The Strange Maid (United States of Asgard Series #2)

( 1 )

Overview

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 ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$13.42
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$17.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (36) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $1.99   
  • Used (23) from $1.99   
The Strange Maid (United States of Asgard Series #2)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
Note: Visit our Teens Store.

Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With razor-sharp prose and bone-deep emotions, Tessa Gratton doesn't just tell a story. She invites readers into another world— one we hate to leave when the last page is turned. The Strange Maid is no exception."  —-Saundra Mitchell, author of Mistwalker and The Vespertine

"This infinitely exciting tale’s twist and turns highlight the characters’ missions as they decide which identity to choose: hero, martyr, or villain. Readers looking for a sophisticated fantasy that shows a raw, rowdy, and rough side of life will be utterly satisfied. For fans of Robin LaFevers’s His Fair Assassins series." —-SLJ

VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Kevin Beach
This is the second title in Gratton’s series TheUnited States of Asgard. The first entry, The Lost Sun (Random House, 2013) deals with a different group of characters and is not a prerequisite for reading this title. The series presumes that the pantheon of Norse Gods are real and actively participate with governments in the modern world, holding public office and regularly communicating with the masses. The protagonist in this outing is a teen named Signy who is destined to become a Valkyrie, one of nine who rule Asgard. She must first solve a riddle given to her by Odin. Two years of struggling to solve the riddle have left her destitute and disillusioned. She then she meets a young wanderer named Ned Unferth. Is he the character from Beowulf or just a namesake? Her renewed quest to conquer the riddle takes her into troll territory, where she makes a multitude of warrior friends, finds a lover, and reacquaints herself with estranged family members. Using her capability to read rune markings in people’s eyes, by the end of the book she has become a beautiful, confident, and competent leader who has survived a series of tests and surprises. There is a lot of attention to detail and backstory here, which sometimes bogs down the reader. This fantasy world is well imagined, and the Nordic mash-up of place names is clever. Recommend this title to those who want to stick with the series or who particularly love Viking mythology and related tales. Reviewer: Kevin Beach; Ages 11 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-17
Can Signy solve the riddle that stands between her and her rightful place among the Valkyrie? Ten years ago, when she was 7, Signy's parents died in an accident. In her grief, during a visit to the New World Tree, she climbed the Tree and met Odin Alfather; he renamed her Signy Valborn, handing her her destiny: to become the next Valkyrie of the Tree, one of nine Valkyries who help run the United States of Asgard. The day after her 15th birthday, a riddle appeared on the trunk of the New World Tree; since she couldn't solve it, Signy set out to find her answer. Two years of sometimes-homeless living later, she's still looking…until she meets Ned Unferth, who says he can provide her the answer. He says that "The Valkyrie of the Tree will prove herself with a stone heart" means she must kill a troll and take its heart, which becomes stone in daylight. She trusts the truth rune she sees in his eye, and they set off to train and find a troll. Gratton's follow-up to The Lost Sun (2013) is more entertaining and engaging than its predecessor, but the tale's padded with so many complications it's easy to put down. There's such a surfeit of navel-gazing that Signy should be able to map her own spinal column. Fans of the first book and lovers of Norse legend may enjoy, but there's better for fantasy-adventure lovers. (Fantasy. 14-17)
From the Publisher
"With razor-sharp prose and bone-deep emotions, Tessa Gratton doesn't just tell a story. She invites readers into another world— one we hate to leave when the last page is turned. The Strange Maid is no exception."  —-Saundra Mitchell, author of Mistwalker and The Vespertine

"This infinitely exciting tale’s twist and turns highlight the characters’ missions as they decide which identity to choose: hero, martyr, or villain. Readers looking for a sophisticated fantasy that shows a raw, rowdy, and rough side of life will be utterly satisfied. For fans of Robin LaFevers’s His Fair Assassins series." —-SLJ

School Library Journal
05/01/2014
Gr 8 Up—In this prequel to The Lost Sun (Random, 2013), Gratton brings readers back to a world that comingles Norse mythology, vengeful gods, and technology in a landscape that resembles the United States. Teens are introduced to a new character, Signy Valborn. She was in training to be the Valkyrie of the Tree but left her apprenticeship in shame because she is unable to solve the riddle. She sets off on a journey to find herself and meets Ned the Spiritless, who is a poet and a warrior. Through Ned's stories, she learns her destiny is to fight the troll mother, and the two head north to spend the winter training. Fans of the previous book are brought full circle, when Baldur, the god of the sun, does not rise from the dead, which was the focus of the first installment. Ned is taken by the troll mother, and Signy continues her journey alone until she meets Soren Bearskin, also a character from the previous entry, who is instrumental in finding Baldur and returning him to Odin, the lead deity. Eventually, the heroine is aided by Ned and Soren in her quest to reap the stone heart and become a true Valkyrie. It is not necessary to read the first book before diving into this one, but it would help in the understanding of the violent fantasy world that the author has meticulously created. This infinitely exciting tale's twist and turns highlight the characters' missions as they decide which identity to choose: hero, martyr, or villain. Readers looking for a sophisticated fantasy that shows a raw, rowdy, and rough side of life will be utterly satisfied. For fans of Robin LaFevers's "His Fair Assassins" series (Houghton Harcourt) and Sarah J. Maas's "Throne of Glass" books (Bloomsbury).—Elizabeth Kahn, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Jefferson, LA
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307977519
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 6/10/2014
  • Series: United States of Asgard Series , #2
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 280,580
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Tessa Gratton

TESSA GRATTON has wanted to be a paleontologist or a wizard since she was seven. She was too impatient to hunt dinosaurs, but is still searching for 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, and then settled down in Kansas with her partner, her cats, and her mutant dog.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 21, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This twist on Norse myth-meets-United States is probably my favo

    This twist on Norse myth-meets-United States is probably my favorite alternate world EVER. I LOVED Signy's story! She's both BAMF and vulnerable, and I absolutely loved reading how her mind worked as she sorted through Odin's riddle. Becoming a Valkyrie is all-important to her, but as her character develops so do her priorities. 

    I absolutely loved seeing Soren again!!! This action-adventure is both hilarious and riveting, and I couldn't put it down. Can't wait for Tessa to publish Golden Apples! 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)