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SYFY WIRE Shadow and Bone

New Shadow and Bone featurette teases Game of Thrones-level worldbuilding of the series

By Nivea Serrao
Alina in Netflix's Shadow and Bone

Step into the Grishaverse a little bit early thanks to Netflix's new Shadow and Bone featurette. Not only does the video offer eager fans a chance to get a glimpse into the world that is being spun out from author Leigh Bardugo's books — otherwise known as the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology — but it also gives curious new viewers a taste of what's to come, when the series adaptation is released onto the global streamer on April 23. 

And in the spirit of most fantasy series, the featurette (below) also contains a handy-dandy map of all the warring kingdoms that are referenced in Bardugo's books, as well as the great "Shadow Fold" that separates them. It also provides a clear and concise outline of the kinds of "Grisha," AKA people with the ability to manipulate the world around them, that exist within the series and the differences between their powers. (It's clear, as longtime fans of the characters can see right away, that no expense was spared in terms of this adaptation, giving it the Game of Thrones level of treatment in terms of scope and special effects.) 

Shadow and Bone tells the story of Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), a young girl who's newly discovered to be the long-awaited "Sun Summoner," a Grisha who's able to conjure up light as bright as the sun itself — something no other Grisha can do. Armed with this new power, she takes it upon herself to try and vanquish the "Shadow Fold" that cleaves the Kingdom of Ravka in two, with the army and the King trying to think of ways to travel through it. 

But that's not the only storyline that will unfold when the series premieres, as executive producer and showrunner Eric Heisserer (Arrival) has also decided to include the six characters that make up the heist-committing crew from the best-selling Six of Crows books, though not much is known about how these characters will fit into the series. 

Archie Renaux ("Malyen Oretsev"), Freddy Carter ("Kaz Brekker"), Amita Suman ("Inej"), Kit Young ("Jesper Fahey"), and Ben Barnes ("General Kirigan"), Sujaya Dasgupta ("Zoya Nazyalensky"), Danielle Galligan ("Nina Zenik"), Daisy Head ("Genya Safin"), Simon Sears ("Ivan"), Calahan Skogman ("Matthias Helvar"), Zoë Wanamaker ("Baghra"), Kevin Eldon ("The Apparat"), Julian Kostov ("Fedyor"), Luke Pasqualino ("David"), Jasmine Blackborow ("Marie"), and Gabrielle Brooks ("Nadia") co-star.

Bardugo executive produces the show alongside Heisserer, Shawn Levy (Stranger Things), Dan Cohen, Josh Barry, Pouya Shahbazian, and Lee Toland Krieger.

Shadow and Bone sweeps onto Netflix on April 23 worldwide.