Shadow & Bone fans spill their thoughts on the series and its arrival to the big screen
We talked all things Grishaverse related in order to set sail for the upcoming Netflix series.
The Grishaverse series is a set of fantasy YA novels by Leigh Bardugo (containing the Shadow & Bone trilogy as well as the Six of Crows duology) that follow along the adventures of several characters in the fantasy world of the Grishaverse.
The books have seen massive success since their initial release in 2012 and are now being adapted into a full-blown TV show. With the upcoming arrival of this Netflix book-to-screen-adaptation, Shadow & Bone, we chatted with some Grishaverse fans on their experiences and thoughts on the series and the new show. Take a look!
How did you initially find out about the Grishaverse series?
@ethereqlki — I first found out about it when a bunch of my friends were sharing around this video of the cast. It was all everyone talked about for MONTHS, and I got dragged into it (which I really don’t regret to be honest).
@langfordoretsev –– I initially found out about the Grishaverse series whilst looking at Lockwood And Co. art online, and it kept suggesting to check out Kaz Brekker–so I googled him and fell down a rabbit hole. The synopsis intrigued me and I just had to read the books. When I finished the books, I went on a fanart hunt through which I found there would be a show!
@sanktaduarte –– A bunch of my friends from a group chat I’m in were reading it and seemed to really enjoy it, so I decided to give it a try and immediately loved it.
@champagnerush13 –– I found out about it pretty recently through some fanart I saw on Pinterest!
@volcrasgf –– I found out about it in 2019 when I saw a few articles about it becoming a show. I was super bored around that time so I thought I’d dive into what the Grishaverse trilogy actually was, which got me started in the Grishaverse.
@tinyfairybrain –– I found out about the series through my school librarian. I think it was around 2017 and I had finished the Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard and wanted something similar so she told me about the Shadow and Bone Trilogy.
@oretscv –– I had heard a lot of hype about Six of Crows and found out it was a heist story, which I found really intriguing, so I gave it a go and LOVED it. I then read Crooked Kingdom and then the Shadow and Bone trilogy and quickly fell in love with the universe.
@maIenchki –– I found out about the books through a friend of mine. He kept tweeting about the show and I sort of asked about the books until one day I just dropped everything and started reading them–for real. I never actually expected myself to get into the books because I have never read a single book in my life before Shadow and Bone but here we are now.
@judcrdan –– I got attached to the characters in Six of Crows and I thought the world building was excellent, which is what led me to read the other books in the Grishaverse.
@sanktazcya –– I found out about the Grishaverse through social media when the show was first announced!
@peterwolfsbane –– I found out about the Grishaverse in a very weird way, actually. My younger sister wouldn’t stop writing ‘Nikolai’ with little hearts around it and she’d keep drawing this one guy ALL THE TIME. Once I found a sketch of Nikolai in my physics book and finally asked her who the hell that was and she sat me down and explained everything about the Grishaverse.
@highonkaz –– One of my friends tried to get me back into reading and told me to start with the Grishaverse series and I loved it!
What about the stories drew you to them?
@wraithsfury –– I think it was really the characters that intrigued me, they were all so well and thoroughly developed and they all had such deep and interesting backstories–it was hard not to be pulled in by them.
@ethereqlki — I really like fantasy and strong women. What really drew me in was the quote “I don’t care if you think I’m a saint, or a fool, or the darkling’s whore. I am a soldier. I am the sun summoner. And I’m the only chance you have,” because it just screams how powerful Alina is. I first saw it when I looked the series up and I was SOLD.
@langfordoretsev –– So much. The world-building was an immaculate escape plan, you can immerse in the books and become completely encased in this beautiful, magical, war-divided land. The characters are an absolute bonus, I find I have much love for many of them.
@sanktaduarte –– I really loved the magic system and the fantasy factor of it all, and I got very attached to the characters.
Well, the first characters I ever saw were the Crows. I saw that still of Kaz, Inej, and Jesper on my timeline and I thought they looked cool and badass and stuff like that but I heard that there was a trilogy first so that was where I started. I’m a big fan of romance and I think it was something about Mal and Alina’s relationship that drew me to the books. I had loved their chemistry since chapter one. One of my favorite tropes is the ‘best friends to lovers’ which explains my huge attraction to them and their story.
