Shadow and Bone Review

Shadow and Bone is rated TV-14 by the Motion Picture Association of America.

On April 23rd Season One of Shadow and Bone was released on Netflix! Based on the Grishaverse books by Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone is the story of Alina Starkov: an orphaned mapmaker who learns she is the Sun Summoner, a magic user destined to save her country. The show also follows the story of Kaz Brekker and the Crows, a ragtag group of criminals and thieves sent on dangerous missions. The whole show has a dark fantasy, Russian revolution vibe to it that viewers will love! The world is shown off through some fantastic costume and set designs as well as beautiful cinematography and visuals throughout the whole season. 

Besides looking amazing, the TV show carries on the heart of the book’s story, which, in my mind, is highly important for any book-to-screen adaptation. Admittedly they did change a handful of things, but most of the time that was so the Crows could be included, which I will never be mad about. The show also did a better job of developing the Shadow and Bone characters, specifically Mal and Alina. In the books, they tended to be passive and often fell flat, but they have been given new life in the show. Both became way more dynamic and fought back in the face of trouble. I found the plot more engaging in the show too. I think combining the two books was a very good decision, as it helped keep the action going and the story varied. There was always something going on and there was always something being planned for the future. Alina could be learning how to control her powers while Kaz was pulling off heists with the Crows, and together they kept the show from becoming boring and repetitive. 

For fans of fantasy and adventure, I would highly recommend Shadow and Bone as your next binge worthy show. Filled with epic magic, impossible heists, an engaging plot, and a talented cast, there will be something that pulls everybody in! I will warn that at first the worldbuilding and magic system are a little complicated and hard to fully understand for someone who has not read the books. The show takes a show don’t tell approach to explaining concepts, which helps with the flow of the plot, but it takes a few episodes to understand their magic. 

Shadow And Bone is a fantastic series with the hope of more on the way! As of right now the show has not been renewed for a second season but after the success it has had it is very likely that it will be.

Editor Emeritus at The City Voice | MIPA Honorable Mention Award Winner

I am a Senior at City and I normally write the weekly book reviews! If I'm not reading, you can usually find me at the barn riding and taking care of the horses.

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