Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why You Should Be Excited For Netflix's Shadow And Bone

Between pandemics and politics, and all manner of private hells wrought by each, everyone can agree that 2020 has been a year like no other. And if you're anything like the rest of us, you couldn't have gotten through much of it without your trusty Netflix account. Beause even as theaters have been shuttered with film and television productions halted for much of the year, the streaming giant has continued to deliver the content the world not only craves, but legitimately needs, these days.

As uncertainty continues surrounding theatrical releases next year, Netflix will keep the content train rolling into 2021, and they'll be going bigger than ever with a new adaptation of the fantasy epic Shadow and Bone. The streamer announced in 2019 that they'd indeed acquired the rights to Leigh Bardugo's sprawling Grisha Trilogy, which follows the ascent of a gifted teen orphan into potential savior of a realm consumed by darkness.

The first book in that trilogy, titled Shadow and Bone, was published in 2012, with a pair of follow-ups arriving in 2013 (Siege and Storm) and 2014 (Ruin and Rising). All three form one of the more beloved fantasy trilogies of the past decade. As reported by Entertainment Weekly, Bardugo and show runner Eric Heisserer recently teased that the ambitious new Netflix series will not be a straightforward adaptation of the trilogy: Rather, Shadow and Bone will feature elements of Bardugo's original book alongside characters and storylines from its "Grishaverse" expanding companion, Six of Crows.

Perhaps most importantly, their statements arrived alongside an official (if cryptic) teaser for Shadow and Bone, which concluded with the release date for the series. And for those intrigued by that teaser, all eight episodes will hit Netflix in April 2021.

Shadow and Bone looks to be a Game of Thrones-style fantasy epic

Now, even if you've never heard of the books that inspired Netflix's Shadow and Bone, there are some very good reasons to get pumped about the adaptation. First and foremost is the name Eric Heisserer, who wrote the screenplays for the Denis Villeneuve-directed Arrival and the 2018 Netflix blockbuster Bird Box. And per that EW piece, it seems even Bardugo couldn't be happier with Heisserer's work on Shadow and Bone, stating, "I don't think I could've been more lucky in the person that we found to hand the keys over to." 

And just to tease those who've never read any of Bardugo's books, while Shadow and Bone is generally classified as "young adult" fiction, the stories within are gritty, glorious, and legitimately epic, on a scale and ambition not dissimilar to George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones

As the "how?" and "where?" of the new series' intermingling of other "Grishaverse" narratives remains unclear, we'll go ahead and tell you that the first Shadow and Bone unfolds in the troubled realm of Ravka, an 19th Century Russia-like kingdom split literally in two by a vast chasm of darkness, populated by flesh-feasting monsters. Into this world comes Alina, a lowly orphan girl, who eventually discovers she's a Grisha, which means she possesses the power to manipulate an element to her will. In Alina's case, that element is light, which should make clear just how valuable she might be to a world being rapidly consumed by darkness. Without spoiling anything more, you should know the tale she soon finds herself the center of is nothing short of magical — and at times, utterly horrifying.

But you can find that out for yourself when Shadow and Bone makes its Netflix debut in April 2021.