Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Shadow and Bone - The Complete First Season

Shadow and Bone feels every bit the adaptation of a young adult fantasy series.  In this case, not only was the first book of the series adapted but a separate storyline about local thieves was added as well leading to the disconnected storylines early in the eight-part season that didn't quite gel until a few episodes into the season.

Our setting involves a steampunk-ish alien world of divided nation states with a giant shadowy darkness of certain death known as the Fold separating them. In a world were a small population are born with magical powers, long ago one of these characters created the Fold and still hopes to use it as a weapon.

Goofy in more than a few spots, especially in its romantic subplots, our main character is Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), a map maker who has a hidden gift making her the prophesized savior to destroy the Fold which also makes her a valued commodity for the politicians and thieves. Separated from her best-friend Mal (Archie Renaux) after her gift is discovered, Alina will spend most of the season with the other Grisha (the magical folk) learning to hone her gift before discovering just what the dashing General Kirigan (Ben Barnes) truly wants from her.

Various subplots involve Alina's training and its fallout, her romantic feelings for both Mal and Kirigan, Mal attempting to make his way back to Alina, and the various lies and subterfuges of a group of thieves (Freddy Carter, Amita Suman, and Kit Young) planning on abducting Alina for profit. Some parts of the story work better than others, but of the glut of recent (mostly mediocre) YA adaptations I thought Shadow and Bone worked better than most. The series has been picked up for another season on Netflix which will adapt the second novel in the series and continue Alina's adventures.

  • Title: Shadow and Bone - The Complete First Season
  • IMDb: link

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