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    Here Are 17 Ways "Shadow And Bone" Is Different From The Book Series

    If you're curious about how the books have been translated, buckle in.

    Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse has gotten the Hollywood treatment by Netflix and it does not disappoint. Based on the book Shadow and Bone, the story follows Alina Starkov, an orphan who has the power to summon light and unite her war-torn country. There's magic, romance, intrigue, thieves, assassins, and so ~many~ ships! I mean, this world has it all. If you're curious about how the books have been translated, buckle in. We're going to Ravka!

    1. Season 1 of Shadow and Bone is incredibly faithful to the first book in the trilogy, but there's one huge change.

    The crows entering a room
    Courtesy Of Netflix / COURTESY OF NETFLIX

    Six of Crows is a spin-off set around three years after the events of Shadow and Bone, but the Netflix adaption brings them in sooner. Fans of the Grishaverse books will be familiar with Kaz Brekker and his gang, the Crows. Kaz, Inej, and Jesper never say no to a heist and impossible odds.

    2. Alina was always from a Ravkan border town, but in the show, she's explicitly part Shu.

    Alina studying a map with The Fold in the center
    Netflix

    In several interviews, actor Jessie Mei Li, who plays Alina Starkov, talks head-on about being relieved that Shadow and Bone doesn't shy away from race. No single show can bear the responsibility of the lack of diversity in Hollywood throughout the years, but a diverse cast and writer's room is an important part of Shadow and Bone. Bardugo, after all, created a military fantasy with nations that have clear identities, politics, language, and cultural textures.

    If you want colorblind world-building, there's always The Witcher. "Toss a coin to your witcher!"

    3. Alina and Mal were always supposed to cross the Shadow Fold together.

    ARCHIE RENAUX as MALYEN ORETSEV and JESSIE MEI LI as ALINA STARKOV
    Courtesy Of Netflix / COURTESY OF NETFLIX

    In Shadow and Bone (the novel), Alina and Mal march with their unit to the dry dock. Mal is a tracker and Alina part of the cartography team. They were always going to travel together across the Unsea (aka the Shadow Fold.) In the show, the crossing is randomized, like pulling straws of death. Alina concocts a scheme to get on board.

    4. The Crows never go to the Little Palace in the Shadow and Bone trilogy.

    KIT YOUNG as JESPER FAHEY, FREDDY CARTER as KAZ BREKKER and AMITA SUMAN as INEJ GHAFA in SHADOW AND BONE. Kaz rolling a map.
    Courtesy Of Netflix / COURTESY OF NETFLIX

    Having read both series several times it feels a little surreal (see: incredible) seeing Kaz, Inej, and Jesper inside Ravka and the Little Palace. Imagine all the priceless things Kaz could steal if only he had more time! At least we get to see his scheming face several times. Or is that his murderous face? They're both delightful.

    5. Mal and Alina's letters are a bigger narrative part of the show.

    Alina in a blue kefta writing a letter
    Netflix

    The show opens with Alina's narration, and the voice-over carries through some of the episodes as she writes to Mal once they're separated. Alina always wrote to her BFFL, but here we get to see them. In the paperback edition of Shadow and Bone, Mal's letters are included as bonus material.

    6. We get to see Mal and his tracker squad find Morozova's stag.

    Three trackers in camouflage.
    Courtesy Of Netflix / COURTESY OF NETFLIX

    One of the best parts about the show is that all the scenes that happen off the page can be on screen! Since Shadow and Bone is told in the first person, we only see what Alina sees. Episode 4 ("Otskazat'sya") is perfect and tragic for this reason.

    7. The Darkling has gone by many names over the years but this is a new one.

    General Kirigan in a fur coat
    Attila Szvacsek / Attila Szvacsek/Netflix

    Call him General Kirigan now. He also reveals his true name to Alina, which is something the rest of us had to wait until later on in the books.

    8. In the show, Alina drinks magical tea to make her remember.

    Alina having a flashback. with young Mal and Alina running past
    Netflix

    In the books, Alina doesn't need anything to make her remember Mal. Even when she's mad at him.

    9. Alina's scar has a deeper meaning.

    Genya's hand touching Alina's
    Netflix

    Alina and Mal are given twin scars on their hands for the show. In the show, Alina self-inflicts the cut while she's being tested for Grisha powers. In the books, she uses her own will describing it as "I'd used up every bit of myself to keep that secret." In the show, these scars symbolize their connection, deeper than blood.

    10. I feel like more people try to kill Mal in the show than in the books?

    Mal getting ready to fight.
    Courtesy Of Netflix / COURTESY OF NETFLIX

    STOP TRYING TO SINK THIS SHIP.

    11. Ivan doesn't *uhm* cock block The Darkling in the books.

    Simon Sears as Ivan standing at the door with bad news.
    Netflix

    But it does feel like something Ivan would do.

    12. Fedyor is more charming in the show.

    Alina talking to Fedyor
    Netflix

    Fedyor was always the nicer one of the Fedyor/Ivan duo, especially when it came to Alina. But he wasn't as charming or as dreamy as Julian Kostov.

    13. The Conductor is a new character for the show.

    KIT YOUNG as JESPER FAHEY, AMITA SUMAN as INEJ GHAFA and HOWARD CHARLES as ARKEN in SHADOW AND BONE
    Courtesy Of Netflix / COURTESY OF NETFLIX

    The Conductor is a character we get to meet out of necessity. He's a mysterious chemist and all-around science guy who helps people cross the Shadow Fold in secret. Yes, there are the sand skiffs which have a huge casualty rate. But not everyone has the means to board them. This show has so many political borders and even though it's a fantasy novel, a magical world doesn't get rid of border politics. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but where there's a war and a border, there will be refugees. Dangerous crossings and someone making a profit of shepherding people across go hand in hand.

    14. Nina has a different mission in the show — but the same end.

    DANIELLE GALLIGAN as NINA ZENIK and CALAHAN SKOGMAN as MATTHAIS of SHADOW AND BONE
    Attila Szvacsek / ATTILA SZVACSEK/NETFLIX

    Since the show acts as more of a prequel to Six of Crows, Nina's storyline gets moved up. In the books, she would have been younger. But now she's a full-fledged soldier, Grisha, spy. This is one of my favorite threads in the show and the books. At least Nina gets her waffles and Fjerdan. #Helnik4eva

    15. Alina trains with Botkin a lot more in the books.

    SUJAYA DASGUPTA as ZOYA NAZYALENSKY and HONG PING TANG as BOTKIN in SHADOW AND BONE
    David Appleby / DAVID APPLEBY/NETFLIX

    Botkin is a fighting instructor that lives at the Little Palace (where Grisha train to be warriors). He's from Shu Han, which is a nation at war with Ravka. The fact that he's there to train is a huge deal, and he's seen decades of Grisha through their training. We do get a classic book scene between him, Zoya, and Alina, but it's brief. More Botkin in Season 2!

    16. We never got to see the Darkling and Mal's conversation in the books, but it probably didn't go like this...

    The Darkling and Mal talking
    Netflix

    I was *freaking out* when Mal shows up at the Darkling's door and essentially blackmails him into getting to see Alina. It's very much "come at me bro" but make it Ravkan. It is always good to see Mal show initiative.

    17. Milo isn't in the books, but he's the real MVP.

    Courtesy Of Netflix / COURTESY OF NETFLIX

    This goat is the G.O.A.T.

    Shadow and Bone is a faithful adaption of Leigh Bardugo's masterful fantasy, but there are a few surprises that will delight old and new fans of the Grishaverse. Season 2 or we riot.

    Netflix

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