Netflix is delivering one of the most anticipated book-to-screen adaptations, but does Shadow and Bone live up to expectations?
In Shadow and Bone, adapted from Leigh Bardugo’s trilogy of the same name, we are transported to Ravka, a country torn in half by a cloud of darkness known as the fold. On the south side of Ravka in Shu Han, we are introduced to a young orphan Alina Stakov (Jessie Mei Li) and her best friend Malyen Oretsev (Archie Renaux).
Moving forward to present time, Alina is in the first army as a Cartographer, along with Malyen who is a tracker. When the pair are separated, Alina sets a plan in motion to ensure the duo stay together.
With Malyen on track to enter the fold, what happens next will change Alina’s life forever as she unleashes an extraordinarily rare power that could be the key to setting the entire country free. Torn from everything she knows, Alina trains as part of an elite army of magical soldiers known as Grisha.
Through the eight one-hour episodes, Alina comes into contact with General Kirigan (Ben Barnes), who mentors her to hone her power which could save the kingdom.
The adaptation, penned by Eric Heisserer, also includes a crew of charismatic criminals under leader Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter), knife-wielder Inej Ghafa (Amita Suman), and sharp-shooter Jesper Fahey (Kit Young), who book fans will know from the Six of Crows duology. I can’t reveal too much more about how they fit in, but fans needn’t be worried about it messing up the timeline.
The fresh-faced cast delivers memorable performances all round as they bring these characters to life, and it’s honestly hard to single anyone out.
Full of magic and intrigue, Shadow and Bone is your next fantasy binge that will delight book readers and new fans.
Shadow and Bone drops on Netflix this Friday, 23 April.