Shadow and Bone author admits ‘strange’ reaction to Netflix’s Grishaverse adaptation

Shadow and Bone: Netflix release trailer for new series

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Netflix could have yet another smash hit on their hands after the first season of Shadow and Bone was finally released last weekend. Fantasy author Leigh Bardugo has opened up to Express.co.uk about the streaming giant’s ambitious adaptation of her debut novel.

Leigh Bardugo has revealed her first reactions to Netflix’s brand new live action adaptation of her wildly popular Grishaverse novels, Shadow and Bone.

All eight episodes of the new fantasy drama were released last Friday to wide acclaim from diehard fans and newcomers alike.

Season one introduced subscribers to Alina Starkov (played by Jessie Mei Li), a young soldier in the Kingdom of Ravka who embarks on a perilous quest after discovering rare magical abilities.

Series creator Eric Heisserer has crafted a stunningly accurate rendition of the Grishaverse whilst providing some fresh takes on the source material.

However, the showrunner’s respect for Bardugo’s original novels didn’t make the process of bringing her characters to life on screen any less bizarre for the bestselling author.

She admitted to Express.co.uk: “Strange. It’s been a strange and extraordinary journey.”

The writer was also along for the ride as an executive producer for Shadow and Bone, and was fully involved during the casting, writing and filming stages of the series.

Bardugo added: “I’ve been lucky enough to be fairly involved in the process from early on so there haven’t been a lot of shocks.”

Despite signing off on newcomer Jessie Mei Li’s casting as Alina and spending plenty of time with the cast on set, seeing the first official footage from the new series still took some time to process.

She continued: “But I have to admit when I finally saw the trailer, and saw all of these characters come together, the music, the special effects, it was really the first moment that I understood this was really happening.

“Despite having visited set, despite having walked the streets of Ketterdam and visited the Shadow Fold at that point, it hadn’t really sunk in.”

Shadow and Bone smartly utilises real life sets and locations to fully bring the world of Ravka to life in the most authentic and immersive way possible.

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Additionally, some stunning visual effects are used in order to create Alina and the rest of the Grishas’ elemental abilities, as well as the sinister Shadow Fold and its gruesome inhabitants.

Hollywood costume designer Wendy Partridge was also on board to ensure Grishaverse fans could instantly recognise their favourite characters from Bardugo’s books.

Having witnessed much of production first hand, including spending time with Li, Ben Barnes, Freddy Carter and the rest of the cast, it still took seeing the first trailer for Leigh Bardugo to fully comprehend Netflix’s massive undertaking.

Finally, she added: “It’s only now that I’m beginning to really understand that we did it and this is happening.”

Thankfully, not only have Netflix successfully brought the first chapter of Alina’s story to screens, Shadow and Bone debuted to immensely satisfied reactions from fans of the original series.

Although the streaming platform is keeping official announcements under wraps for now, a second season order is looking more and more likely.

With two more books in the Shadow and Bone trilogy, as well as the Six of Crows duology, still left to cover, Shadow and Bone may quickly become Netflix’s next long running hit.

Shadow and Bone season 1 is available to stream on Netflix.


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