Fans of George R. R. Martin's books are eagerly awaiting the release of "The Winds of Winter" -- the sixth book in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series – as it will reveal the fate of a number of key characters who were left to die in the previous instalment entitled "A Dance with Dragons."

Although Martin has refused to reveal when the book will be published, fans believe the sixth instalment in the series will be released before the sixth season of HBO's "Game of Thrones" is aired. This means, bookworms can get hold of the book before April 2016.

Although Martin has refused to announce a specific release date, he has given fans something to hold on to by revealing a few spoilers contained in the upcoming instalment.

Taking to his blog, Martin revealed that Stannis Baratheon was indeed alive in his book. The character was shown as dead in the HBO adaptation of "A Song of Ice and Fire."

 "Alright mr Martin, lets cut the crap, is Stannis alive or dead?" a fan asked, to which the author replied: "In my books? Alive beyond a doubt."

Yet another "The Winds of Winter" spoiler was revealed by "Game of Thrones" showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss in Season 5, episode 9, "The Dance of Dragons."

The episode showed Stannis Baratheon allowing the Red Priestess Melisandre to burn his daughter Shireen as an offering to the Lord of Light.

"When George first told us about this, it was one of those moments when I remember looking at Dan and I was just like, 'Ugh, it's so horrible, and it's so good in a story sense because it all comes together,'" Benioff said in a video released after the episode aired. "It's really all come to this. There's been so much talk about King's Blood and the power of King's Blood, and it all leads ultimately, fatally, to Shireen's sacrifice."

"Game of Thrones" will come to an end before Martin finishes his last two books. But the author isn't worried. In a recent interview, he pointed out that though the books have acted as a source for the television series, the HBO show has digressed from the books a great deal.

"There was a period where I was worried about that," Martin told Geekwire. "Then I said, to hell with that. Worrying about it isn't going to change it one way or another. I still sit down at the typewriter, and I have to write the next scene and the next sentence … I'm just going to tell my story, and they're telling their story and adapting my books, and we shall see."

Also read