Book lover’s prayers have been answered with the Netflix adaptation of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Netflix has shown the world how to successfully put on a book adaption onto the streaming screen.
Shadow and Bone is a series following a girl named Alina Starkov, a mapmaker, as she discovers her powers while saving her friend from monsters in the “fold”- a dangerous shadow plain. Her life is flipped upside down when she realizes she’s a Grisha with extraordinary powers and is destined to destroy the fold.
What Netflix did so well as including a diverse cast that perfectly represents the characters. We are able to see the characters brought to life and are invited to go on a journey with them and understand their choices. They are relatable. You can’t help but fall in love with the characters and find yourself rooting for them, no matter their contractionary intentions.
Fantasy shows are historically known for lacking diversity and being “very white”. This show helps to show the future of fantasy and proves fantasy can include a diverse cast. The series also covers issues like racism and xenophobia, without being coded as fantasy creatures. The setting of the story is also very unique in my opinion and is unlike any fantasy world I have ever read inspired by Russia and Russian history. I am sure that future writers, producers, and directors will take note of the diversity and creativity in the series.
Netflix successfully followed the plot of the story without making the story dry or boring. The issue with many visual adaptions is that the story doesn’t follow the original storyline, however, this is not an issue here./ It’s the same story we know and love. There has been some critique going around about the pacing of the series, but I think they paced it very well. It wasn’t too slow where one would get bored but was not as quick as it could have been following the original plot. However, I must agree that the first episode was a little confusing going between the two story lines. However as the story goes on, it becomes more clear.
Overall I rate this series five out of five stars and urge everyone to pick up the book, then watch this masterpiece.