Leigh Bardugo’s book series “Shadow and Bone” recently hit Netflix for its television adaptation. Just one week after its release date, the show continued to hold its spot at No. 1 on the top 10 chart of Netflix shows in the U.S. The popularity surrounding the new hit, along with positive feedback from fans of Bardugo, sends a promising message to audiences about a possible second season in the near future.
Although I did not read the books prior to watching the first episode, this did not hinder my ability to comprehend the complex world that is the Grishaverse. Not only was I enthralled within the first 10 minutes of the show, but I was so captivated that I binge watched the entire first season in under 24 hours! If you are a fan of mystery, action, romance and magic, then this show is definitely a must watch. However, the best part of the show is not the universe nor magic, but the strong characters that drive the narrative forward.
- Strong Female Leads
The Grishaverse contains several female characters that lead plot lines including Alina Starkov, Inej Ghafa, Nina Zenik, and Zoya Nazyalensky. All of these female characters are written to be compelling and strong individuals in their own right, but most importantly they are not defined by their male characters.
These female characters also demonstrate fighting skills and exhibit power that is a testament to the capabilities of women. Another important aspect of these female characters is that there is a diversity amongst them, which promotes a strong representation of women of color on screen.
- The Mysterious Kaz Brekker
Kaz led his crows, Inej and Jesper, through an action packed kidnapping scheme which might have been the highlight of the entire show. His inability to reveal his entire plan kept audiences on their toes waiting for inevitable doom, only for Kaz to reveal that he was two steps ahead.
Additionally, his relationship with Inej and Jesper provided both a best friend and hopeful romantic storyline to the plot that was very much needed. While I may not have understood certain moments in the scripts that were foreshadowing his character’s background for the book fans, I am excited to read more about his storyline in the “Six of Crows” series.
- A Great Villain
I write the term “villain” hesitantly because even after the finale I still do not know if the Darkling is really a villain or not. Both writers of the series and Ben Barnes, the actor who played the Darkling, did a fantastic job of maintaining a darkness to the character while presenting him as an ally or protector.
One of my favorite qualities about the Darkling is that this is a character you love to hate and hate to love at the same time. His fleet relationship with Alina continues to play on a loop in my head because I hate that he was controlling and manipulative, but I also was so enthralled in their passion.
I am very hopeful that “Shadow and Bone” will soon confirm a second season on Netflix. However, until then you can stream “Shadow and Bone” currently on Netflix or read the “Shadow and Bone” trilogy.