Shadow and Bone season 2: release date, trailer, cast, plot and everything we know

(L-R) Malyen Oretsev and Alina Starkov in a study in Shadow and Bone season 2.
Shadow and Bone is streaming from March 16. (Image credit: Netflix)

We're finally heading back into the Grishaverse for Shadow and Bone season 2 this year

For the uninitiated, Shadow and Bone is a Netflix fantasy series based on the works of bestselling author Leigh Bardugo. The show follows Alina Starkov, an orphan who is revealed to wield an awesome magical power as the prophesied "Sun Summoner". 

Shadow and Bone has been away from our screens for some time now, but after Tudum 2022 teased us with a few details, we've finally learned that we're getting the second series in March, so the wait is nearly over. 

Here's everything we know about Shadow and Bone season 2 so far. 

Shadow and Bone season 2 release date

Netflix has confirmed that Shadow and Bone is returning for season 2 on Thursday, March 16, 2023. Season 2 will be made up of eight episodes, each expected to last roughly one hour.

When the show's release date was confirmed back in December, we were treated to a bunch of first-look images for the second season. 

You can check them out below: 

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Who's in the Shadow and Bone season 2 cast?

The cast of Shadow and Bone photographed together on a theatre stage

The cast of Shadow and Bone season 2. (Image credit: KATALIN VERMES/NETFLIX)

Here's our rundown of the Shadow and Bone season 2 cast list:

  • Jessie Mei Li (Last Night in Soho) as Alina Starkov
  • Ben Barnes (Westworld) as General Kirigan/ The Darkling
  • Zoe Wanamaker (Britannia) as Baghra
  • Archie Renaux (Morbius) as Malyen Oretsev
  • Freddy Carter (Free Rein) as Kaz Brekker
  • Kit Young (The School For Good And Evil) as Jesper Fahey
  • Amita Suman (The Outpost) as Inej Ghafa
  • Calahan Skogman as Matthias Helvar
  • Danielle Galligan (The Great) as Nina Zenik
  • Patrick Gibson (Before We Die) as Nikolai Lantsov
  • Julian Kostov (A Discovery of Witches) as Fedyor
  • Sujaya Dasgupta (Casualty) as Zoya Nazylensky
  • Jack Wolfe (The Witcher) as Wylan Hendriks [known as Wylan Van Eck in Six of Crows]
  • Lewis Tan (Mortal Kombat) as Tolya Yul-Battar
  • Anna Leong Brophy (Traces) as Tamar Kir-Battar
  • Daisy Head (Harlots) as Genya Safin

As you can see, all our major players are set to be back in action, though Galliganm Head and Skogman have all been promoted to series regulars, so we should be seeing a little bit more of them this time around.

There are also four new faces on that cast list: Anna Leong Brophy, Jack Wolfe, Lewis Tan and Patrick Gibson.

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Shadow and Bone season 2 plot

Ben Barnes in his robes as General Kirigan in Shadow and Bone season 2.

Kirigan is "more dangerous than ever" in season 2. (Image credit: DÁVID LUKÁCS/NETFLIX)

Here's the official synopsis for Shadow and Bone season 2: "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."

Which books is Shadow and Bone season 2 based on?

(L to R) Danielle Galligan as Nina Zenik, Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker, Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa, Kit Young as Jesper Fahey, Jack Wolfe as Wylan in Shadow and Bone season 2

Nina, Kaz, Inej, Jesper and Wylan. (Image credit: Netflix)

While the series does deviate somewhat from the books in places, season 2 is seemingly drawing from the events from Siege and Storm (opens in new tab) and Ruin and Rising (opens in new tab) the second and third books of the main Shadow and bone trilogy—Six of Crows (opens in new tab), the first part of the spin-off Six of Crows duology. At least, that's based on who's in the line-up, and what went down in season 1.

The summary for Siege and Storm reads: "Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can't outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka.

But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling's game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her — or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm."

Going by what Leigh Bardugo told Collider (opens in new tab), though, it's very possible that elements from other Grishaverse books could be cropping up in season 2. Bardugo said: "There are currently seven novels in the Grishaverse, not counting the short stories. And I don't believe it takes seven seasons to get through that story, because we've created this alternate timeline. But I'm not the showrunner, so we'll see what Eric [Heisserer] has in mind."

Is there a trailer?

At Tudum 2022, Netflix gave us a sneak peek at what we can expect to see in season 2. Whilst this short clip doesn't give much away about the plot, it does make it clear that there's more action on the way. 

If Kirigan's comments are anything to go why— "are you willing to sacrifice that which is most precious to you?— it sounds like the stakes are even higher this time around. 

Check it out below...

At the same event, Netflix also gave us our first look at the four newcomers in costume and gave us our first look at Nikolai, Tolya, Tamar and Wylan in action ahead of their debut in Shadow and Bone season 2.

Martin Shore
Staff Writer at WhatToWatch.com

Martin is a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. 

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.