Stain by A.G. Howard


A high-fantasy gothic fairytale inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea.Once upon a nightmare, her fairy tale begins...After Lyra—a princess incapable of speech or sound—is cast out of her kingdom of daylight by her wicked aunt, a witch saves her life, steals her memories, and raises her in an enchanted forest ... disguised as a boy known only as Stain. Meanwhile, in Lyra's rival kingdom, the prince of thorns and nigh...

Details Stain

Release DateJan 15th, 2019
PublisherAbrams/Amulet Books
GenreFantasy, Retellings, Young Adult, Romance

Reviews Stain

  • A.G. Howard
    So excited to finally post this title! Two things to know about this book: There's no love triangle, and it's a standalone.Here's a little insight into the story: Stain, my anti-princess, lives in an alternative medieval world where the moon has been torn from the sky and banished to a wintry night kingdom deep beneath the earth, leaving the sun and kinder seasons to the day kingdom above ground. This has made for an intricately built fantasy wor...
  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    I just about can’t stand any more beautiful book covers!This book was magical!!! (Photo courtesy to creators on the photo) Once upon a nightmare, a princess was born in the kingdom of perpetual daylight-a fine-boned babe who killed her queenly mother upon her entrance to the world Not everything is as it seems in this world. God, how I loved it. Lyra is different from all. Vesper is different from all. They must come together to bring their wor...
  • Candace Robinson
    I've loved every book from A.G. Howard, and this one was just as gorgeous! Beautiful writing and lush descriptions! It honestly gave me Grimm Fairy Tales vibes except with a unique and new spin!There were four main POVs and each one was intriguing! Each character added more depth to the story, giving it a more roundabout tale. Also, the sun and the moon theme was so utterly perfect and I loved, loved, loved the friendship, the journey, the roman...
  • ʙᴇʟʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.
    "Once upon a nightmare, a princess was born in the kingdom of perpetual daylight..." Stain was one of my most anticipated books: soon as it was available to pre-order I did not hesitate. I was lucky enough that my pre-order came earlier than expected and I'm so glad. Unlike the majority of fans of the author, I did not know the author for Splintered. I was first introduced to her beautiful gothic romance/new adult novel The Architect of Song. I b...
  • Mads
    To do review!!!
  • Jennie Damron
    A modern fairytale that is what this beautiful book is. OMG! I loved this book from the beautiful cover to the words inside. It does start off slow, but if you keep with it you will be richly rewarded. A.G Howard said she was inspired by the Princess and the Pea. Believe me when I say this book is it's own story with different characters and beautiful world building. To me it was a completely different tale. Lyra is a wonderful girl who you are a...
  • Brittain *Needs a Nap and a Drink*
    Buddy Read with the ever wonderful MelissaI can't even begin to tell you how excited I was for this book. This is the author that created one of my favorite book boyfriends, Morpheus, and she was promising me another gritty retelling. I was expecting something dark and haunting from this book which, ultimately, I did not get.This book just fell flat. There was not enough to it to get me interested or keep me invested in the story and that is with...
  • Tracy (Cornerfolds)
    Read more of my reviews at!It's no secret around my blog that A.G. Howard is one of my absolute favorite authors. I fell in love with the Splintered series in 2014 and have loved everything she has written since. I also adore fairytale retellings! When I heard about Stain, I knew there was a good chance it would be one of my top reads of 2019, and I'm pretty sure I was right.This haunting story is about Lyra, princess of the kingd...
  • Alaina
    I FINALLY LISTENED TO THIS BEAUT!Stain has a beautiful cover for one. Then after diving into this wonderful retelling, which kind of reminded me of goose girl for a bit? idk why but yeah.. it was good - end of story! The characters in this book were lovable, even if they did bore me to tears during some parts. Throughout the book, twists, turns, and all magical things made this even more interesting to me. I couldn't hit the pause button if I eve...
  • Darque Dreamer
    Stain is hauntingly enchanting. It’s an epic tale with a perfect blend of whimsy, darkness, and “faerie tale happiness.” Vividly beautiful, with a nice sprinkle of Grimm horror, this one is sure to ensorcell you!I absolutely loved Stain. It had so many rich details, and world building for ages! It felt like it had hints of Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty with a sprinkle of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Stardust. It also shined...
  • Melissa (Ever So Mela)
    Buddy read with my fave Kpop enthusiast BrittainMe throughout the whole book...but Stain just wouldn't have it...I went into this story so excited. I mean Howard was the person able to create Morphous, one of my all time favorite leads. How could I not be happy to dive into this? But man oh man, was I wrong. First off, I honestly don't believe young adults should be the demographic for this. Seemed more like middle grade. I was sold a beautifully...
  • Lerizza Mae (books&teacups)
    Actual rating: 3.5 StarsThis story is about a princess with starlit features born in a kingdom wreath in sunlight wherein the sun does not interchange with the moon. The moon, however, is in another kingdom, a kingdom where the sun does not shine all throughout. And within that kingdom, a prince, who has the opposite features a night dweller have, resides with his royal family. And to break the curse that befell these two kingdoms, a curse that g...
  • Sara Saif
