other storyline.

"This is going to drive your readers crazy but I love it," Martin told Entertainment Weekly in April. "I'm still weighing whether to go that direction or not. It's a great twist!"

This is something that seems very organic and natural, and I could see how it would happen. And with the various three, four characters involved… it all makes sense. But it's nothing I've ever thought of before. And it's nothing they can do in the show, because the show has already—on this particular character—made a couple decisions that will preclude it, where in my case I have not made those decisions," he added.

Also read