The world of Shadow and Bone is dangerous, beautiful, and rich with magic and intrigue. And the first trailer for the upcoming Netflix series showcases all of those traits. Based on Leigh Bardugo’s popular YA fantasy novels, Shadow and Bone tells an epic story. And we got our first peek at how it translates to the screen in the first trailer for the series, which debuted during IGN Fan Fest. Honestly, I still have goose bumps.
“The Shadow Fold. A scar on the map.”
Here’s the gist for those unfamiliar with Shadow and Bone. The Shadow Fold, a swath of darkness through the land that is all but impossible to cross without your crew suffering severe casualties, mars the country of Ravka. In the trailer, we see Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) go into the Shadow Fold on a vessel. Her friend Mal (Archie Renaux) is concerned, as he should be. But then in the Fold, something strange happens. Light emanates through the darkness and holds back the volcra, the winged beasts we see attacking the soldiers. General Kirigan, a.k.a. the Darkling (Ben Barnes), looks floored. He demands a very confused Alina’s presence. Her gift is the key to saving the world, basically.
It’s a chosen one story in some ways… but it’s not what you expect.
I love how the trailer showed at least a few moments straight from the books. For example, when the Darkling asks Alina what she is, and when they’re in court in front of the king and queen demonstrating Alina’s gift. It’s just how I pictured those scenes. And though we only peek at the Grisha costumes, known as kefta, they look positively intricate and rich.
The characters from the Six of Crows duology briefly appear as well (the Netflix series is pulling from five books). I’ll be curious to see how Kaz (Freddy Carter), Jesper (Kit Young), and Inej (Amita Suman) fit into Alina’s story. In the books, that trio’s tale happens a couple years after Alina’s is over, so they’re moving that up for the series.
If you’re intrigued and want to know more about the world of Shadow and Bone, we have an explainer just for you. Shadow and Bone premieres on Netflix on April 23, 2021.
Amy Ratcliffe is the Managing Editor for Nerdist and the author of The Jedi Mind, available now. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.