Netflix’s new fantasy series Shadow and Bone premieres on 23 April, and if you’re not familiar with the books the show is based on, this short guide will help.
We understand, the whos and whats of the Grishaverse can be overwhelming at first glance. But fret not, we’re here to get you up to speed.
Let’s Start With The Basics – The Story
Shadow and Bone finds us in a war-torn world where lowly soldier and orphan Alina Starkov has just unleashed an extraordinary power that could be the key to setting her country free. With the monstrous threat of the Shadow Fold always looming in the horizon, Alina is torn away from everything and everyone she knows to train with an elite army of magical soldiers known as the Grisha.
But as she struggles to hone her power, she discovers that allies and enemies can be one and the same, and that nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. There are dangerous forces at play, and it will take more than magic to survive.
So… What Is A Shadow Fold?
The Shadow Fold is a swath of unnatural, impenetrable darkness crawling with winged monsters called Volcra that feast on human flesh. Also known as The Unsea or simply The Fold, it was accidentally created by an infamous Shadow Summoner known as the Black Heretic. Upon its creation, the wall of darkness split a country named Ravka into East and West Ravka, leading to years of conflict and turmoil.
Who’s Who In The Series
General Kirigan: Played by Ben Barnes, General Kirigan is also known as the Darkling to his enemies. He is the head of the Second Army and determined to see his nation freed from the Shadow Fold, no matter the cost.
Alina Starkov: Played by Jessie Mei Li, Alina is an orphan and soldier in the First Army whose latent power may be the key to setting her troubled country free.
Malyen Orstev: Played by Archie Renaux, Mal is Alina’s childhood friend and a gifted tracker in the First Army whose world unravels after a brutal ambush in the Shadow Fold.
Kaz Brekker: Played by Freddy Carter, Kaz is a rising star in the criminal underworld and leader of the Crows with a gift for unlikely schemes and a thirst for vengeance.
Inej Ghafa: Played by Amita Suman, Inej is a key member of Kaz’s gang. Known as the Wraith, she is a dangerous spy with a troubled past and impeccable knife skills.
Jesper Fahey: Played by Kit Young, Jesper is a gambler and sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager – even one as risky as running with Kaz.
For the rest of Shadow and Bone, catch it when it premieres 23 April on Netflix.