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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Strange Maid Blog Tour {Review & Giveaway}

I'm excited to have The Strange Maid Blog Tour stopping by today with my Review and a Giveaway....

The Strange Maid
(The United States of Asgard Book 2)
by Tessa Gratton
Random House

Fans of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Maggie Stiefvater will embrace the richly drawn, Norse-influenced alternate world of the United States of Asgard, where cell phones, rock bands, and evangelical preachers coexist with dragon slaying, rune casting, and sword training in schools. Where the president runs the country alongside a council of Valkyries, gods walk the red carpet with Hollywood starlets, and the U.S. military has a special battalion dedicated to eradicating Rocky Mountain trolls. 

Signy Valborn was seven years old when she climbed the New World Tree and met Odin Alfather, who declared that if she could solve a single riddle, he would make her one of his Valkyrie. For ten years Signy has trained in the arts of war, politics, and leadership, never dreaming that a Greater Mountain Troll might hold the answer to the riddle, but that’s exactly what Ned the Spiritless promises her. A mysterious troll hunter who talks in riddles and ancient poetry, Ned is a hard man to trust. Unfortunately, Signy is running out of time. Accompanied by an outcast berserker named Soren Bearstar, she and Ned take off across the ice sheets of Canadia to hunt the mother of trolls and claim Signy’s destiny.

The first book in Tessa Gratton’s The United States of Asgard, The Lost Sun, completely wowed and captivated me, so I was super stoked to read book two, The Strange Maid...and Gratton has done it again!  Once again Gratton has written an utterly engrossing and smartly crafted tale full of Norse Gods, war, history, romance, and compelling characters.

In The Strange Maid, we meet Signy Valborn who, at just seven years old, climbed the New World Tree and met Odin. Signy must solve a riddle to become one of Odin’s Valkyries. A mysterious troll hunter named Ned claims that the answer to her riddle lies up north with a Greater Mountain Troll. Signy, Ned, and Soren Bearstar, the outcast berserker from book one, travel to the icy north in search of the trolls and Signy’s Valkyrie destiny.

There’s so much I love about this series, from the lyrical writing; complex world-building; intriguing characters; and so much more! The writing in this series blows me away with how stunning and intensely felt it is. There are so many absolutely breathtaking passages and descriptions in these books. Gratton has built a rich, layered world that is wonderfully detailed, smartly explored, and beautifully laid out. New Asgard is an incredible world that is as gorgeous as it is fierce, unpredictable, exciting, and so fun to get lost in. With a fantastic mix of history, fantasy, Norse lore, adventure, action, and romance, this series enthralls, intrigues, and impresses. I’m a huge mythology fan and have greatly enjoyed absorbing all the fascinating Norse lore and history Gratton has so expertly weaved throughout this series. The Norse gods, Valkyries, legends, monsters, and myth are brought to life so awesomely.

The Strange Maid is a bit more dark and intense than book one, with palpable emotions, heart-stopping action, and electric romance. Signy Valborn is a fierce fearless, perfectly flawed heroine, who is a lovely mix of strength, vulnerability, intelligence, passion, darkness, and sass. I loved witnessing her organic and, at times, heart-wrenching character growth. Signy is surrounded by an eclectic mix of characters throughout this book, from mysterious, riddle-speaking Ned; intense, endearing Soren; wild, jovial berserkers; mesmerizing Valkyries; and more.

My Final Thoughts:The Strange Maid is an enthralling, vastly entertaining, superbly written sequel in an awesome series that just gets better and better!


Tessa Gratton has wanted to be a paleontologist or a wizard since she was seven. Alas, she turned out too impatient to hunt dinosaurs, but is still searching for a someone to teach her magic. After traveling the world with her military family, she acquired a BA (and the important parts of an MA) in Gender Studies, then settled down in Kansas with her partner, her cats, and her mutant dog. She now spends her days staring at the sky and telling lots of stories about magic. Monthly free short stories with Maggie Stiefvater and Brenna Yovanoff at The Merry Sisters of Fate:

Win a finished copy of The Strange Maid!
Random House Kids has offered one finished copy for one winner.
-US/CAN only
-ends 8/20
-must be 13+ to enter
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
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Brenda said...

The twist on Norse mythology sounds interesting, I'm not entering, but will look for Book 1 The Lost Sun to read first.

Judy said...

Thor would be my favorite God.