Shadow and Bone recap

The life of a mapmaker is changed when she finds out she is the saint her country has been waiting for.


Book Cover

Emily Cardinal, Staff Writer

Alina Starkov, played by Jessie Mei Li, thought herself to be a simple mapmaker. Her country has been at war her entire life and there’s the separate issue of a civil war on the horizon. There is something the people of Ravaka (Alina’s home) call the “fold” that separates west and east Ravaka. Almost no one passes the fold and lives, and going around it isn’t an option. The fold was created by the Darkling hundreds of years ago and can only be irradicated by the Sun Summoner, something that hasn’t yet existed, until Alina. The Darkling is the opposite of what the Sun Summoner is: a person that draws from the darkness instead of the light.

Shadow and Bone, the TV series, is based on a series of books by Leigh Bardugo. The book series is a trilogy and has two spin off series; the King of Scars duology and the Six of Crows duology. In the books, Shadow and Bone happens first then Six of Crows, ending with the King of Scars duology. The Grishaverse, as it’s called, can be expanded on with the ending it received at the end of the last duology created (though Leigh Bardugo is currently not working on any more books to expand the universe).

Shadow and Bone, the TV show doesn’t just follow the story of Alina, it also follows the story of the Crows from Six of Crows. The Crows consist of six people: Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Wylan, Nina, and Mattias. In my opinion, the Crows were the best part of the show. The characters were so well done in both the show and book with a lot of depth. Kaz is insane in the book as well as cool and calculating which transferred nicely into the TV show, much like the other Crows. One complaint is that almost their entire storyline was changed. Some scenes and their background are the same in the TV show, but how they come together, and their goals are very different. An ending scene in Shadow and Bone suggests that their story may be drifting more towards that of the book.

The Crows story isn’t the only story that was modified in the TV show. One noticeable difference from page to TV screen is Alina’s love interest’s character: Mal. In the book, Mal is very unlikeable and was very rude to Alina. This contrasts with Mal’s character in the TV show where he is very loyal and is a better person overall. Mal’s character isn’t the only one that changed from the books to screen. Alina is Shu in the TV series whilst in a book she was born Ravankan. The book explores on how Alina experienced hate because of the fact she was born Shu but identifies as Ravakan.

Despite the differences between the book and show, both are worth the time. A majority of the characters are the same in the show and book. They’re all very loveable characters (excluding Mal) and the story in the show and book is extraordinary.