I knew nothing about the books. I didn’t know the plot, the characters, the author–I genuinely went in blind. And when I found out that it was fantasy, I didn’t expect much because I’m not that fond of the genre–but jokes on me because it is now one of my favorites.
I initially loved that it was a heist type book (my favorite kind of plot at the time) but what made me keep reading the series was the characters–especially Jesper and Nina, who I saw a lot of myself in.
@ssobachka –– I fell in love with every single thing about Six of Crows. There wasn’t a single thing I didn’t love about those characters, the plot–everything. Flawless.
@peterwolfsbane –– Honestly, it was the fan art. I remember thinking that this fandom had the most beautiful fan art ever and I couldn’t wait to start reading it–especially Inej and other POC characters because I felt so happy seeing myself be represented!
@tinyfairybrain –– I think for the Shadow and Bone trilogy, I was mainly drawn in by the fantasy realm Leigh had built. I immediately fell in love with the world she built and the magic of it. When it comes to the Six of Crows duology, it’s definitely the opposite. I love each individual character so much, to a point where I reread the books once every month.
@highonkaz –– Honestly? I think it was everything together. The way the characters were introduced, the plot, and the writing style of Leigh made it very easy to get into it.
What was your first reaction to finding out about this adaptation?
@wraithsfury –– I was immediately beyond excited, as I’m sure every other fan was, because these books and characters mean so much to me, and to see them on screen will be incredible!
@ethereqlki — I didn’t know much about the adaptation aside from that one video before I read the books, so after reading, I caught up with everything. I was very excited but also worried about how they were going to put the two stories together (from what I’ve heard, they did a great job of that).
@langfordoretsev –– I was hesitant; the books were fresh in my mind and, initially, I was iffy about the casting (which I have since fallen completely in love with). It was bittersweet–you want to see this world brought to life but you also want it done justice. It will never align fully with books and that’s almost daunting. You don’t want it ruined.
@sanktaduarte –– I was very excited to see the series come to life and I couldn’t wait for it.
@tinyfairybrain –– When I first heard about the adaptation–I was excited but also a little skeptical. Book-to-screen adaptations rarely turn out right, so I think myself and many other fans of the books were scared.
@thecrowsclub –– I was so so excited; both the Grishaverse trilogy and the Six of Crows duology helped me build the person I am today–those books literally saved me, so was just so happy to see that universe come to life.
@saintzduarte –– I honestly was super excited when I first found out it was being adapted, but then I was a little worried when I remembered what tends to happen with YA book-to-screen-adaptations.
Well, unlike most Grishaverse fans, I first found out about the show before finding out about the books and deciding to read them. Regarding the adaptation, after finding out about the cast and the fact that they merged the stories from the trilogy and the duology I was a bit iffy because I wasn’t sure how they would go about it, but so far we’ve heard amazing feedback from some screeners which makes me feel very happy about whatever’s coming.
@sturmhoes –– I was way too excited; it felt hard to believe at first, but here we are!
My first reaction was shock, like “Oh my god they’re making an adaptation?!” which was quickly followed by a “I get to see my favorite characters on screen?!” kind of excitement.
@judcrdan –– I was really excited, but then was scared they would mess it up–but after I saw the trailer, all my fear was replaced with excitement!
@ssobachka –– I was sad, to be honest. I know a lot of book-to-tv-adaptations are never as good and I really felt like they were gonna ruin the characters (specifically Kaz). How do you write a character like Kaz when 75% of his meaningful dialogue is in his head? Capturing his trauma and his true intentions is so hard from a visual perspective when you haven’t read the books to know what kind of man he truly is.
@oretscv –– It sounded interesting–and I had heard about the fantasy world building, which sounded so well put together and I knew I had to learn more about it and get involved.
@peterwolfsbane –– I was THRILLED–I literally let out the most unearthly sound ever and even more so when I heard we’d see the Crows on screen too (still freaking out about it).
@highonkaz –– I was really excited and also a bit scared because adaptations sometimes don’t turn out that well. But seeing the cast being so invested in the series as well and finding out that the adaptation will include Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows is so interesting.
