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“Shadow and Bone” shows a view into the Grishaverse


“Shadow and Bone” is perfect for fantasy fans in need of a new show. Even Rotten Tomatoes gives this series an 87% with over 1,000 ratings.

Many critics have stated their praise for the show.

“While “Shadow and Bone” has familiar beats to its fantasy predecessors, it holds its own as a formidable and binge-worthy series,” said Maggie Lovitt, review critic for Millenial Falcon Reviews.

“Shadow and Bone” is one to keep on the radar for fans out there whose favorites are “Avatar the Last Airbender,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The Witcher.”

“Shadow and Bone” is definitely confusing after the first episode. I even had to do a little research about what most of the words meant. However, I love that element of fantasy shows, because once time is invested in research, it gives more depth and connection to the show.

I give this series a 4 out of 5 Lopers. 

There could have been more added to the character development, but the filming and humorous one-liners make it stand out. Also, I wish I had read the books beforehand to understand a deeper sense of the Grishaverse. 

“Shadow and Bone” is based on novels written by Israeli-American author Leigh Bardugo, who is responsible for the “Shadow and Bone” trilogy and the “Six of Crows” duology. 

It depicts multiple storylines of different characters that eventually connect together, similarly to how “Game of Thrones” and “The Witcher” were filmed.

The scene is set in Ravka, which feels like a grungy fictionalized story about the Russian Empire, its neighbors and a little bit of magic. Ravka is torn apart by a big black cloud called the Shadow Fold. Traveling through the Fold is possible, but any spark of light attracts the most horrifying winged monsters who pluck their prey from the ground. 

Speaking of magic or rather a “small science,” the humans who possess this power are called Grisha and are categorized in three different ways: Corporalki, Etheralki and Materialki. 

Grisha are “an elite group of people who work mostly for the military, lending their abilities to struggle against the Fold and the political conflicts at play,” Lovitt said. 

According to the Grishaverse fandom website, Corporalki are “The Order of the Living and the Dead,” Etheralki are “The Order of Summoners” and Materialki are “The Order of Fabrikators.” For example, a Grisha who can manipulate water is considered a Tidmaker and are part of The Order of Summoners.

Spoiler alert at the end of the first episode, we learn that the main character, Alina Starkov, is the Sun-Summoner. A myth about a Grisha who could rid darkness away and destroy the Shadow Fold forever, which everyone believed to be fake. 

Of course, every fantasy story needs an iconic love triangle between, Starkov, her best friend, Mal Oretsev, and the devilishly handsome General Kirigan. For those opposed to love, do not fret, the series also offers The Dregs, also known as the Crows. They give off a big “Peaky Blinders” vibe. 

The Crows are a gang of thieves who operate out of Ketterdam, a very grimy city with some seriously grimy money-hungry people. The gang features leader Kaz Brekker who can not be touched for reasons left untold until the end. His accomplices are Inej Ghafa, a knife-throwing assassin, and Jesper Fahey, a very witty sharpshooter.

Overall, I binged this show in about four days, which says a lot since each episode is an hour long. Even different reviews from Rolling Stones and IGN applaud Netflix for making this series their own while still including elements from the books. I highly recommend this story to anyone who is a fanatic for fantasy dystopian shows.

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