Young Adult

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 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 Lyra rediscovers her identity, an impostor princess prepares to steal her betrothed prince and her crown. To win back her kingdom, save the prince, and make peace with the land of the night, Lyra must be loud enough to be heard without a voice, and strong enough to pass a series of tests—ultimately proving she’s everything a traditional princess is not.

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

A.G. Howard


I thought this was a very good take on the regular fairytale story with some dark gothic drama that had you questioning whether everything was as it first seemed. Lyra (the heroine) is a princess whom is named in a prophecy to be married to the Prince Vesper. The Prophecy foretells the two coming together to repair the two broken kingdoms and bringing balance once more to the Day kingdom, Eldoria and the night Kingdom, Nazereth.

Lyra, doesnt have the capability of spoken speech but instead has a lyrical voice. She has stunningly beautiful silver hair and Silver eyelashes (the descriptive pieces detailing Lyra is just beautiful). She can will the shadows and creatures of the night to do her bidding and for once I just LOVED that, she wasn’t the little princess who shied away from things of the dark, she freaking embraced them.

The road to the betrothal isn’t plain sailing and many things stand in the way – I won’t spoil it but I was rooting for it all to come together the whole time.

3.5 Stars from me. I wanted to completely LOVE it, it had all the neccessary ingredients for me to fall in love with the story but it just didn’t completely grab me enough to shout from the rooftops. I did enjoy it for portraying a strong, independant princess that was more than capable of making her way.

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