Netflix unexpectedly released an extended trailer for its upcoming fantasy series Shadow and bone during a panel at IGN Fan Fest. The long-awaited series is adapted from Leigh Bardugo’s best-selling novels “Grishaverse” and will premiere on April 23.
(Slight spoilers for the books below).
Bardugo posted Shadow and bone, the first of a trilogy, in June 2012, followed by Siege and storm in 2013 and Ruin and rise in 2014. She told Entertainment Weekly in 2012 that she deliberately avoided the usual medieval fantasy motifs and was inspired by the Russian Empire in the early 1800s. “As much as I like swords and beer mugs, and believe me, I do, I wanted to take readers to a slightly different place,” he said. “Tsarist Russia gave me a different starting point.”
The inspiration for the trilogy’s menacing Shadow Fold, Big Bad, came from his decision not to treat “darkness” metaphorically, but literally. “What if darkness was a place?” she said. “What if the monsters lurking there were real and more hideous than anything you’ve ever imagined under your bed or behind the closet door? What if you had to fight them in their own territory, blind and helpless in The darkness? These ideas eventually became the Shadow Fold. “
In Shadow and bone, the teenage orphan Alina Starkov of the Kingdom of Ravka is sent on an expedition across the Unsea (also known as the Fold) to bring supplies for her wealthy patron. Her best friend, Malyen “Mal” Oretsev, is also on the expedition. When the monsters that inhabit Unsea (called volcra) attack, Alina saves the day thanks to previously unsuspected powers of “Grisha”: people who can manipulate the elements as weapons. This catches the attention of Grisha’s leader, The Darkling, who takes her to the city of Os Alta, where she begins training with other Grisha to control her powers. But her guardian, Baghra, warns Alina that The Darkling cannot be trusted, and many heartbreaking adventures ensue.
In 2015, Bardugo published Six of crows, followed by a sequel, Crooked kingdom, Next year. The Hollywood Reporter has described duology as “a mixture of Ocean’s 11 Y game of Thrones. “These books are set in the 17th century equivalent of the Dutch Republic. The teenage Kaz Brekker, also known as” Dirthyhands “, is a thief from the city of Ketterdam, hired to rescue a scientist from a fortress known as the Ice Court. He recruits members of his street gang, the Dregs, to help him, given the difficulty of the heist, and once again, many heartbreaking adventures ensue.
The Netflix adaptation will reportedly cover the events of the Shadow and bone trilogy and serve as a prequel to the Six of crows duology. Eric Heisserer (Arrival) directs the project as creator and showrunner, and language expert (“conlanger”) David J. Peterson (Game of Thrones, Doctor Strange, Thor: The Dark World) and Christian Thalmann, who helped Bardugo develop the fictional languages for his Grishaverse novels, will consult on the series. Bardugo herself is an executive producer. According to the official premise:
Shadow and bone finds us in a world ravaged by war where the humble soldier and orphan Alina Starkov has just unleashed an extraordinary power that could be the key to liberating her country. With the monstrous threat of the Shadow Fold looming, Alina is ripped from all she knows to train as part of an elite army of magical soldiers known as Grisha. But as he struggles to hone his power, he discovers that allies and enemies can be the same and that nothing in this luxurious world is what it seems. Dangerous forces are at play, including a crew of charismatic criminals, and it will take more than magic to survive.
Jessie Mei Li (Last night in Soho) plays Alina Starkov, Ben Barnes (Westworld the Punisher) plays General Kirigan AKA The Darkling, Archie Renaux (Hanna the Gold Digger) plays Mal, and Zoe Wanamaker (Harry potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) plays Baghra, Alina’s guardian and mother of The Darkling. There are also several characters from Six of crows to appear in this first season: Master Thief Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter, Pinch); acrobat and knife expert Inej Ghafa (Amita Suman, Doctor who, The outpost); sniper Jesper Fahey (Kit Young, Effort), former brothel worker and “Heartrender” Nina Zenik (Danielle Galligan, game of Thrones), and former witch hunter Matthias Helvar (Calahan Skogman). Two main characters of the Six of crows Duology will not appear in this first season: Nikolai Lantsov and Wylan Van Eck, son of a merchant and expert in demolitions.
Shadow and bone premieres on Netflix on April 23, 2021.
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