Review: Netflix’s new “Shadow and Bone” is engaging, and interesting

SHADOW+AND+BONE+%28L+to+R%29+JESSIE+MEI+LI+as+ALINA+STARKOV+and+BEN+BARNES+as+THE+DARKLING+%2F+GENERAL+KIRIGAN+in+SHADOW+AND+BONE+Cr.+DAVID+APPLEBY%2FNETFLIX+%C2%A9+2021

Courtesy of deadline.com

SHADOW AND BONE (L to R) JESSIE MEI LI as ALINA STARKOV and BEN BARNES as THE DARKLING / GENERAL KIRIGAN in SHADOW AND BONE Cr. DAVID APPLEBY/NETFLIX © 2021

Netflix’s new original TV show “Shadow and Bone” released on April 23 and is based off of the novel written by Leigh Bardugo. The story of “Shadow and Bone” sets off in a world filled with magic, mystical beings and conflict. 

Main character Alina Starkov played by actress Jessie Mei Li, was an orphan child who has dealt with racial discrimination her whole life. This is just one of the ways “Shadow and Bone” tries to display a world similar to ours even though it is based in fantasy. During her time as an orphan, Starkov befriends a boy named Mal who is played by actor Archie Renaux. These two grew up to serve as soldiers in their military. Starkov took the role of a cartographer and Mal as a tracker. 

The first episode takes place when our characters are all grown up as young adults. Conflict arises when Mal is ordered to set out on a mission into a certain zone known as the “Fold.” While many secrets about the “Fold” are unknown in the first episode, there are just a few emotions the audience is hinted towards. While seeing a flashback of Starkov’s childhood at the orphanage, we hear that the “Fold” is the entity that killed her parents, which in turn left her as an orphan. Alina states in her monologue that the “Fold” is her mortal enemy for obvious reasons. This portrays this zone as the central conflict of the show and hints that it is a dark and ominous place.

“Shadow and Bone” also features characters known as “Grishas.” “Grishas” are normal human beings, but have a connection to special magical powers which are referred to as “small science” in both the show and novel. Toward the beginning of the show, Grishas are portrayed as up-tight individuals who are ego-centric.

In totality, between all of the real-world connections, engaging plot and supernatural abilities, this show makes for a good time. The characters grasp the audience, and the writers of the show did an amazing job filling in gaps of lacking information as the show progresses.

Rating: B+