This article contains mild spoilers for Netflix’s “Shadow and Bone,” so read at your own risk!
I may be a bit behind the times with this one, but I finally got around to watching the Netflix adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels in the show “Shadow and Bone.” The show came out last April and was super popular. After finally reading the “Six of Crows” duology, I decided to dive into the show.
In “Shadow and Bone,” Alina Starkov discovers she is the Grisha expected to save the world and help end her country’s civil war. Along with Alina’s story, the show follows the Crows prior to the events of “Six of Crows.”
Twice now I’ve tried to read the “Shadow and Bone” series, but I haven’t been able to get past the first 150 pages, so I can’t speak to the show’s accuracy. However, as someone who’s read “Six of Crows,” I can say that the show aligns pretty well with the backstories given for those characters. Of course, they changed a few details, like how Nina gets captured or how Kaz is able to buy Inej’s contract from the Menagerie, but the story still works. One thing I do know that the show changes is the timeline between the two series. Originally, “Six of Crows” takes place years after the trilogy, but they occur at the same time in the show. It really doesn’t seem to be that big of a change.
The casting is absolutely perfect, especially when it comes to the Crows. They look exactly how I pictured them while reading, and the actors play them so well. As Netflix does with many of its shows, most of the actors are up and coming, with the exception of Ben Barnes. The only actor besides him that I’ve seen before is Freddy Carter in Netflix’s Free Rein. I’m glad these newer actors are getting the attention and recognition they deserve.
My favorite part of the show was the characters. They really made you want to keep watching because they were so entertaining. The dialogue was as witty as it was in the books, and the relationships seemed so real. Despite expecting to not like Alina because of her poor decision-making skills, I still found myself rooting for her. As a villain, General Kirigian pulls you in. He’s great at being evil. I absolutely adore Nina Zenik and Matthias Helvar, which was no surprise at all because they were my favorites in the book. Who doesn’t love an enemies-to-lovers arc with the one bed trope? The other Crows, Kaz, Inej, and Jesper, have one of the best dynamics in the show, and I always loved when they were on screen. Lastly, Milo stole the show.
The plot was complicated, but not too hard to follow. I did watch it with my roommate who’s read all the Grishaverse novels, and she was a big help when things did get a little confusing. It may be beneficial to read at least some of the books before watching the show so you have a basic understanding of the world.
I really have no complaints about “Shadow and Bone.” I had a super fun time watching the Crows come to life and learning more about Alina and the other characters of her story.
“Shadow and Bone” has been renewed for a second season and is currently in production! It seems like the next season will follow the events of “Siege and Storm” and possibly a new storyline for the Crows. Also, we’ve got some new actors who will be joining the cast as some of our favorite characters (AKA Wylan!).
So, would I recommend you give “Shadow and Bone” a watch? Heck yes! If you’re interested in checking it out, head on over to Netflix.