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SYFY WIRE Shadow and Bone

Netflix takes on a dark fantasy world in first grimy trailer for 'Shadow and Bone' series

By Josh Weiss & Nivea Serrao
Shadow & Bone

Netflix is here to guide us into the Grisha-verse with the first trailer for its TV adaptation of Shadow and Bone. Based on Leigh Bardugo's best-selling novels, the show takes place in "a very different kind of fantasy world," according to the author. "Think Imperial Russia, not Medieval England, repeating rifles instead of broadswords."

Arrival and Bird Box scribe Eric Heisserer serves as showrunner, writer, and executive producer on this story about Alina Starkov (played by Jessie Mei Li), an orphan and soldier in a war-torn land, who unlocks a power that may hold the key to her country's freedom. To emancipate her people from the looming threat of the Shadow Fold, however, Alina must leave everything she knows behind to join an elite army of magic-users known as Grisha. "But as she struggles to hone her power, she finds that allies and enemies can be one and the same and that nothing in this lavish world is what it seems," reads the synopsis. "There are dangerous forces at play, including a crew of charismatic criminals, and it will take more than magic to survive."

"We worked tirelessly to craft a lived-in feel for fictional lands like Ketterdam and Ravka, with invented languages, uniforms, currency, and artistic choices from set design to costuming," Heisserer said in a statement. "You're immersed in the Grisha-verse when you read, and it's our hope that both new and existing fans have that same feeling when they watch the show. The series has an incredibly passionate fanbase and we can't wait for new people to discover the magic that is Shadow and Bone."

And as you can see in the trailer below, the whole world has come to life, from not just the Shadow Fold itself, but also Alina's unlocked powers, as fans are given a first glimpse at her newly unlocked sun-summoning abilities — not to mention, a trio of characters from Bardugo's Six of Crows duology as Kaz Brekker, Jesper Fahey, and Inej Ghafa all make an appearance. 

"It's a story about the people who have been told how much they don't matter proving how much they do," Bardugo added. "And it's been incredible to see that story take shape on such an epic scale, the battles, the magic, but also the relationships between the characters."

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, Dan Cohen, Josh Barry, Pouya Shahbazian, and Lee Toland Krieger. Krieger also directed the series, which will burst on the Netflix scene on April 23. In the meantime, check out some first look images in the gallery below...