BT Review: The Strange Maid [The United States of Asgard, #2] by Tessa Gratton

Random House BYR | Hardcover, 416 pages
Publication Date: June 10th, 2014
Young Adult | Fantasy | Mythology
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Truth be told, Tessa Gratton is one of those authors whose work I feel is beyond my capable understanding; highly intimidating, to say the least. I’ve always associated her name with the likes of Maggie Stiefvater and Brenna Yovanoff, both brilliant, if I may add. So when I was approached by Random House to join the blog tour, there was a bit of trepidation.

Lost Sun, the first book to this series was freaking amazing. I just knew that I was reading a brilliant reinterpretation of Norse Mythology. If you haven’t read this series, and if you’re a fan of any kind of Mythlogy, you are missing some pretty incredible writing here, ladies and gents.

The Strange Maid pretty much made me feel the same way. I was in awe. The world building was intrinsic; maybe even complicated to some. But it’s the interwoven tales of revamped mythology that will heighten your impatience to devour the book. The research involved was pretty telling as well. It had me googling some gods and goddesses that piqued my interest.

This instalment features a very curious, determined, strong heroine in the person of Signy. She was relentless – fearless in her pursuit to solve a riddle that will make her a Valkyrie. But the determination is fuelled by something else besides the honour of being one of Odin’s soldiers. She also wants to bring back the Valkyrie of the old but better – more fierce. She is a strange one, for sure but no one can deny her strength.

While I was enraptured by the romantic ambiance of The Lost Sun, The Strange Maid veered to a much darker air – sinister, even. It’s more mature than the previous book and I’m happy to say that whatever salacious acts these kids got up to, they weren’t overdone or gratuitous to say the least. So don’t fret.

Over all, this is a fantastic book that can be read alongside The Lost Sun or by itself. As long as you have some pretty basic knowledge of Norse Mythology, you’ll enjoy this retelling. Now that I’ve read two of Tessa’s books, I can’t wait to read her Blood Journals series!


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  • P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

    I really liked The Lost Sun, so this one is probably a must read. I love the atmosphere in Tessa Gratton’s books. I also find them a little intimidating, but when it works the writing becomes sooo pretty and how can I not love it? Also, I have to continue Blood Journals. I’m pretty sure I read the first a long time ago…

    Great review!

  • Wow, I haven’t read a book by this author before but if you’re comparing it to Maggie Stiefvater then ‘m all set! The world building based on Norse mythology sounds fascinating. Great review Joy!

  • Damn it! Now you are making me regret not pre-ordering this book 🙁 I WANT IT, JOY! I do own book one. But the cover scares me a little, as it isn’t that beautiful, hih. But I do adore this author. And I will read book one. SOON. But ack. I want book two too. Damn it. (expensive when not pre-ordered, lol.) ANYWAY. I love your review, Joy. <3 I'm so so glad you are loving these books 😀 This makes me very happy. <3 Thank you for sharing sweetie 🙂

    • I say, read The Lost Sun first before you order The Strange Maid. Mind you, you can probably read one or both because it definitely can be a stand alone.

  • You know what’s weird? I actually added book 1 to my TBR before it was going to be released and I was all pumped and excited because you know, Norse Myth, but then somewhere along the way, after it came out, I never ended up reading it or even really giving it a second glance… I am really regretting that now and NEED to get my hands on the books!

    I am glad you enjoyed this follow up, Joy and THANK you for sharing!

    • You are most welcome, Rashika. I hope you’ll enjoy when you get around to reading The Lost Sun. 🙂

  • I’m not very familiar with Norse mythology and my knowledge about it only came from Thor. But how can I resist this one when you associate it with Maggie Stiefvater? I’ll definitely look this up! Great review, Joy 🙂

    • I hope you’ll enjoy, Dea. I really loved the premise of gods walking among mortals.

  • I’ve read Tessa Gratton’s Blood Journal series and really enjoyed it. It’s dark and different. I’m not a huge fan of any sort of mythology but I’d be willing to try this out just because it’s her writing. Wonderful review, Joy! 🙂

    • Oh I know. I’m not really a huge fan of retellings and such but I adore Norse mythology though. I hope you’ll enjoy when you get the chance. 🙂

  • The first book was amazing you say well then I must read it since I own it!

    • Eeep! I hope you’ll enjoy. I get so nervous when people say they’ll read a book based on my review. Lol. Especially you!

  • Christy

    Oh wow, I need to read this. For sure! I’m kind of excited for it now.

  • Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    Oh wow… I don’t mind a bit of Norse Mythology in my reads at times, so I will have to get this one next time! Fab review!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    • Thanks, Naomi. I hope you’ll enjoy. 🙂

  • I don’t read a lot of Fantasy and I think this is the first I’ve heard of this author, although I do have Stiefvater on my kindle and audible to I’ll be reading her books soonish!

    I love mythology but I don’t read a lot of Norse mythology so I’m not very familiar with it. Still, Valkyries are pretty cool, I think! I’m currently in a Brandon Sanderson read-a-long right now and maybe if I’m successful in finishing that, I won’t be too indimidated trying this book out! I’ll add this on my wishlist Joy! Awesome review! <3

    • You and I are the same, Amir. I don’t read too many fantasies either. I prefer my books to be a bit close to real life but sometimes, a bit of imagination calisthenics is just what our brains need. 😉

  • I’ve only read one book by Tessa Gratton, but after reading your review I’m thinking that I might make The Strange Maid number 2. I’m a little burnt out on Norse mythology at the moment though, so I’ll probably save this one until the fall. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Joy!

    • Ah yes. You’re always reading several variations of Mythology, so yeah. You might want to wait a while until you have an inkling for it. 🙂

  • I never heard of ”norse mythology” and I wonder what it actually really is in more detail. Wikipedia, here I come. Awesome review, I’m glad you had the change to be apart of the blog tour. The motivation sure was there. 😉 Will check this one on Goodreads.

  • I didn’t know this one I confess but I have a book by the author and I know I need to try her one day your review makes me really curious. I’m glad you had a good time there.

  • Loved your review. I adore mythology so I think I would really like this series.

  • OK I need to get a start on the first book as soon as possible. I’ve heard so many great things about it, mostly from Maja, and I think I would love it.
    I love the sound of Tessa Gratton’s writing and it seems like she really did her research. I’m off to purchase a copy of book 1!
    Lovely review, Joy!

    • I hope you’ll love it, Nick. Tessa’s writing is out of this world brilliant. 🙂

  • Hmmm..this one looks intriguing and I never picked up one of Tessa’s books! But I might pick up this one!

    Happy Reading!

    • It’s wonderful, Patrick. I think you should give it a chance.