Shadow & Bone book series forces show adaptation into the shadow fold

A Show Vs. Book description and apperance of Alina Starkov.


A Show Vs. Book description and apperance of Alina Starkov.

Spectacular light fills the hallowing darkness of the void, sparking visions of barren land, Alina faces sharp gleaming claws which lead to the monsters of shadow, the Nichevo’ya.

Harrowing adventure, mysterious new powers, and unpredicted found families. The Grishaverse is a mystical fantasy world that enraptured its viewers unlike any before. Author Leigh Bardugo wrote the first book in the series, “Shadow & Bone” in June 2012. Since then, the Grishaverse has grown to hold numerous stories including Six of Crows and King of Scars. Following the book releases, Netflix released its own Shadow & Bone adaptation in April 2021.

In the first book, readers are introduced to the main character Alina Starkov who is a cartographer (map maker) in the Ravkan Army, along with her childhood friend Mal as they embark on ag a tragic accident trying to cross shadow fold, an enormous cut through Ravaka full of desolate land filled with shadow monsters, leads to Alina saving Mal’s life Alina discovers herself to be a Grisha. A Grisha is taken and raised in the small palace where they serve under the darkling and practice the art of small science, these Grisha are reverted as royalty. Through exploring her new powers to discover a devious plan within the palace set to destroy her world, Alina finds new friends and love within her new life.

Between the first season of the show and the first book, “Shadow & Bone’s” extensive fandom had mixed feelings when coming to terms with the writers’ creative differences from the book adaption. Some claim TV adaptations could never compare to most originals. These differences caused uproar not only with the fandoms but networks as well.

One of the main differences was Alina’s ethnicity. Originally throughout the books, Alina is known to be only of Ravakan, based on dynastic Russian, descent whereas, in the show, the writers diversify the character by making her half Shu, loosely based on dynastic China. This made Alina’s character more diverse and these character changes made the story more inclusive for a wider audience.

I had really high hopes because I enjoyed the books so much. So they’ve fulfilled most of my hopes and dreams for the series

— Mikayla Salas

“I had really high hopes because I enjoyed the books so much. So they’ve fulfilled most of my hopes and dreams for the series,” Senior Mikayla Salas said.

Most of the changes between the adaptations took place in season two which blends the Shadow & Bone and Six of Crows’ story-lines. This allowed audiences and readers to experience character development for each backstory.

The Six of Crows series takes place two years after the events of the third “Shadow & Bone” book, where Kaz, one of the main characters, and his crew of Crows set out into a heist for a supernatural drug that can control and enhance the Grisha’s powers. The show focus has a strong focus on the backstory for each character and, based on the cliffhanger of the second season, the third season will most likely revolve around the Crows and their story-line.

Some wonder if this is the kind of creative choice the author would have wanted for her books. However, Bardugo is an executive producer on the Netflix series. With such an extensive world and involved character development, most would argue that the book series could not be translated to a TV screen, but even so, the series enthralls readers and viewers alike. The books followed the outline of a hero’s journey from beginning to end, however, this new plot weaves new story-lines that leave readers wondering what will happen next.

“The overall color scheme of how they portrayed the different scenes with the amount of like detail, the selection of detail that they had [was] beautiful,” Salas said.