    It took me more or less 20 days to complete Stain. There are a few reasons. One of them being its length, it’s 1200 pages strong, the other being my wedding and subsequent adjustment into a new household which was challenging. It did not, in any way, have anything to do with it being bad.It was the opposite of bad, let me make that abundantly clear.Stain was full of wonder and delight, page upon page of beauty and charm. I lost myself in it and...
  • Andrea
    This was such a magical retelling of the Princess and the Pea. I loved that there was a small synopsis in the beginning of the actual fairytale and the main events. It made it so much easier to admire how Howard took that fairytale and reimagined it into this amazing story.I started reading this and got through 2 hours and realized I had no idea what had happened. This is why you don't multitask lol. But after restarting it, this story really cap...
  • Beks Counsell
    “It begins with “Once Upon”’ and a touch of morbid to set the tone”.I applaud you, A. G. Howard for once again feeding my insatiable appetite for beautifully dark Fairy Tale retellings. It is this author I have to thank in the first place for giving me such high expectations for this genre- and she didn’t disappoint with Stain which in my opinion is yet another masterpiece!For those of you who don’t know, Stain is an inspired gothic...
  • Jessi (Novel Heartbeat)
    Holy crap, where do I start?! This book blew me away! I was hopelessly hooked from the very beginning. This book got to me in the very best way! This story is so beautiful and enchanting, and Howard's lyrical prose drew me in! The premise was absolutely BRILLIANT - I loved every single aspect of it, from the uniquely dark and magical (and sometimes twisted!) world that Howard painted; down to the prophecy of the Prince and Princess and the engagi...
  • Heather
    This book is simply fabulous! Here’s the description from > “ After Lyra—a princess incapable of speech or sound—is cast out of her kingdom of daylight by her wicked aunt, a witch saves her life, steals her memories, and raises her in an enchanted forest . . . disguised as a boy known only as Stain. Meanwhile, in Lyra’s rival kingdom, the prince of thorns and night is dying, and the only way for him to break his curse is to w...
  • Victoria Alyesa
    I have to admit I have never quite read a book that has made me feel such weird feelings towards it while draggin me into the fairytale bit by bit until I cant help but love it.The main story started with a bang and keep going; enticing you in and strangely putting you in a sort of book coma; writing style was like a lullaby in story form that keeps you enticed with the book. Although it slows down for several chapters to a crawl it was worth rea...
  • Stephanie (Bookfever)
    Like the synopsis says, Stain is inspired by the fairytale of Hans Christian Andersen's The Princess and the Pea, which just happens to be one of my all time favorite classic fairytales. I must've read it more than a hundred times as a child. And Stain did just read like a magical fairytale. This was one of my favorite things about the story. The writing was beautifully lyrical and just took my breath away at times. I also thought it had some Sle...
  • Sarah Duarte
    STUNNING VISUALS! I hope it’s a movie and I hope they don’t ruin it! So fun! Haven’t loved a book as much as this one in sooooo long 😍
  • Denia Books & Baubles
    This was a very interesting read, very different and not what I was expecting at all. The book itself is not bad but you have to have a specific taste to get through this book. The writing is based on old fairy tale writing, like the brothers Grimm or something similar. It's written in third person and her writing is beautiful and it flows nicely. However, there are many words that are confusing and "old" if that makes any sense. You have to be r...
  • Brittany Kantack
    This book was so magical and beautiful, I was sucked in. The story was fantastic, the world building was perfect. I have no complaints about this book. I'm so glad I made this impulse buy. I honestly think this is one of my favorite books ever. Definitely will be in this year's top 10 favorites.
  • Jalynn (Midnight Books)
    I loved loved loved this. I have to admit, it was slow-moving but totally worth it! I loved the richness within the world and how enchanting the writing was. I didn't know what to expect going into it since I'm not very familiar to the original Princess and the Pea story, but, with how well it was done, I didn't need to read the source work to utterly enjoy and get wrapped up in the world and story itself. I'm so excited to read A.G. Howard's pre...
  • thi
    finally!! a standalone mystical fantasy that, yes is a bit dense, but isn’t bogged down by over exaggerated descriptive filter at least on my radar, “fantasy” has come to mean two extremes: urban settings with a (relatively simple) magic system or an entire heavily crafted world that is often very gritty and violent ... I’ve found that this happily falls in between I feel so catered to with this particular book because I love gothic image...
  • Marcy McKay
    Stain is my favorite A.G. Howard novel, which is amazing, because I've love them ALL. Her books always have a magical, fairytale quality to them and this one will not disappoint. The characters are wonderful, the writing is lush and beautiful; plus, the story is unforgettable. Stain will stay with you long after it has ended.
  • The Nerd Daily
    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Laura ErneFairytales have a dark and sordid past. Often short and simple, these tales offer lessons and morals that usually coincide with good and bad. A.G. Howard’s retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea was executed with precision and adopted a gothic atmosphere that made this tale even darker than the original. Before reading on, I must warn you for this is a tale ...