Which character(s) are you most excited to see on screen? And which characters are you nervous to see? Why?
@ethereqlki — I’m most excited to see Inej, Kaz, and Mal to be honest. I relate a lot to Inej’s trauma and Kaz’s touch aversion, so I would really like to see them portray it properly on screen. I’m also so excited to see how they’re going to portray Mal’s character in the show too, and let us see his side of the story.
@langfordoretsev –– All of them, even the characters I dont like. Mal and Alina are probably the ones I anticipate the most. I fell in love with them through the books and the casting is so beautiful–I cannot wait. Also, Genya and Inej are characters I adore greatly. Zoya, Kaz…I’m naming them all. Honestly, I am nervous for Zoya; there has been a lot of speculation around her character in the show. I sincerely hope they keep Zoya’s essence from the books.
@maIenchki –– I’m most excited to see Inej and Jesper because I relate to them a lot in a sense. In their own little ways, they remind me of myself. I cannot wait to see Inej using her knives, and Jesper using his pistols. In regards to the character I’m most nervous for, I’d have to say Ben Barnes’ General Kirigan. I heard that there were some changes in his character so that confused me; some ‘changes’ I don’t completely agree with but I can’t really know if I’m right until I get to see the show.
@oretscv –– As a fan of Mal, I am excited to see the show’s portrayal of him and to see things in his point of view. The same with all the other characters–seeing a number of different perspectives instead of only Alina’s like the trilogy will be fun!
@saintzduarte –– It’s really hard to choose a favorite, but if I had to I would go with Alina or Inej. I’m really interested to see how the changes to Alina’s character will play out on screen. But I can’t really think of a character I’m not excited to see!
I’m so excited to see the Crows on screen, especially because it’ll be new content since they made up storylines for them and I’ll get to see a different group dynamic than in Six of Crows.
@tinyfairybrain –– I am definitely most excited to see the Crows on the screen, because everything they do will be a new adventure that we’ve never seen before. I’m also interested to see what they’ve done with Mal’s character in the show as in the books I wasn’t his biggest fan.
@highonkaz ––I’m definitely most excited to see the Crows! I’m a bit nervous about the relationships between all of the characters because they were so nicely described in the books and it’s so easy to mess that all up.
What is something you hope to see in the show?
@ethereqlki — I’m really looking forward to seeing Nina and Matthias’ relationship to be honest. The character development Matthias goes through is one of the best and I’m really excited to see the first moments of him going through that.
@langfordoretsev –– I hope to see Mal and Alina’s relationship portrayed accurately, as well as Alina and the Darkling. There is an evident contrast between the two and something I do fear is that instead of accentuating this, it will cater to fans and not source material.
@sanktaduarte –– In the trilogy, we saw everything from Alina’s point of view, so I’m intrigued to see things objectively and outside of her point of view.
@volcrasgf –– Something I hope to see in the show is Kaz and the Darkling engaging in some comedic sort of fight (wishful thinking I know)!
@wraithsfury –– I want them to develop Mal’s character more. I love Mal so much, but I feel like we didn’t really get to see a lot of his backstory in the books and focused on his childhood with Alina, but I want to know more about just him and his childhood before he met Alina.
@maIenchki –– I’m really excited to see how Eric merged the duology and the trilogy. That being said, I’m awaiting a Mal and Alina interaction with the Crows, something I think the trailer already hinted. I’ve been so restless, trying to imagine how it’s gonna happen, how it’s gonna go. I’m also very interested about how they’re going to portray Mal and Alina’s relationship in the show because personally, I’ve been quite worried about how their story is gonna go. I’ve heard a variety of rumors which has caused me to become a bit scared, confused, and nervous.
I want to see Genya and Alina’s friendship develop because it was so sweet in the books and being able to see it on screen will be really cute!
@sanktazcya–– I look forward to seeing the Crows. Since the show is a prequel to Six of Crows, I’m interested in seeing how the friendship between the Crows develops.
@peterwolfsbane –– I’d certainly like more of landscape-y cinematography because the Little Palace, the Slat, the Church of Barter, Ghezen’s Hand, etc. are all such significant and well-written places, so I hope the camera work is amazing and captures all the little details. Oh, and I’d love some inside jokes that only people who have read the books get!
