Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Stain” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.16  ·  Rating details ·  544 ratings  ·  167 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Stain, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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)
King of Scars by Leigh BardugoThe Wicked King by Holly BlackUntitled by Sarah J. MaasChain of Gold by Cassandra ClareCrescent City by Sarah J. Maas
Can't Wait Books of 2019
1,136 books — 2,563 voters
King of Scars by Leigh BardugoThe Wicked King by Holly BlackThe Gilded Wolves by Roshani ChokshiChain of Gold by Cassandra ClareWe Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
YA Novels of 2019
748 books — 1,448 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  544 ratings  ·  167 reviews

Sort order
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
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 worlds together. Sound familiar? It’s not like that for
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: do-review, pnr
To do review!!!
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
Candace Robinson
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The cover is so lovely!!!!!

This one sounds right up my alley! Can’t wait!
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
Jennymort ♔ Dark Lordette
Jan 17, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: own-tbr
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
Feb 07, 2018 marked it as to-read
I have no words for this cover! Just look at it. I cannot wait that much

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.*
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
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
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
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
Jul 05, 2018 marked it as i-need-2019
you had me at high-fantasy gothic fairy tale. i wasn't a huge fan of RoseBlood, but this sounds dark and promising.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-recs
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 imagery/themes, plays on dark and light motifs, political intri
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
Brittany Kantack
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 12, 2018 marked it as to-read

Another A.G. Howard dark fantasy?

Even though I wasn't at all a fan of RoseBlood, the Splintered trilogy still holds a dear place in my heart. Here's hoping Stain will get to share in that space! :D
Marcy McKay
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Skye Elizabeth
Lovely, but it could have been about 100 pages shorter. Full review to come.
Feb 02, 2019 added it
Shelves: dnf, 2019, library
I'm ~15% in - only not really because ... after maybe 9% I started skimming.
I tweeted I think the author is too impressed with her own writing - because it's not "lush prose" it's ... purple prose to such an excessive degree it's impressive.

Also we're 15% in and it's all still ~backstory and it's just too much. Annoying. Maybe I'll come back to try/skip to like 40% or something but ... meh.

Too many books out there - sad though because the premise was SO promising.

*ETA: 2/15/19 more thoughts - I'
Alexandra (Books-In-A-Storm)
I loved it! The story is amazing and I just want to read it again.
ella ✨
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really loved this one! I’m a huge fan of A. G. Howard’s writing and this didn’t disappoint 😍 I would have given it 5 stars but I found the first section (150-ish pages) pretty hard to get through and I feel like a 5 star rating needs to describe the whole book, rather than the last 350 pages aha x
Bethany Crandell
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As one of AG's critique partner's, I had the privilege of reading this beautiful book while she wrote it and...OHMYGOD! You guys, this story has EVERYTHING! Rich characters, delicious world-building, an unpredictable story line riddled with betrayal and friendship, romance and's SO good. Cannot wait for everyone to read it next year!!
This sounds diverse and beautiful can I have it now?
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

The Nerd Daily
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Laura Erne

Fairytales 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 that may start with once upon a time and end with a ha
Nov 16, 2018 added it
Shelves: arc, dnf
Nah. This read like a small child's story, but it's super long and is about a teenager. I just wasn't very interested. DNF.
Chai (Like Chai Tea)
It's been a while since I've read a high fantasy novel and I'm happy to have stumbled on this one.
"She'll lead, so every eye will be turned on her. All these years, our kingdoms have hoped for the princess of the prophecy, awaited some living fairy tale to unfold before their eyes. We'll give it to them: a princess aglow with moonlight and silver—a survivor of ash and thorns—riding through the gates, triumphant, astride a brumal stag, the epitome of hope itself."

I'm not really that familiar wi
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
YA Buddy Readers'...: Stain by A.G. Howard - Starting January 15th 2019 2 22 Jan 15, 2019 07:57AM  
  • Echo North
  • The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan
  • The Lady Rogue
  • What Monstrous Gods
  • The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea
  • House of Salt and Sorrows
  • The Beholder
  • The Sword and the Dagger
  • Crown of Coral and Pearl
  • Dark Shimmer
  • Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2)
  • Untitled (Stolen Crowns, #1)
  • Dark Shores (Dark Shores, #1)
  • Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)
  • Soul in Darkness
  • No Judgments: A Novel
  • All the Wandering Light (Even the Darkest Stars, #2)
  • Untitled
#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
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Sometimes it takes more courage to stay in place than to move.” 0 likes
“Does a falcon seek company with a swan amidst the lilies of a pond, or sing duets with a nightingale? Or does he soar through the storm alongside his equal, the hawk? Walking the same rocky path. Swimming the same choppy currents. Sharing courage enough to face a thicket of briars with nothing to gain but pain and flame. That’s the true measure of a companion’s worth.” 0 likes
More quotes…
The Island | 1 more rapidgator, uploadgig, nitroflare link | Vier gegen die Bank