Netflix’s adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse premiered in April 2021. Shadow and Bone‘s first season brought the sweeping fantasy story with magic, danger, and destiny to the screen. The show’s impeccable casting made the jump from the page all the more irresistible. And soon, we’ll see our favorites back in season two. Netflix announced that Shadow and Bone season two will premiere on March 16, 2023. That’s not all the news, either. We have our first look at the next season through photos, and the photos show highly anticipated new characters.

Mal stands behind Alina on a ship in the first-look photos from Shadow and Bone season 2

When we left off in season one, Alina Starkov was on the run with Mal. She left a not quite dead General Kirigan behind in the Shadow Fold, which she wants to destroy. As for the Crows, they always find their own trouble. The synopsis for season two reads:

Alina Starkov is on the run. A beacon of hope to some and a suspected traitor to others, she’s determined to bring down the Shadow Fold and save Ravka from ruin. But General Kirigan has returned to finish what he started. Backed by a terrifying new army of seemingly indestructible shadow monsters and fearsome new Grisha recruits, Kirigan is more dangerous than ever. To stand a fighting chance against him, Alina and Mal rally their own powerful new allies and begin a continent-spanning journey to find two mythical creatures that will amplify her powers.

Back in Ketterdam, the Crows must forge new alliances as they contend with old rivals and even older grudges that threaten not only their place in the Barrel, but their very lives. When a chance at a deadly heist comes their way, the Crows will once again find themselves on a collision course with the legendary Sun Summoner. Based on Leigh Bardugo’s worldwide bestselling Grishaverse novels, Shadow and Bone returns for a second season of new friendships, new romance, bigger battles, epic adventures — and a shocking family secret that could shatter everything.

Ah, that deadly heist. If you’ve read the Six of Crows duology, you know what’s coming. Regardless of whether you’ve read those books, I sense none of us are ready to see that story play out. But it does mean we get Wylan! And Alina’s journey will take her into the path of Nikolai, Tamar, and Tolya. We cannot wait to see them all on the screen. You can get a glimpse of everyone in the gallery below.

A handful of additional images was also more recently revealed.

Grishaverse author Leigh Bardugo said the following about Shadow and Bone season two in a statement:

Every part of the Grishaverse is coming into play. We are going to get to see some incredible new characters. We’re going to see characters interacting with each other, questing with each other, fighting and laughing with each other, who we never got to see together in the books. And I think that’s a unique thing about this show. Readers are not only going to be surprised by the way that these storylines crash into each other, they’re never going to know where the next move is coming from—and that actually was a pleasure for me because I got to be surprised by my own stories.

Is it time to return to this world yet? March 2023 suddenly feels quite far away.

Originally published on December 8, 2022.