Shadow And Bone: Should You Read It?

Darkling and Alina

Netflix’s Shadow and Bone is a live action fantasy series dropping April 23rd. Adapted from Leigh Bardugo’s ‘GrishaVerse’ collection. The first season will combine two novels of the Bardugo’s  Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows. Both books will form the foundations of the show.

The GrishaVerse aesthetic has been described as ‘czar steampunk’ for it’s magically re-imagined eastern-European elements. From costumes to set design, the Netflix creators appear committed to honoring Bardugo’s vision. The trailer shows promise with book-accurate casting, well-animated magic, and tone-consistent ambiance. 

Why should you read these books?

  • Fluid reading. Bardugo is a YA pro with an inviting style that keeps her stories moving at an enjoyable and easy-to-follow pace.
  • Average time commitment. Audible lists Shadow and Bone as a 9 hour listen. Although Six of Crows is a 15 hour commitment, you’ll be wishing for more.
  • Quality drama. The YA fantasy genre is nefarious for classic tropes and cheesy drama, and these two books are no different. But Bardugo is so entertaining this cheesiness is welcome. It’s fresh farmers market Amish cheese, Swiss raclette cheese, special occasion brie. So grab some crackers and feast.
  • Both books are probably available at your local library. Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows were published in 2012 and 2015 respectively, meaning these popular novels can be checked out or downloaded. 

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But which to read first? Which would you like? Allow us to help…

Shadow and Bone

One main character/narrator.

‘Chosen One’ plot. 

Magic powers are integral to the plot.

Plenty of YA tropes like ‘magic learning school with color coded houses’ and ‘chosen one is the one singular person who can save the world’ and the classic ‘love triangle sub-plot’.

Epic monsters and creatures.

Shorter novel.

Set in the country of Ravka, a nation locked in a multi-generational war with Fjerda. The Ravkans have a strict social hierarchy which values the ‘small science’ (magic) practicers, the Grisha. To make matters worse, a dark landscape called the ‘Unsea’ has cut off Ravka from it’s coastal harbors. To survive, the country must find a way to defeat this mystical barrier.

When Ravkan army map-maker Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) is discovered to be the prophesized Sun Summoner, she is torn from comfort and sent to the Darkling (Ben Barnes) to harness her power.

By the end of chapter 3 you can safely decide if you’ll enjoy the book.

Six of Crows

Team of main characters/ narrators.

Heist plot.

Humans with incredible talents and some magical characters.

Less romance and more scheming.

Diverse characters (race, class, gender, and sexuality).

Tantalizing character building.

Longer novel.

Set in the country of Ketterdam, an island nation reliant on trade. The story predominantly takes place in ‘The Barrel’ aka the city’s slums full of gangs, swindlers, brothels, and gambling houses.

The Crow gang, led by notorious Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter), accepts an impossible job to break into the impenetrable Ice Palace for loads of money.

If you still don’t like the book after finishing chapter 2 then you won’t like the rest. 

The Crows Kaz, Inej, and Jesper
Jesper Fahey (Kit Young), Inej Ghafa (Amita Suman), Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter)

 

Do you plan on reading the GrishaVerse books? If you have, what are your thoughts on the Netflix trailers? Let us know below!

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Morgan Martin

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