Fans of Leigh Bardugo’s “Grishaverse” book series rejoiced as the long-awaited TV adaptation of the novels finally hit the screens in April. This show probably won’t be able to fill up the void left by Game of Thrones, but it offers something precious as well – a fresh take on the fantasy genre and a whole new Universe built from scratch for us to enjoy.
Loosely based on Shadow and Bone, the first novel of the book series, the TV show introduces us to the world of the Grishaverse that is on the brink of war, but with a threat that is much more urgent – a mysterious dark Fold flooded with monsters that splits the country of Ravka in two, creating devastating problems for people on both sides of the veil.
The main story centres around Alina Starkov, a young orphan girl from the First Army of Ravka ,and her friend Mal Oretsev. The two of them serve in the Army to make a living, but things change drastically when Mal is assigned to go right into the Fold on a ship alongside a crew of soldiers. It is virtually a death sentence and Alina decides to follow him there no matter what. It won’t be too much of a spoiler to say that Alina isn’t just a simple teen girl struggling through life – she has unexpected abilities that are revealed to us right in the time of danger when the ship gets attacked by monsters inside the fold. It turns out Alina possesses a very rare talent – the ability to summon the light, something that was considered to be a mere legend. Yet there she was!
Of course, the story about the Chosen One is far from original, but the world of Grishaverse has lots of other entertaining plotlines and world-building going on. There are the ‘grisha’ – people who possess special powers that can be best described as magic. There are also the people who are hunting them down for being too dangerous. There is also the Darkling, the Black Heretic and the shadow summoner, who created the Fold some 400 years ago and some believe he’s still around!
The first season also introduces us to the gang of thieves and adventure-lovers headed by Kaz Brekker. He and his crew have a mind-boggling story of their own that may be even more interesting than the main plotline of the TV series. All in all, I can say that with its stunning special effects, charismatic characters, and beautiful world-building, Shadow and Bone is definitely a show worth seeing.