Why You Should Watch Shadow and Bone

Scarlett Valencia PulidoStaff Writer

Book to series adaptations are often looked down upon by hundreds of fans. Readers have high expectations that are just not met by directors. But when you have the author actively involved in the production of the show, you know you are in for something worth watching. And that is exactly what happened in one of Netflix’s most recent young-adult fantasy adventures.

Shadow and Bone is a Netflix series based on Leigh Berdugo’s GrishaVerse. A fantastical world in which a small part of the population, known as Grisha, possesses a variety of abilities ranging from controlling metals to stopping someone’s heart. But this “power” follows the laws of science as the Grisha can only manipulate objects and not create them out of nothing.

Berdugo is one of the show’s executive producers of the show. She played a vital role choosing the best cast for this extension of her work that merges her two-book series: Shadow and Bond and Six of Crows.

Shadow and Bone follows Alina Starkov, played by Jessie Mei Lei, an orphan map maker who discovers that she is not a regular human. In fact, she can summon light, and with training, she could become strong enough to destroy the wall of darkness that divides Ravka, her homeland. A country inspired by the era of Czarist Russia. But as Alina is learning to use her ability, she questions who she can trust.

The characters of Six of Crows come into play when a sharpshooter, a spy, and a thief agree to do an impossible well paid job to capture the sun summoner.

All of these characters’ paths cross seamlessly as they follow their individual goals. The good thing is that there are smooth transitions between the two situations going on that makes it easy to follow up with the events unfolding.

The overlap of the characters and storylines of these two books, creates a different yet familiar story for the readers, such as the cast members, who were asked to read them before filming to use them as a reference point for their characters.

And speaking about characters, Berdugo sat with Eric Heisser, the creator of this amazing adaptation, to talk about making the characters reflect our society. She shared in an interview with NPR that as she wrote the first book in the Shadow and Bone trilogy, she unconsciously depicted the fantasy she grew up with, what she called, “the straight white characters.” For that same reason, she encouraged the idea of adding a diverse background to Alina.

In the novels, Alina is just described as a girl from a bordering town. But in this new version of Alina, she is half-Shu (half-Asian) which causes her to be treated with prejudice by people in

Ravka and create a conflicting idea when her ability is the one that can help her country, the one that has treated her badly all these years.

And speaking about characters, all of the actors delivered stellar performances that make you fall in love with the show even more.

If you are into mystery, action, darkness, and a little trouble, you will surely enjoy Shadow and Bone and be ready to binge watch season two, which is currently being filmed. 

Image courtesy of IMDB