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shadow and bone by Leigh Bardugo was adapted last year by Netflix for a 8 episode show by the same name. shadow and bone it is the first of the trilogy and was Bardugo’s first novel. The series grew stronger with each book and the grishaverse it was established more like a world. Bardugo has gone on to write several more series in this universe, including tik tok sensation Six of Crows, which was also adapted into a television series. The show was renewed for a second season, which began filming in January 2022. But is the show worth watching? We delve into that question in our shadow and bone check here!
When first published, the book received generally favorable reviews. The New York Times said, “Some fantasy novels treat the tropes of the genre like cards in a deck of dog ears. Others affirm the elemental power of these tropes, reminding us not just why we read fantasy, but also why we read.” Kirkus agrees that the trope-filled story is a bit clunky, but that the narrative is compelling enough to carry the reader to the next book in the series.
In 2012, when it was first published, shadow and bone lived up to teen sci-fi and fantasy bucking the global trend. The Hunger Games it was just before in 2008, Divergent in 2011, Ash in 2012, and The selection, to name a few. If you look closely, another thing these books have in common is that they are very straight and very white. in a interview 2016 Bardugo says: “My first book, shadow and bone, is a very direct book, very white, and I think that is because I was a new author who echoed many of the fantasies I had read”. Bardugo corrects this as she grows as an author and Six of Crows (2015), features disabled, LGBTQ, and characters of color in its main cast.
There are a few key differences between the book and the show, but nothing that’s a deal breaker for truth. stans, like me. I want to highlight some of the differences, because I think it’s important to keep them in mind. There will be some spoilers in this section.
Shadow and Bone: Show vs. Book
The biggest and most noticeable difference is that shadow and bone Y Six of Crows are told in the same timeline in the television adaptation, while in Grishaverse, Six of Crows It takes place three years after the story of Alina Starkov.
The Ravens don’t go to the Little Palace. in the books. It is not necessary, since Alina’s story has already been developed and they have a completely different brand. It’s kind of crazy to even think about Kaz and his crew in the Little Palace, because his story is so different. I imagine they would have planned to steal a lot more, just in case, if the Little Palace had been part of the plan all along.
Alina is part Shu in the series, making it interracial. In the book, she is from a border town of Ravka and is described as white. The actress who plays Alina, Jessie Mei Li, speak explicitly on how she’s relieved that the Netflix show isn’t shying away from race: “I appreciated it because it means people can watch this show, whether it’s biracial or not, and see the racism [against Alina] and, because it is a fantasy, look how silly it is. If you’re sending a message, it needs to be one that’s beneficial to everyone and relatable in a positive way.” I agree that this was a good change for the show. It reminded me of the Hulu show. Little fires everywhereadapted from Celeste Ng’s book of the same name, which changed Mia’s race, giving her more depth.
Mal plays a larger role in the show. than in the book because Alina tells it in the first person. In the show, we see Mal and his tracker friends find Morozova’s deer. He is a more complex and less moody character on the show because we get to see things from his point of view. The scenes that switch to Mal’s experience were some of my favorites.
The Darkling and Mal conversation was not on the page. in the book. This scene adds a lot of characterization to Mal, who essentially blackmails the Darkling into seeing Alina. It never felt like he showed so much common sense in the book.
The origin story of the Darkling is different. Although The timeline it is unclear at first, it is several hundred years before the Shadow Fold is created. In the show, the Darkling’s lover, a Grisha named Luda, is killed by soldiers, and he goes on a destructive magical rampage, which creates the Fold. In the book, he creates the Fold just because he wanted to.
Driver is a character created exclusively for the show. There was no need for the driver in any of the books because his stories never intersect. He is a chemist the Crows meet who helps them smuggle them through the Fold in a specialized engine. They’re not the first people he’s smuggled through the Shadow Fold, and he makes a lot of money getting people (relatively) safely across.
milo the goat it’s not in the books. It brings a much-needed lightness to a dark and serious scene. Milo also brings some humanity to Kaz. He is the real GOAT of the show.
Our review of Shadow and Bone
Now that you know some of the main differences between the program and the books, let’s move on to the review part of the article. Is this show worth watching?
Once again, let’s go to the experts. shadow and bone gets 88% from both Tomatoers (critics) and the audience (viewers) on Rotten Tomatoes. Nothing bad! This educator sees this as a B+, a more than acceptable score. Like the book, people were generally happy with the show. He was praised as “Perfectly molded and exquisitely constructed fantasy dream” Y “a captivating world and characters that could help you become a fantasy favorite.” Some even went so far as to say that it was “close to perfection”
I agree that the series represents the idea of the books well. The casting is perfect. All of the Ravens look exactly how I pictured them in my head when I read the book, and the places where the show veered off I think was an improvement, like casting Jessie Mei Li as Alina. The production and special effects were magnificent, along with the costumes.
However, there are some things that critics and I did not like. Even after having read all the books in each of the series represented, I felt that the world and the plot were confusing: “Just don’t expect to understand everything right away, and definitely don’t expect everything to come together in the end..” So much got stuck in a short period of time. While I plan to bring the Six of Crows The plot in the show was a good idea, it led to information dumps and long exposition scenes: “Packing more than one book of history, context, and mythology into an eight-episode season was always going to be unwieldy..”
Another criticism of the show was that it was a “tropes checklistand melodramatic. These points are true, but for me they are not negative. The reason I love YA is because of the melodrama. As a reader (and viewer), I want all the tropes. They are delightful, and all that a writer can skillfully put into a story is as many as I want.
shadow and bone it’s a true book-to-screen adaptation that has all the visually pleasing elements. Even the places where it is weak are traits that I find attractive. While I wish there were more than 8 episodes in a season so there could be less confusion, the show was such a fun adventure that I was happy to suspend disbelief and lean into fantasy.
If you want to spend more time in worlds like the one created by Leigh Bardugo, check out these books like shadow and bone! You also can discover your shadow and bone character and stock up on some Grishaverse Treats.