@highonkaz ––I hope to see some of the background/childhood stories, like Mal and Alina in the orphanage.
How would you describe your feelings on the show in one word?
@ethereqlki — Happy.
I’m just really happy to see my favorite characters come to life.
@langfordoretsev –– Nervous.
@sanktaduarte –– Excitement.
@maIenchki –– Stoked!
@wraithsfury –– Anticipating.
@oretscv –– Ecstatic.
@saintzduarte –– Nervous and/or excited.
@judcrdan –– Hopeful.
@ssobachka –– Bittersweet.
@peterwolfsbane –– Screaming. Just constant screaming.
@volcrasgf –– Expensive (as it should be)!
@highonkaz –– Thrilled.
@tinyfairybrain –– Eager.
Based on the content (stills, trailers, interviews, etc.) that’s been released up to now, how do you feel about the way the show looks so far?
@ethereqlki — So far it looks so good! A few screeners said that the special effects are amazing and I really feel like the actors are doing their best to bring these characters to life!
@langfordoretsev –– I have faith in the show. The sets look beautiful. The actors, in character, look amazing–they are perfect. I do have faith in them.
@sanktaduarte –– I have high hopes, the cast is clearly very passionate about their characters and wants to do them justice. Everything looks really good and it’s such an experience seeing the Grishaverse come to life.
@volcrasgf –– I’m SOOO happy with the way the show looks so far! The cast seem to know their characters really well and the backdrops all look so detailed and thought out.
@maIenchki –– I love it so much! The volcra’s are so scary. I remember seeing them for the first time in the teaser trailer and they kind of reminded me of the demogorgons from Stranger Things. I know it’s all CGI but I was genuinely frightened by their appearances. Overall, I have no qualms whatsoever, I really like how the show looks and I can’t wait to see the entirety of it!
@oretscv –– The show looks beautiful and the world looks exactly how I imagine it (especially Ketterdam)!
It looks really high quality and the cast seem like they really love their characters and the show so I’ve got high expectations and high hopes.
@wraithsfury –– I’m very happy with the content we’ve seen so far, I think everything looks so true to the books and the characters–from the little we’ve seen of them–and it gives me hope that the show will be just as good as I wish it will be.
@judcrdan –– It looks very promising! The cast is similar to how I imagined the characters as well as the costumes, so I’m really excited.
@peterwolfsbane –– I think the acting is amazing! They’re all very talented actors and I’m sure this will be the show of the year! The show itself–with all its plot lines now that it’s combining the Dregs and the Grishas into one story–I guess we’ll have to watch it to know how they pull it off!
@highonkaz –– I think with all we’ve seen so far the show looks awesome! The costumes and the locations are almost exactly what I imagined while reading.
@tinyfairybrain –– Based on the content we’ve got so far, I’m pretty excited! I love the whole cast so being able to watch them interact together in interviews has been amazing. Based off of what we’ve seen of the show everything looks to be pretty promising both plot and special effects-wise. I think I’ll have to see the show first before I form any final opinions though.
Is there a particular setting, scene, prop, character, dialogue, etc. that you are hoping to see be adapted?
@ethereqlki — Genya. I’m really excited to see how they’re going to portray Genya because she’s one of the most complex and strong characters in the series. Also, I would really like to see Mal writing his letter to Alina.
@langfordoretsev –– I know it’s canon, but, Inej’s fourteen knives. I cannot wait to see them! Also, the scene of Mal and Alina in a cell–it’s one of my favorites and it reminds me of a song I love–I hope it makes it.
@sanktaduarte –– I don’t have any specific quotes or scenes in mind, but I hope they use a lot of the quotes from the books. They’re all significant and will mean a lot to the readers.
@saintzduarte –– Just all of the dialogue between Nina and Matthias from their backstory in Six of Crows!
@sturmhoes –– I’m hoping to hear Kaz call someone his investment (wink wink) as well as “…greed may do your bidding but death serves no man…” or in general hear the Crows say “…no mourners no funerals…”
@ssobachka –– THE STAG SCENE. I WANT THAT SCENE WORD FOR WORD OR I RIOT LOL. I also hope that they portray the Darkling as the villain he is. I know they’re trying to bring humanity to his character but if they can do that in a way that doesn’t erase the trauma that he caused some of the other characters, I’ll be okay.
