Shadow and Bone (S2 Review) | A Must-Watch Fantasy Series

In Spring 2021, I was whole heartedly impressed by Eric Heisserer‘s, the show creator, adaptation of Leigh Bardugo‘s books, it was a masterful use of the source material. The cast, which at the time pretty much only had Ben Barnes as the name actor, turned out to be fantastic. Jessie Mei Li and Archie Renaux (Morbius, Catherine Called Birdy) completely took over their characters in the best possible way; Freddy Carter (Pennyworth), Amita Suman, and Kit Young (The School for Good and Evil) captured my attention as Sujaya Dasgupta (Shantaram), and Daisy Head (The Sandman, Fallen) did; but Calahan Skogman, and Danielle Galligan (The Great) were my favorites. The season sees the introduction of news characters portrayed by Patrick Gibson (The Darkest Mind, What Richard Did), Anna Leong Brophy (This Is Going to Hurt, The Girl Before), Lewis Tan (Mortal Kombat, Deadpool 2), and Jack Wolfe (The Magic Flute, The Witcher).

Last season: Orphan mapmaker, Alina Starkov, discovered she has an extraordinary power that could be the key to setting her war-torn country free from the darkness plaguing it. With the monstrous threat of the Shadow Fold looming, Alina was torn from everything she knew to train as part of an elite army of magical soldiers known as Grisha. But as she struggled to hone her power, she found that allies and enemies can be one and the same and that nothing in this lavish world was what it seemed. She barely escaped the people seeking to control her.

Premise: Now in hiding and hunted across the True Sea, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land but she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long. The Darkling lives, he’s gained a new terrifying power, and he’s still after her. With the help of a notorious privateer and other allies, Alina is determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka by growing her power and slowly turning to forbidden magic, but this kind of magic will come at cost.

Review: It was true when the first season of this show came out but I’ve only read the Shadow & Bone book trilogy. It was a long time ago now so the details are fuzzy, and the impressions I still have of stories in the books was not the best. If memory serves a lot of this season covers book two in the Shadow & Bone trilogy: Siege and Storm.

With the success of the first season Heisserer could have lost his head intead he built on what was already there. Everything this season was plused. The world-building was expanded, the visual effetcs and production design became more impressive; The seamless shifting tone between each group of characters remained and was merged with others when it was needed. I very much appreciate how the angst and drama in the story were ballanced. I feel like more trust was put on the actors because now they know what they can do, so the series is a fun action-packed adventurous fantasy ride.

This show remains one of my favorite adaptations, I’ll rewatch it for sure and might add to this if I ever get to the other books.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

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