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The Strange Maid

(The United States of Asgard #2)

by
3.99  ·  Rating details ·  467 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
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 car ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2014)
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jv poore
A wizard is that person who is outstandingly clever, the person of amazing skill and accomplishment; she who practices magick, also known as a conjurer and enchanter. Ms. Gratton epitomizes this definition, she is a true wizard and The Strange Maid confirms it.

As the second in The United States of Asgard Books, I assumed that Signy’s saga would pick up where The Lost Sun left off. (Ms. Gratton throws back her head and wickedly laughs at my basic expectation.) Of course she would never do somethi
...more
Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
Signy Valborn has fire in her veins. Anger over a devastating childhood incident led her to climb the New World Tree where she met and was claimed by the Alfather, Odin, for his own.

But being a Valkyrie in training is not what she expected. The current Valkyries are tame compared to their history. They are the consultants to kings and presidents, and Signy longs for, burns for, the old ways.

The final insult comes when she wakes to find a riddle on the day she is supposed to become a fully reali
...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A Valkyrie, a mysterious man with an unholy sword, and berserker who serves a different a god are out to claim her destiny.

Opening Sentence: “I was born under a frenzied star, so our poets would say.”

The Review:

Signy Valborn was given a riddle to solve by Odin when he made her a Valkyrie, and Ned Unferth shows up years later to help her. Signy has been training to be a Valkyrie since she was seven. She ran from the Valkyrie council in order
...more
Angela

Complex, dark, and evocative tale – Gratton’s best book yet, 4.5 stars

Tessa Gratton has penned her best book yet with Book 2 of her United States of Asgard series: The Strange Maid. I stayed up late into the night, with goosebumps raised on my arms, to finish this book. The story, the writing, and the characterization are all beautiful, deep, and complex. I love a book like this that prioritizes character development over plot, but The Strange Maid still manages to combine the two well. Most o
...more
Christopher McKitterick
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love Gratton's United States of Asgard books. Because I have to read so much for the Campbell Memorial Award and student writing, her US of A books (THE STRANGE MAID and book 1, THE LOST SUN) are the first novels I've read for fun in months. And what a perfect pleasure these are!

THE STRANGE MAID kept me up until 3am - I had to finish it! It's exciting, beautifully written, wonderfully structured, and a real pleasure to read in all the ways both readers and writers enjoy books. It demonstrates
...more
Bhawisha Chand
........ the cover was pretty, okay?
Shoshana
4.5

I enjoyed "Lost Sun" well enough, and while I wasn't actively looking *forward* to the next book, I was keeping half an eye out for it. And I'm glad I did 'cause, wow!

At first I found "The Strange Maid" tough to get into: Signy is a complex character who embraces traits that can come off as pretty distasteful: death, madness, selfishness, and rage. When she is a child and her parents die she leaves her foster family to become a child of Odin and join the Valkyrie. Flash forward several years
...more
Lizzie Andrews
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Norse gods are by far some of my favorites, so I was super excited to come across The United States of Asgard series. In my opinion, they Norse gods don't get used often enough in the Paranormal/Fantasy genre. It is a genre dominated by the Greek and Roman gods and it was really nice to take a break from that. Not that I don't love them either, I just love the Norse gods a little bit more.

Tessa Gratton did an amazing job writing a book that combined a captivating story with enough danger, t
...more
Liviania
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it

THE LOST SUN ended up being one of my favorite books last year. The romance, the loyalty, the world - it all combined to form a delicious reading experience. But I was not prepared for the sequel. THE STRANGE MAID starts before THE LOST SUN, and is the story of Signy Valborn, a disgraced Valkyrie who couldn't be more different from Soren. Soren longed to escape his violent destiny. Signy would like to bring back human sacrifice.

Signy is a delightfully unique heroine. She dances on the edge of ma
...more
Tom
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A few months ago, I finally read book 1 of Tessa Gratton’s United States of Asgard series, The Lost Sun. (Yeah, I don’t know what took so long either.) Liking it was a no-brainer; a Norse influenced United States, complete with berserkers, Odin, Thor, trolls, and everything else that makes Norse mythology fantastic. It was extremely well-written, and the characters are so likable that I find myself thinking of them when I’m reading other books.

Strange Maid is even better. I have to admit, it to
...more
K
As beautiful as it is ugly, The Strange Maid is a triumph of a story. Signy is a nuanced mess of a character, contrary and brave and foolish, young and smart and strong. The book took a moment to hit its stride, and sometimes the pacing of certain reveals was confusing, but those are rather minor quibbles. I love Gratton's world--she transforms Norse mythology and world history deftly--but the relationships were probably my favorite thing about this book. I loved the relationship between Signy a ...more
Stacy Koster
Jun 14, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anna
Dec 11, 2014 rated it liked it
I am kind of disappointed with this book I expected it to be as good if not better than the first book. The first book was an interesting read this one not so much.I thought it was okay not I did not like it that much. The plot was slow and it was not that good. The main character was not one I could connect to very easily.
⋟Kimari⋞
If you liked this book, you might also enjoy:

Iron Druid Chronicles series
Valkyrie series
Juliet Smith
What if you had to solve a riddle to earn your place in the world? That's the dilemma Signy Valborn must solve to earn her place amongst her Valkyrie sisters. While the subject matter is at times dark and dreary, Gratton manages to instill her signature humor so it isn't all doom and gloom. The settings are fascinating and excellently described, and I like how Gratton adds details that show the divergences of their world from ours (e.g. Jefferson's Compact, the Thralls' War). The romance between ...more
Jeretta Hall-Robinson
This is a great an amazing follow up to Lost Sun. Tessa Gratton does an amazing job of building this intricate world that is so different, yet familiar.

