STAIN by A.G. Howard


Age Range: 12 - 16
Email this review


A prophecy tells of a prince and princess who can save the world by joining their warring kingdoms.

“Once upon a nightmare, a princess was born in the kingdom of perpetual daylight.” So begins this dizzying mashup of fairy tales with a kaleidoscopic cast of characters. Princess Lyra and Prince Vesper hail from the dichotomous kingdoms of a world shorn in half by blood magic. Pale Lyra, a royal outsider with “iridescent eyes” and “hair, eyebrows, and lashes so silvery-white and glistening,” is the only person in Eldoria, the kingdom of endless sunlight, whose skin burns when exposed to sunshine. Vesper, “dark-haired, copper-skinned,” and “raven-eyed,” the defiant prince of a dark underworld, is “the only Nerezethite prince who’d been born night-blind in centuries.” When Lyra’s evil aunt Griselda conspires to kill the king, the worlds are further threatened by war and chaos. The greatest hope is a prophecy that tells of a prince and princess who “will be complete and embrace their oddities to bring the sun and moon together again.” In this sublimely detailed fantasy with elaborately drawn characters and breathtaking plot twists, fantasy is unrestrained and oftentimes wordy. Story arcs stop and sputter as they quest their way through magical thorns and honeysuckle brambles, but the patient reader will blow well past bedtime to stay up with this riveting tale.

A decadent fantasy anchored in childhood delights with vibrantly detailed writing and brilliantly theatrical subplots. (map) (Fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4197-3141-9
Page count: 528pp
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2018


ChildrenCARAVAL by Stephanie Garber
by Stephanie Garber
ChildrenROSEBLOOD by A.G. Howard
by A.G. Howard