‘Shadow & Bone’ Netflix review

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Yness Martinez

‘Shadow & Bone’ is now available on Netflix

Yness Martinez, Staff Reporter

Welcome back, the time has come. Like a baby being born the “Shadow and Bone” Netflix adaptation was welcomed into the world with open arms. And like a child, we saw it grow… at an incredibly rapid rate. 

If you live under a rock, ‘Shadow and Bone’ Netflix Original is based on the first installment Leigh Bardugo’s ‘Shadow and Bone’ trilogy. The first season was released on April 23. It covered the contents of the first book, while incorporating some elements of the later duology, ‘Six of Crows’. Read my previous review of the first ‘Shadow and Bone’ book for more information.

Let’s start off at the most important takeaway from this experience, Ben Barnes. The actor played the character of General Kirigan, aka The Darkling, while also playing my heart. So a seasoned, talented actor comes onto the scene to play the attractive, young antagonist, amazing right? Wrong. Barnes’ appearance and general manner made it so difficult to hate him, I was truly in awe. Yes, he may not have any morals. Yes, he may be conniving and cruel. But he’s so captivating it was impossible to let that take away from the desperation I had for his character’s salvation. Congratulations Leigh, you win at confusing an entire fanbase.

Our main protagonist, Alina Starkov, was much different from her book description. The on-screen Alina was represented as a minority called ‘Shu,’ this provided a base for her to be considered different, which was only expanded on as she discovered her Summoner abilities. On-screen Alina was a little less doubtful of herself, or there was just less focus on that part of her character. This made her more confident, while at the same time alienating the part of her character that made her more human.

Now, author Leigh Bardugo and her big shot partners that worked on this production decided to combine some of the characters from ‘Six of Crows’ into the ‘Shadow & Bone’ storyline. If you’re not familiar with the Grishaverse, ‘Six of Crows’ is a book that takes place two years after the last book of the ‘Shadow and Bone’ trilogy called ‘Ruin and Rising.’ Phew, now that that’s out of the way we can talk about how worried I was. How on earth did they expect to mix characters from two different times, and not get confused? Well, they did it.

Probably one of the best decisions they made too. By combining the characters of ‘Six of Crows’ to the ‘Shadow and Bone’ storyline we were able to experience the best of both worlds. Only in my wildest dreams was I able to imagine the Crow’s leader, Kaz Brekker, face off with the Darkling. Their plotline intertwining with the original added a sense of humor and an element of surprise that was missing from the original novel. 

Not to mention the page to screen character depiction. Whoever cast the sneaky Inej and gambling Jesper truly has a gift. The actors who stepped into the beloved characters clearly understood the assignment and made me one happy fangirl. 

Truth be told, I had low expectations for this highly anticipated release. And oh, how good it feels to be wrong. Step into a new world with a host of animated characters, mystery and comfort goats with the ‘Shadow and Bone’ Netflix Original.