Thanks to Netflix, we are having a great time cuddled up in our beds while the virus threatens us to step outside. The OTT giant is back with a bam to lure us to watch one of the most exuberant shows that has ever been made.
Shadow and Bone is based on the first book of American Author Leigh Bardugo. It follows the story of an orphan named Alina Starkov who can summon the sun and banish the darkness brought by a dark heretic in a kingdom that is threatened by a great black fold. But she was unaware of her power in the beginning and was a mere catographer. To attain her true goal, she was forced away from her old life and true friend – Mal, who is a tracker and saves her all the while. We also got an interesting band of thieves who attempt to abduct Alina over a bounty but end up releasing her for the greater good.
If you didn’t know the story beforehand, you might feel like entering a whole new universe and google about Ravka – the kingdom on which the lore is based on. And of course fantasy comes with its own set of vocab that you will learn along the series and might end up adding it to your personal idioms and adjectives.
The narrative in the first season creates a magical web of events that lead to a very unexpected yet promising climax that will make the viewers want to hope for a second season. The plot is cliché – good evades evil kinda but it is the characters that make it interesting. The protagonist Alina aka played by Jesse Mei Li seems to be the centre of the whole story yet as the series proceeds we find General Kirigan aka Ben Barnes to be the origin of the whole game. They both share a love hate relationship which is brought out too well. Also, the part where Alina is hated majorly for she’s mixed race is something that should be noted. It is a sad truth that even today in the real world hybrids, what they call people like her, are alienated while they are entirely not guilty for their existence. Most are a result of love or violent circumstance. Also Alina’s relationship with Mal aka Archie Renaux develops beautifully. Their journey from BFF to undeclared lover is amazing and touches the heart. Rest Kaz aka Freddy Carter who’s will power overpowers his cripple, Inej aka Amita Suman who flexs like rubber, and Jasper (Kit Young) form a wonderful trio that may just become a cult amongst fictional thieves. There are hell lot of other characters and trust me none of them would disappoint you.
In eight episodes screenwriter Eric Heisserer polishes the plot into a much better version. For those who prefer books, the mutation may seem unworthy but the re-imagination is so vivid and unique that one can’t help but marvel at each frame.
Shadow and Bone is streaming now on Netflix.