Friday, April 4, 2014

The Strange Maid by Tessa Gratton

Title: The Strange Maid
Author: Tessa Gratton
Series: The United States of Asgard

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 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, twists and turns to keep you interested from the very beginning. The characters were extremely well developed, well written and extremely likeable. I thought the whole book was intriguing and I absolutely loved it. 

Signy's character was fantastic. She was fierce, loyal, and everything a Valkyrie should be. I loved her quest to solve the riddle from Odin. She possessed a layer of depth that a lot of female leads lack in books. I think it was because at this point, she had nothing left to lose. 

Then enters Ned the Spiritless. His character was great and it was obvious from the very beginning that something was off about what he was saying to her. Towards the end of the book we find out exactly what is going on and you can't help to feel but a little sorry for him. 

The Beserkers were great! Vicious, uncontrollable, and highly excitable! I loved them the minute they entered this book. I was so glad they stayed until the end of the story. I really hope that in the next book (fingers crossed) I will see them again. 

I fell in love with this world that Tessa Gratton wove in The Strange Maid. I need to go back and read the first book, that way if she writes more I will have all the background information! You can't lose with this series, it is a 5-star A+ winner in my book!

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review!

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