@peterwolfsbane –– Ooh that’s hard. I want everything to be done by the books as much as possible, even with the changed storyline, but I think they’d have had to make compromises with that. That said, I’d love to see the casinos, the docks and the barrel exactly as it is described. And I’d love to see all the Crows’ backstories played out. I hope the writers have had Kaz and Inej’s trauma in mind and don’t make them do anything they wouldn’t have done in the books.
@tinyfairybrain –– I’m extremely looking forward to seeing the Helink (Nina and Matthias) backstory unfold on screen. Their story is such an amazing arc so it’s very exciting that we will likely be seeing it on screen. I’m additionally looking forward to seeing Jesper. He is probably the character I relate to the most in the Grishaverse so seeing him has me on the edge of my seat.
I think the Six of Crows duology was one of the first times I’d seen myself truly represented. Not only does it feature two bisexual characters, but also the way Jesper is written it’s clear to readers that he has some form of ADHD. As someone who is bisexual and has ADHD it was great for a still developing me to read about the badass, Nina Zenik and Jesper Fahey. Fantasy books more often than not lack representation in terms of neurodivergence so seeing someone like me featured as a key player in such an amazing book was just surreal.
@highonkaz –– I think there are too many to only pick one 😉
Has the series impacted your life in any way? If so, how?
@ethereqlki — I know it sounds dramatic but it really is such a big part of my life. I went through similar experiences with Inej, Genya, Zoya, and Kaz, and I feel really connected to these characters and I’m so excited to see them on screen. They’re such a big inspiration to me, especially having proper WOC representation with Inej.
@sanktaduarte –– Yes, seeing characters I relate to helped me fully accept myself and feel less alienated. The series has brought so much love and joy to my life, and I’ve made many friends because of it.
@thecrowsclub –– It has in so many ways; I grew up with this universe, and I’ve been through some really shitty things and my safe place always was the Grishaverse. I can’t count the number of times I’ve re-read Six of Crows, and I can’t explain the impact of how the character of Kaz made me feel valid, and the character of Inej helped me to go through life by helping me to see that my weaknesses were my strength. And the cast already are helping me through very tough times I’m going through right now so I’m just so thankful for all of that.
It definitely has, and definitely in a good way. As a student, my will to do anything has been running empty for quite some time now but the show has been a great source of motivation for me. I like having something to look forward to. And the cast has been so amazing, I saw a couple of interviews already and they never fail to make me smile. The pandemic has given me a lot of struggles but this–the show, seeing my favorite characters come to life, it really does mean a lot not just to me, but to a lot of other people who have been fans for far longer than I’ve been.
@ssobachka –– Oh my god, so much. I joined stan twitter for the first time ever when the teaser dropped. I’ve never been a part of anything like this, meeting so many new friends along the way. Just being amongst so many people who share a love for this body of work is so awesome. I can’t wait to freak out on the timeline with everyone on the 23rd!
@sanktazcya–– It’s given me something to look forward to in the very boring quarantine months!
The series convinced me to join book twitter! I also found a lot of new friends from all around the world. Some of them became my best friends and I’m excited to finally meet them one day to go on little book dates and read the Grishaverse all over again.
@oretscv –– I would say so! Reading Six of Crows really kickstarted my love for reading.
@volcrasgf –– Yes! I’ve been able to make new friends because of this show and it’s given me something to look forward to throughout all of quarantine.
@wraithsfury –– There have been some lines that have really hit me in the face because of how much they relate to myself, and they’re like a place where I can go to escape, and they feel like a familiar home to me.
@peterwolfsbane –– It has! While I love the trilogy, I’d say the Six of Crows duology single-handedly made me fall in love with the morally grey characters. I’ve always been a very lawful good or a lawful neutral person but this made me realize I’m part chaotic neutral as well! But all that aside, the writing is absolutely gorgeous and I laughed when the characters laughed and cried with them too. The Grishaverse is definitely a world I will be visiting again and again.
Be sure to check out Shadow & Bone premiering April 23rd, only on Netflix!