Why Shadow and Bone was everything I expected and more

Shadow and Bone TV Series (2021)

Season 1, 8 episodes, watched on Netflix

Synopsis from Wikipedia

Ravka, a fantasy kingdom based on the Tsarist Russian Empire, is set in a war-torn world plagued by the Shadow Fold, a swath of permanent darkness separating East from West Ravka which is inhabited by carnivorous winged creatures known as Volcra. Orphan mapmaker Alina Starkov discovers that she is a Grisha (holds power to manipulate matter) who possesses the power to create light, which could be the key to setting her country free from the Fold. Alina joins an elite army of Grisha serving under General Kirigan, the Shadow Summoner.

But as she struggles to hone her power, she finds that allies and enemies can be the same and that nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. There are dangerous forces at play, including a crew of charismatic criminals, and it will take more than magic to survive. 

Watch it on Netflix


Oh, thank all the Gods! That's all I can say. Netflix hasn't disappointed me so far. I did not read Shadow and Bone when it came out, but strangely enough, I did read Six of Crows and really enjoyed it at the time.

It took me a couple of episodes to warm up to it. Ben Barnes as Kirigan absolutely steals all the spotlight, by the way. He does ambiguous and evil to perfection. The type of evil which comes out from the road paved with good intentions. I loved him! And you could see how much he enjoyed playing the character.

Crows were fabulous, everything I wished for, peeps. Especially, delightful Jesper. Oh, so dapper and flirtatious! I could detect him channeling Han Solo a bit.

I would totally watch more with them in the action. But Nina and the witch hunter sequences were my least favorite.

As to Alina and Mal, I felt like they as characters weren't shown to us that much. I warmed up to Alina closer to the end when she actually grew a backbone. Mal was a little bit more interesting, and I feel like he still has quite a lot of secrets. However, they pulled off childhood friends really well. You could feel the ease of communication and camaraderie between them. I felt happy at their dynamics. I really enjoyed Mal as well. He is reserved and capable, someone who molded himself into a strong character out of necessity.

What I also really appreciated was the sheer amount of kick-ass women and no gratuitous violence. Every fight or explosive action was justified and a part of the plot. Overall, I finished the first season elated, and I'm very much looking forward to what happens next. Recommended.

* * *

Слава всем богам! Нетфликс меня ещё не разочаровал в своих адаптациях книг. Как-то так получилось, что я не прочитала первую книгу серии, когда она вышла, но почему-то прочла Шесть Ворон, и книга мне эта очень понравилась. Так что, знала я, что происходит на экране наполовину.

Первую пару эпизодов я ещё в этом сериале была не уверена, но потом пошло очень хорошо. Бен Барнс, кстати, в роли Киригана, крадет каждую сцену. У него такие хорошие злодеи выходят, ребята. Причём злодеи, которые выходят с дороги, вымощенной благими намерениями. Прямо видно было, как ему нравился его характер.

Вороны тоже были шикарные. Инеж, Кез и конечно же, Джеспер. Последний был очаровашкой дэнди и почему-то напомнил мне Хана Соло. А вот сцены с Ниной и фьордовским охотником за ведьмами оставили меня раводушной.

С Алиной и Малом тоже было все сложно. Мне кажется, 8 эпизодов не позволили им раскрыться характерами, а Алина меня ещё и раздражала пока не нашла свою силу воли. Мал, кстати, интересный и динамика у него с Алиной очень хорошая. Чувствуется, что они друзья с детства, такие между ними лёгкость общения и понимание. Вот это меня радовало. Он - такой вот тихий омут, которого постоянно все недооценивают, и который собрал себя в сильную личность из-за необходимости.

А ещё что порадовало, это множество сильных женщин и отсутствие ненужных вспышек насилия. Весь экшн здесь был для продвижения сюжета и характеров, а не для того, чтоб шокировать зрителя (да, я смотрю на вас, Игры Престолов!) Я закончила сериал прям вдохновленной и с нетерпением ожидаю продолжения. Рекомендую.


  1. WHY OH WHY does the Darkling had to be an evil incarnate. Ugh. He looks sooo dead on with the book.

    1. He was a complex character and Ben Barnes nailed it! 😍

  2. I had a good time with it as well

  3. On my list to watch, although I haven't read the books. I think I most always have issues with interpretations of "Russian mythology" in books (even if fantasy) and it just ruins the whole thing for me. So I never gave this series a try. The show looks good though. :)

    1. I gave up on all the fake Russian mythology books, so I know what you are talking about. But there is barely a nod here to beginning of 20th century Russian Empire, not enough to piss you off, so it was pretty good!

  4. I was the same with the books. I've only read SoC. I really struggled with the first 4 episodes but thought the last 4 were much stronger.

    1. Definitely. It sped up considerably and the characters developed nicely.


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