Netflix’s “Shadow and Bone” Review

Courtney Blom, Opinion Editor

On April 23, the Netflix series “Shadow and Bone” was released to the world and is now the number one most watched show in the US on Netflix. This show has been long-anticipated by many viewers who are fans of the book series that the show is based off of known as “Shadow and Bone” and “Six of Crows.” “Shadow and Bone” combines these two book series by Leigh Bardugo that are set in the same fictional universe and creates a new storyline that incorporates elements from each of the books, and a new plot to follow. 

One aspect that I personally enjoyed when watching “Shadow and Bone” was getting to see the beloved book characters come to life on screen. The show follows Alina Starkov, an orphan girl who finds out she possesses incredible powers, and her journey to try and save her country, Ravka, from being torn in two by a place known as the Shadow Fold. Alina starts out the series joining the King’s army with her childhood best friend and fellow orphan Mal, and eventually after her powers are revealed, she is sent to the Little Palace, where she trains to become a Grisha soldier. At the Little Palace, Alina meets the Darking, who is another central character in the show and the leader of the Grisha army. Additionally while all this action is occurring in Ravka, Ketterdam, located in another country in this fictional universe, is housing its own set of villains and criminals. “Shadow and Bone” also showcases the characters from Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows novel, which focuses on Kaz Brekker, who runs a criminal empire in the slums of Ketterdam. He is in a gang with Inej, a spy known as the Wraith, and Jesper, a sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. Kaz, Inej, and Jesper are tasked to find and kidnap Alina Starkov from Ravka for a million dollars. The plot definitely runs thick in this series, with Alina dealing with the threat of the Shadow Fold in Ravka, and Kaz and his gang trying to plot a heist and give Alina away to the highest bidder. 

“Shadow and Bone” allured me right from the beginning, and I was able to watch all eight episodes over the course of two days. I loved watching all of the action that takes place throughout the series. There is always something going on in each episode, whether it’s learning the backstories of each of the characters, or watching the central characters make multiple trips into the Shadow Fold. The show is also very interesting because of the interactions between the six main characters. In the books, Alina, the Darkling, and Mal never meet Kaz, Inej, and Jesper, so it was very surreal and entertaining to see all these different characters interacting with each other, and the storylines that ensued. I thought that these scenes were the best in the entire show, and definitely made the show special for readers of both “Shadow and Bone” and “Six of Crows.”

If you are interested in nonstop action mixed with comedic relief, love triangles and romance, and fantasy, then I definitely recommend watching “Shadow and Bone” on Netflix.