Netflix’s Upcoming Series: Shadow and Bone

Grace Liu and Reagan Kaelle

Available to stream on Netflix on April 23, “Shadow and Bone” is an adaptation of two of author Leigh Bardugo’s fantasy book series: the “Shadow and Bone” trilogy and the “Six of Crows” duology, which are both set in the same universe, otherwise known as the Grishaverse. “Shadow and Bone” is set in Ravka, a once-great nation that has been divided by the shadow fold, an impenetrable wall of darkness with monsters that’s nearly impossible to cross. When Alina Starkov gets attacked on her crossing voyage, however, she reveals a rare dormant power that could save her country; she is taken away to be trained as a Grisha, an elite group of magical warriors led by a mysterious leader called The Darkling. 

“I read the ‘Shadow and Bone’ trilogy and the ‘Six of Crows’ duology, and I really liked the world the author, Leigh Bardugo, created. I’m excited for the ‘Six of Crows’ storyline and to see how it intersects with the ‘Shadow and Bone’ plot line,” sophomore Sanjeeta Pannu said. 

Although “Six of Crows” takes place after the events of “Shadow and Bone,” the show will combine both series and timelines. “Six of Crows” is set after the events of “Shadow and Bone,” but features a different cast of characters. Set in Ketterdam, a port city bustling with trade and trouble, criminal mastermind Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. To pull off the heist, he assembles a team of criminals: Inej Ghafa, an acrobatic spy, Jesper Fahey, a gambling sharpshooter, Nina Zenik, a talented Grisha, Matthias Helvar, a vengeful convict, and Wylan Van Eck, a runaway who’s a master of explosives. 

The books are a favorite among many students. “I liked the character development a lot and seeing the bond between characters like Inej and Kaz. The author’s world building skills are extremely impressive and the way she wrote it makes it easy to picture in your head,” senior Mia Lim said. 

Commissioned by Netflix in 2019, Eric Heisserer, the writer for BirdBox, is serving as show runner. Bardugo was also involved in the creative process and is a creative director for the show. Shooting for the first season began in and around Budapest, Hungary in October 2019 and wrapped at the end of February 2020. 

The main cast is as follows: Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov, Ben Barnes as the Darkling, Archie Renaux as Malyen Oretsev, Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker, Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa, and Kit Younger as Jesper Fahey.

“I’m excited to see how they combine the plots, since they’re moving the ‘Six of Crows’ plot line up a few years, and I’m curious about how that’s going to affect characters like Nina, whose backstory is based off of the aftermath of the ‘Shadow and Bone’ plot. I’m a little nervous about aging up the characters in the show because the actors are slightly older than the characters in the book since a lot of the awe derived from the Crows’ achievements stemmed from the fact that they are all between the ages of 15 to 18,” sophomore Jada Hembrador said.