Paige Stegina | A&E Editor
Netflix released the entirety of the second season of the fantasy Shadow and Bone on March 16. The season continued the storyline of Alina as she attempts to both defeat the Darkling and bring down the Fold that separates that country of Ravka with familiar faces such as Mal, Zoya, and Genya while also introducing characters such as the privateer Sturmhond and the twin duo Tolya and Tamar. The season also brought more to the Crows and their storyline both in the streets of Ketterdam where Wylan joins the team as a demolition expert and Nina becomes their official Corporalki. The season provided a satisfying continuation of the story.
The casting provides the characters with strong chemistry. Nikoli provided perfect tension in Alina’s storyline while Wylan easily takes his place with the Crows. The storyline of the season ranged from the Darkling’s decent into darkness, Alina and Mal’s sacrifice as they search for the remaining amplifiers to increase her power to be able to destroy both the Fold and the Darkling, and another heist of the Crows as they attempt to stake their claim in the Barrel. The viewers got a glimpse into the heartbreaking backstory of Kaz’s childhood, with his brother Jordie and his connection with Pekka Rollins. The introduction of Jesper and Wylan’s relationship was a nice counter to the darkness of the season in terms of both Kaz’s trauma and Alina’s journey to destroy the fold. The season took on a broad arch of worldbuilding, bringing the viewer to various places in the world, such as Shu Han and Noyv Zem. The storyline brings the viewers on a whirlwind of an adventure with a satisfying conclusion to certain characters as well as the opportunity to grow the series into a potential third season and beyond.
As much as the show delivers to the viewers, there are certain weak points. At this point in the series, the overwhelming number of both characters and storylines can be difficult to keep straight, especially for those who have not read Leigh Bardugo’s original books. However, even book fans were let down to a certain extent. Although the characters and many of the scenes, storylines, and quotes from the book are included in the show and done extremely well, it is not faithful to the chronology of the books. Even though there is still hope that the third season will produce the content that was missing from the season, viewers worry about the potential impact on character development. In her novels, Bardugo’s character development is slow paced and satisfying. Even if the show was able to portray the scenes well, the quick paced nature of this season potentially lost this character development that made the novels impactful. However, with all the content that was included in the season and all that can still be drawn upon from the books, a third season could easily add to this character development and the world as a whole.
Even with the downsides of this season, it still provides viewers with more of the beloved Grishaverse, with all its chaotic darkness, intriguing magic, and strong characters who certainly carry the viewers through any confusion of the plot. Overall, this season is definitely worth watching and hopes go out to the renewal of the show for a third season.
Watch season two of Shadow and Bone on Netflix.