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'Shadow and Bone': everything you need to know about the Netflix fantasy drama

Jessie Mei Li in Shadow and Bone
Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov in Shadow and Bone. (Image credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2021)

Shadow and Bone is heading to our screens very soon, so get ready for your next Netflix obsession.

Based on the Grishaverse novels by author Leigh Bardugo, the series, which has distinct Cursed and The Witcher vibes, mixes magic, action and adventure. 

But what’s in store? Here’s everything you need to know…

Shadow and Bone release date

Shadow and Bone, which is eight parts, will air worldwide from Friday April 23 on Netflix.

What is Shadow and Bone about?

The series in based on Bardugo’s trilogy of Shadow and Bone novels and her two Six of Crows books and centers on Alina Starkov, an orphaned young mapmaker who lives in the kingdom of Ravka, which has been divided by a sinister barrier known as the Shadow Fold, where dangerous monsters lurk. 

Alina discovers that she has a special power that makes her one of the elite Grisha, and which could unite her troubled land. But, as she becomes part of a powerful magical army, terrifying forces go all out to stop her, while a gang of young thieves and vagabonds cause further turmoil.

Shadow and Bone takes place in a very different kind of fantasy world,” says Bardugo, who is an executive producer on the show. “Think Imperial Russia, not Medieval England. It's a story about the people who have been told how much they don't matter proving how much they do.”

Who’s in it?

Ben Barnes in Shadow and Bone

Ben Barnes as General Kirigan in Shadow and Bone. (Image credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2021)

Jessie Mei Li, whose credits include Strangers, heads the cast as Alina, while The Punisher and Gold Digger’s Ben Barnes plays mysterious General Kirigan, who heads up the Second Army of the Grisha, and Archie Renaux, who also appeared in Gold Digger, plays Alina’s friend Malyen Oretsev, a tracker, who is desperate to keep her safe. 

The wily gang members are gambler and gunslinger Jesper Fahey, played by Kit Young, whose credits include Endeavour, assassin Inej Ghafa, known as the Wraith, played by Doctor Who’s Amita Suman, and underworld hard man Kaz Brekker, played by Pennyworth’s Freddy Carter.

Harry Potter’s Zoë Wanamaker is Alina’s teacher Baghra, Harlots’ Daisy Head is Grisha Genya Safin, Devils’ Kevin Eldon is priest The Apparat, Snatch’s Luke Pasqualino is Grisha David Kostyk, Game of Thrones’ Danielle Galligan is Grisha spy Nina Zenik and relative newcomer Calahan Skogman is witch hunter Matthias Helvar.

Is there a trailer?

There's only an announcement teaser so far, which shows a majestic white stag standing in a snow-bound forest as a voice intones, “You and I are going to change the world”...