Signy is a very different character from the main characters in the first book. She is short-tempered, frantic, and little bit reckless. While some characters from the first book make an appearance, they are not the main focus. Signy is a Valkyrie and has a riddle to solve if she wants to prove herself to the rest of her Valkyrie sisters and Odi
...more
Christiana
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original review here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

I actually liked this book more the second time around. I think it was because I knew it wasn't going to be the same characters this time, so it wasn't as jarring. Also, I liked Signy better as a person. The first time I read this I didn't care for her as much, but this time, she got me feeling for her.
SJ
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy
i LOVE THIS SERIES!! A+ world-building just like the first book, with a bonus of Beowulf references. Adventure, romance, discovering or claiming identities, POETRY, VALKYRIES, BERSERKERS, TROLLS; LOVE IT!!
Pauline
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
3.5 stars.
Virna
Jul 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This id just very boring and difficult to like and I did not finish it.
Cat
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun read, thoroughly entertaining.
Amy
Jan 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This whole book is like a poetic fever dream.
Sarah
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
A companion - and continuation - of The Lost Sun, the first book in The United States of Asgard series. Again we see how the familiar has been twisted into a culture based on Norse mythology rather than the one we have today in America.

While the narrator and many of the characters are new to this book, a few from the first book make appearances. I can't wait to read the conclusion of this trilogy!
Hazel West
Thoughts on the Overall Book: I really enjoyed The Lost Sun so I was excited to start the new book in the United States of Asgard Trilogy and I was not disappointed. I actually might have even liked this one more than the first, but I'd have to re-read them both to say for certain.

Cover--Yea or Nay: I like the overall concept, but the girl is not how I pictured Signey. It's shiny though ;)

Characters: Signey Valborn is probably one of the few Valkyrie characters I have really liked. Mainly becaus
...more
Zachary Flye (Zach's YA Reviews)
Review:

Protagonist: Signy Valborn is also known as the child Valkyrie. After the tragic death of her parents she wants vengeance and tries to take her anger out on the gods, climbing the New World Tree in the process of getting to them. On her way up the tree she meets Odin, king of the gods, and he offers her the title of Valkyrie of the Tree. However she doesn't quite meld very well with the other Valkyrie and one day after receiving a riddle from presumably Odin himself she leaves her Valkyri
...more
JoLee

Featured in "Reading on a Theme: Mythologies in the Modern World" on Intellectual Recreation.

I went into The Strange Maid knowing that I probably wouldn't love it as much as I loved the first book in the series The Lost Sun, which I loved with an almost inexplicable fervor, and I was okay with that.

Tessa Gratton's newest book in The United States of Asgard series follows Signy Valborn. Signy was chosen by Odin the Alfather himself to be a Valkyrie when she was a child. Now grown, she must prov
...more
Online Eccentric Librarian
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, au

More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/


The Strange Maid is the perfect bookend to The Lost Sun: contrasting the tight control of the first book's main character against the wild uncontrolled passion of the second book's protagonist. Author Gratton doesn't rest on her laurels here, resisting putting different characters in the same setting; instead, she builds the mythos of the United States of Asgaard even further. In the process, the worldbuilding is even ri
...more
Jessica (Stuck in Books)
After immersing myself into Tessa Gratton's imaginative world in The Lost Sun, I was looking forward to jumping into book two. I figured I'd be entertained and get lost in the beautiful writing. What actually ended up happening was way more than that. I ended up absolutely LOVING this book. I enjoyed the first book without a doubt, but this sequel just blew me away.

The Strange Maid is told from the POV of a girl named Signy, and I am such a fan of this chick. She's strong, she's smart, and she h
...more
Emma (Miss Print)
"In a week and a half I'll be seventeen. It's a decade since I climbed the New World Tree, since Odin Alfather, god of the hanged, named me the next Valkyrie of the Tree, and still I have not won my place on the Valkyrie council."

Signy Valborn dedicated herself to Odin when she was seven years old. She was told one day she would join Odin's Valkyrie council and fill the long vacant place of the Valkyrie of the Tree. That was before she read the riddle. Before she left her Death Hall and her sis
...more
Dreamer
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-buy
This review was originally published on Narrative Investigations and concerns the audio book edition

I feel as though The Lost Sun was a stronger book than this one since I was left feeling a little disappointed as I finished this book. Lost Sun had the advantage of being the first book in a series so it was able to not only set up an on-going mystery but to also tell a stand-alone story focusing on Soren which didn't quite happen here. In some ways Strange Maid is also a stand alone story since
...more
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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 ...more

Other books in the series

The United States of Asgard (3 books)
  • The Lost Sun (The United States of Asgard, #1)
  • The Apple Throne (The United States of Asgard, #3)
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