Shadow and Bone

Netflix has officially released a trailer for its new show Shadow and Bone, scheduled to be released April 23 2021. The show will be a film adaptation of the author Leigh Bardugo's book series the Shadow and Bone trilogy mixed with her duology titled The Six of Crows, which is set in the same fictional universe. This is a review on her book Shadow and Bone, and later, I will review the show and compare it too her books. You can view the Netflix trailer here.

And here is the official summary for book one in the Shadow and Bone trilogy:

"Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold—a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.

Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite—and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.

As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation."

To begin, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I did not want to put the book down once I started it, and it made homework seem all the more unimportant in the few short days it took me to finish the book. I have heard many people compare Shadow and Bone to Six of Crows, and say that although Six of Crows is better, they still enjoyed Shadow and Bone. As I was reading this book, I tried to compare them as I went along, since I have already read her other series. Although I have not finished the Shadow and Bone series yet, I think I have already gotten a sense of Leigh Bardugo's style to know that the "best" series will depend on the reader's personal preferences. Although I really enjoyed Six of Crows, I think I might actually enjoy the Shadow and Bone series more.

One of the things that immediately caught my attention is that the Six of Crows duology seems to be targeted for an older audience compared to the Shadow and Bone trilogy. The Shadow and Bone trilogy, in my opinion, has less violence and language. I would recommend both series, but I would advise caution for readers who are under the age of 13, since there are some scenes that are not meant for a younger audience. These things include, but are not limited too, drugs, alcohol, sex, human trafficking, prostitution etc. However in the end, the protagonists are dedicated and committed to protecting their people and sacrifice themselves countless times to do so.

Another thing that struck me while I was reading the book is that Shadow and Bone has a lot of adventure, and has more fantasy related aspects than the Six of Crows series, even though they are from the same universe. Due to the diversity of characters, Shadow and Bone seems to focus more on the fantasy-related aspects of the “GrishaVerse,” the name Leigh Bardugo has given to her fictional world. For me personally, these elements make a book even more interesting and obsession-worthy.

With fantasy action, character development and the never ending suspense, this book will surely entertain a wide variety of people. I would encourage people who are looking to immerse themselves in a whole new fictional world to consider reading these books. I can only hope and dream that the Netflix show will do it justice.


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