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The Lost Sun: Book 1 of United States of Asgard Hardcover – June 25, 2013


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The Lost Sun: Book 1 of United States of Asgard + The Strange Maid: Book 2 of United States of Asgard
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: United States of Asgard (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (June 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307977463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307977465
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.8 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,023,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up–Soren Bearskin and Astrid Glyn meet for the first time at a boarding school in an alternative America with places called Nebrasge and Colorada. Soren is a berserker who wants to resist his destiny to be a fighter. Astrid is a seethkona, a seer, whose famous mother has recently died. Everyone in the country is watching the television when the god of light, Baldur, does not rise from the dead for his yearly renewal. Astrid decides to seek him out, and she enlists Soren for the mission. They find him, and the journey to return him to his father without being followed is where most of the action takes place. The protagonists learn that the gods are manipulating the annual ritual to suit their needs. Soren and Astrid become romantically attached, and many sacrifices have to be made for them to deliver Baldur safely to his home. The mix of contemporary living and technology with mythology and fantasy is jarring at first, but readers will quickly get a hang for the unusual names and attributes of the characters. Hand this to fantasy lovers who might be ready to branch out of their comfort zone.–Elizabeth Kahn, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Jefferson, LAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Soren, doomed from the start by his berserker lineage, is falling in love with Astrid, whose own lineage carries the dark power of a seer. When Baldur, the god of light, disappears, the world is thrown into chaos. Compelled to find him, Astrid and Soren instead discover a mortal man with no memory, and in an apple orchard that holds the keys of immortality, they are torn between their love for each other and the balance of the entire world. Gratton sets up an alternate universe where Norse gods are juxtaposed with typical American life in this first novel in a new series. Clever word alterations are just familiar enough, and Soren’s first-person point of view and single-minded determination to win Odin Alfather’s reward for returning his beloved son gives the quest to rescue Baldur a frantic immediacy. While Astrid dreams of apples and Soren battles the berserker rage inside, they forge new alliances and a bond of friendship that puts them squarely in the path of a cat-and-mouse game played by gods. Grades 7-12. --Charli Osborne

More About the Author

When Tessa was a kid, she wanted to be a wizard. Or a paleontologist. Maybe both.

She's neither now, but magic and monsters are still her favorite things.

Born in Okinawa, Japan, while her Dad was on duty with the US Navy, Tessa moved around throughout my childhood and traveled even more. She's lived in Japan, California, Kansas, and England, and visited 4 continents.

After graduating from the University of Kansas in 2003 with a degree in Gender Studies, she went on to graduate school for a Master's in the same. Halfway through, she ditched the program in favor of the blood, violence, and drama of Anglo-Saxon and Germanic epic poetry and to focus on my writing. Tessa doesn't have a graduate degree, but she did translate her own version of Beowulf!

Despite having traveled all over the world, she settled in Kansas where the sunsets are all in Technicolor, with her partner, two cats, and a mutant mutt named Grendel.

Customer Reviews

Tessa Gratton did a great job with that in here.
John S. Dean
There are interesting male and female main characters, enough action for those who like action, and a hint of romance for those who want that.
Sandy Kay
I loved the way the Norse mythology was woven into a modern world.
otterdancing

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Miss Print VINE VOICE on June 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"My mom used to say that in the United States of Asgard, you can feel the moments when the threads of destiny knot together, to push you or pull you or crush you. But only if you're paying attention."

Soren Bearskin has been avoiding his destiny for years. He can feel the berserker fever burning in his blood but he refuses to give into the rage; to let himself become what his father was before him. People fear him and what being a berserker actually means.

Astrid Glynn is everything Soren is not: wild, free and completely award of who and what she is--a seethkona dedicated to the goddess Freya, a girl who can travel beyond death to retrieve answers to the questions of others even though she cannot find answers for herself about her missing mother.

Baldur the Beautiful is the most popular god in the country; his resurrection each year marked by a festive celebration and a live television broadcast. He returns to the United States of Asgard every year just in time for summer.

When Baldur instead disappears, the country is thrown into chaos as citizens fear the worst.

Astrid has dreamt of Baldur and knows where to find him. With Soren's help. Together the two set off on a road trip to find the lost god and bring him home. But in finding Baldur, Soren and Astrid may have to give up everything they've come to hold dear in The Lost Sun (2013) by Tessa Gratton.

The Lost Sun is the first book in Gratton's Songs of New Asgard/United States of Asgard series and it is awesome. As the series title suggests, this book is part fantasy, part alternate history as Gratton imagines a world where the United States are imbued with Norse traditions and mythology as well as populated by the Norse gods themselves.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kate B. VINE VOICE on August 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Read to: about page 120 of 368

The Final Straw:

Lack of world-building, plain and simple. Oh, and an awkward romance that basically starts as soon as the main character sees the girl character.

The Lost Sun started off as a read that I anticipated that I would finish in a matter of hours. I loved the premise, the characters, and even the quest. However, within 20 pages or so, I noticed something strange. No back story. No world-building. Nothing really that I could put my finger on to make me understand how and why exactly this world works.

To put into perspective, The Lost Sun opens with our main character, Soren, at a boarding school of sorts for privileged kids. My general understanding was that this was a trade school of sorts. The rich kids basically attend this academy to hone their special skills (the ones that come from their family lineage or whatever) for later in life. However, The Lost Sun never really comes out and gives an explanation for the academy. Just a few mumbled sentences here and there about this or that with the school. So, in all honesty, I am not really sure what its true purpose is.

The same goes for the state of the Nation or the United States of Asgard. While there are a few hints thrown about throughout the beginning, I have no idea whatsoever about why this Nation is the way that it is, how it works, and all the details needed to make this world come to life. Is this suppose to be the United States that has been altered due to the discovery of Asgard and its Gods and Goddesses? Or an alternate reality? I really just don't have a clue.

Now to the romance. Sometimes, insta-love works. Sometimes, it bombs horribly. In The Lost Sun, I thought it bombed completely. Why?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cecelia Larsen on July 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
2013 may go down as the year of fantastic world-building. Of course a lot of that is due to what I've chosen to read, but I can tell you that Tessa Gratton's new release The Lost Sun, the first in The United States of Asgard series, will join the parade of really wonderful and exciting new worlds that I've discovered this year. I was lured in by the promise of Norse mythology and a Holly Black-like read, and that's an accurate description. The Lost Sun is the best young adult fantasy I've read this year.

The United States of Asgard is familiar and yet not at the same time. It's America if the Norse gods were real, living beings who traveled with European settlers to the New World. It's a world where magic and soothsaying are commonplace, where trolls live on the edges of civilization, and where the gods are featured in televised rituals at every major holiday. In this world, Soren Bearskin is the teenage son of a disgraced, deceased beserker, and all he wants is to escape his fate. That desperate dream will be challenged by the arrival of Astrid, a girl who lives out her destiny with joy, and the disappearance of Baldur, everyone's favorite god of light.

Soren is a warrior in training, and he spends almost every waking moment controlling his inner beserker rage. He hopes against hope that if he holds the madness at bay long enough, it will leave him - leave him free to pursue a life beyond that assigned to him at birth. This struggle, this wrangling with who he is and why, leaves him a serious, stoic young man, constantly fighting the ripple of battle rage in his blood.

That bottling up of what should be a natural part of his nature makes him attractive to Astrid, but it serves Soren as a barrier between himself and anyone he might hurt, leaving him lonely.
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