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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,514 ratings  ·  384 reviews
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 Sta
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Abrams/Amulet Books
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A.G. Howard There's been an update on this answer. Follow this link to my blog for deets:
A.G. Howard Thank you! On the note of ARCs, I'm not sure. I know they're giving out chapter samplers at some upcoming events (they're stunning!). But as for…moreThank you! On the note of ARCs, I'm not sure. I know they're giving out chapter samplers at some upcoming events (they're stunning!). But as for review copies of the full books, I've heard rumors they have something really special and unique planned, so I'm waiting to hear more about it... I'll share more info when I have all the details!(less)
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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,514 ratings  ·  384 reviews

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A.G. Howard
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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 world and magic system, requiring more work than any
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Reread with my friends at For Love Of A Book. I love this on Audio, not sure if I mentioned that before! 😘

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 differen
Candace Robinson
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 romance, the emotions!

This is one retelling that I would
ʙᴇʟʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of fairytales
"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 became a fan because it is very hard to find gothi
Jennie Damron
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 allowed to see develop and grow to an amazing young ...more
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pnr, do-review
To do review!!!
Brittain *Needs a Nap and a Drink*
Buddy Read with the ever wonderful Melissa

I 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 a book that is over 300 pages. There were long wo
♔ Dark Lordette Jennymort ♔
this sounds dark as hell.

i want it.
Tracy (Cornerfolds)
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 kingdom of daylight, and Vesper, prince of the kingdom
Sunny ✨wordslikefury✨
This book: "Castaway princess tries to reclaim her throne."

Me: Oh look...another YA fantasy book with the same overused trope. No thanksss!

Also Me: *buys book anyway and then proceeds to read it.*
Feb 07, 2018 marked it as to-read
I have no words for this cover! Just look at it. I cannot wait that much

Amy Imogene Reads
Apr 30, 2019 marked it as to-read
Put on indefinite pause at the 53% mark. This is not a bad story at all, just picked it up at the wrong time and then too much time passed to continue on without restarting.
Melissa (Ever So Mela)
Buddy read with my fave Kpop enthusiast Brittain
Me 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 dark and gritty retelling but what I got was a cl
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 Sleeping Beauty vibes. Another one of my favorite fai ...more

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 even tried. I was sucked into this world and enjoyed
Darque  Dreamer
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-reads
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 with inspiration from The Princess and the Pea, but it sp
Lerizza Mae (books&teacups)
Actual rating: 3.5 Stars

This 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 gives one kingdom eternal sunlight while the other
Sara Saif
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing

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 my adoration of the tale never faltered, only grew

Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 captivated me. First of all the names in this book ar
Emm - One Thousand Years of Books
An elegant blend of rose and thorn - the beauty of fairytales with all of their blood and deceit intact. Stain is not strictly a retelling, and I enjoyed that it was more original than derivative.
The characters are mostly well-written. I think Griselda's daughters were a bit over-the-top callous and evil, but I never was fond of the wicked stepsister trope played straight either. A.G. Howard's writing style is poetic and laced with hints of danger and the macabre, and really gives a sinister fee
Ash | EmeraldBookOwl
Jul 05, 2018 marked it as short-to-read-list
you had me at high-fantasy gothic fairy tale. i wasn't a huge fan of RoseBlood, but this sounds dark and promising.
Beks Counsell
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“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 retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea
Malissa S
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This story truly is amazing
Its so unique and beautifully written. I didn't know what to expect from one page to the next which is a wonderful feeling when reading. Reading should be an adventure and not a regurgitated plot line with varying characters. I never once felt like something couldn't happen because it involved Lyra and 'you can't hurt/kill the main character '. I truly felt that anything was possible and it made this story so exciting. I couldn't put it down, I recommend it
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 engaging plot. Basically, I wanted to crawl into the bo
Victoria Alyesa
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5stars-worthy
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 read through.....especially for that awesome (althoug
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 wed the princess of daylight—for she is his true equal. As
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The "Flux Capacitor Rule" in writing is the concept that you can throw something in your story now and then that completely breaks all rules of logic, but do it anyways. Marty McFly didn't shake his head when he heard about the Flux Capacitor and say, "Don't believe it." He went, "That's pretty swell" and rolled with it. If you're going to create a new world and new rules, go hard. Own your fantasy world. Own your lore. Your magic principles, politics, and creatures. Howard did that with Stain. ...more
Sarah Duarte
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 😍
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasyyy, babe, retelling
if you will ask me what's my epitome of a perfect book, my definitive answer would be this piece of beauty. i would like to take this with a hot cup of coffee, curled in my white sheets on a rainy summer day, thank you.

*coherent thoughts to come*
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 really paying attention to this book--like you cann ...more
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YA Buddy Readers'...: Stain by A.G. Howard - Restarting March 4th 2019 5 41 Mar 11, 2019 06:28PM  

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#1 New York Times and International bestselling Author of Gothic / Fantasy & Paranormal tales. Mystical & romantic with a side of horror. YA, NA, and Literary Romance. Repped by Jenny Bent.

A.G. was inspired to write the Splintered Series, her tribute to Carroll's Wonderland, while working at a school library. Her pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which of
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“Friendship has many rewards. Love is the culmination of them all.” 5 likes
“Sometimes it takes more courage to stay in place than to move.” 3 likes
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