o netflixshadow and bonelaunched and, so far, is wooing fans of the original books and captivating a whole new audience. The Rotten Tomatoes score is currently at 92% and theShadow and Bone reviewshave been pretty good, with the common consensus that the series has done an excellent job of adapting and modifying Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse trilogy for the small screen.
It's an amazing dark fantasy world that is analogous to our own, with kingdoms and cities in the fictional realm directly inspired by various real locations in our own world, although most of the story takes place in the realm of Ravka. There, war orphan Alina Starkov grows up with her best friend and fellow orphan, Malyen "Mal" Ortetsev. They are so close that they are even recruited together into Ravka's First Army, but during a perilous mission through the Shadow Fold, their convoy is attacked and Alina suddenly displays impressive powers for the first time. What follows is mind-blowing training as Alina is drawn into the world of the Grisha, Ravka's equivalent of magic casters. With her rare powers, Alina has the potential to destroy the Shadow Fold forever and save her kingdom. But there are those who don't necessarily have our best interests at heart and who want nothing more than to use Alina as a pawn in their own power games, or to eliminate her altogether.
VIDEO SHOW OF THE DAY
Shadow and Bone is being compared to Game of Thronesfor its complex world-building, memorable characters, and amazing production, music, and costume design. I likewar two thrones, although,shadow and bonehe doesn't hold the audience's hand when it comes to explaining things. The Netflix series eschews heavy, slow exposition in favor of pushing the story forward, and there's plenty of story. The result is that it helps the show feel smart and fresh, without the drudgery that happens all too often in the fantasy, sci-fi, and comic book genres. The downside, however, is that there are a lot of unfamiliar words, as the Grishaverse has its own vocabulary. For those who are wondering what this or that word is and what they mean, this usefulshadow and boneThe Glossary and Vocabulary Explainer, arranged alphabetically by section, will help anyone master the language of the Grishaverse as much as the Ravkans themselves.
Countries, cities and locations
the barrel-The entertainment and pleasure district of the city of Ketterdam and the heart of its criminal underworld. This is where the Cuervos are located, along with the other gangs, as well as their brothels and casinos. No one born in the Barrel escapes the Barrel.
crows club- The Ketterdam casino run by Kaz Brekker's Crows, aka the Dregs, and the crown jewel of his gang's operation.
emerald palace- The Ketterdam owned by Pekka Rollins and the Dime Lion gang and Rollins' pride and joy.
four- The country north of Ravka. Fjerda is highly militarized and superstitious, so they are in constant conflict with Ravka on the borders. They also hate and fear the Grisha and deliberately arrest any Grisha detected within their borders for execution. Fjerda is headquartered in the Nordic countries.
feather dance- The people of Fjerda.
Big palace- The winter residence of the royal family, currently the Lantsovs. The Grand Palace is based on the real-life Peterhof in St. Petersburg.
the ice court- The military fortress and seat of the nobility in Fjerda. Located in the capital Djerholm.
Kaelish- The people of the Wandering Isle.
Keramzin- A small town in the south of Ravka and the location of the orphanage where Alina Starkov and Mal Oretsev grew up.
Kerch- Kerch is an island nation east of Shu Han in the middle of the True Sea. As the center of all international trade and the main seaport in the world, Kerch has amassed great wealth and leverage to remain neutral in international conflicts. Thanks also to its wealth, Kerch has an extensive criminal industry. Slavery is technically illegal in Kerch, but that doesn't stop wealthy merchants and powerful crime bosses from using Grisha and lost souls as indentured servants. Kerch is based on the 18th century Dutch Republic with some Victorian London and New York.
Ketterdam- Ketterdam is the capital of Kerch and the epicenter of Kerch's growing criminal underworld. On the surface, it's the hub of international trade, but everyone knows that it's Ketterdam's powerful criminal gangs that really control the city. As some say, having a gun pointed at you is basically the Ketterdam equivalent of a handshake. Ketterdam is inspired by Amsterdam and Antwerp with some seedy Las Vegas.
Kribirsk- Kribirsk is a city that was once in the center of Ravka, but is now located on the east side of the Shadow Fold and serves as a waypoint to that side. Once a small town in the middle of nowhere, it has since become a busy port as the last stop before heading west across the fold.
small palace- The home of the Second Grisha Army. It is located near the Great Palace of Os Alta and has extensive training grounds and laboratories for the various orders of Grisha to practice the Little Science. The Little Palace is inspired by the Church of the Transfiguration on the island of Kizhi, Russia.
the zoo- Also known as the House of Exotics, it is the Ketterdam brothel run by Tante Heleen and also where Kaz Brekker met Inej Ghafa and bought her contract. It is known as a brothel where people can meet exotic women, each named after a special animal based on their country of origin. It is also the headquarters of a prostitution ring and most of the girls in the Menagerie are hired servants.
Novokribirsk- Western counterpart of Kribirsk, Novokribirsk was an equally small city that exploded in size when it became the entry point for the Shadow Fold from the west.
Novyi Zem- Also known as the nation of Zemeni, Novyi Zem lies across the True Sea from Fjerda and Ravka. It borders the Wandering Isle to the north, the Southern Colonies to the south, and the True Sea to the east. Novyi Zem is a relatively young nation compared to others and has become known as a haven for anyone looking to start a new life. It is also the only producer ofveryNovyi Zem is inspired by the frontier colonies of America and Australia.
to orchid- One of Ketterdam's smaller brothels.
Orphanage- The orphanage for war orphans and war widows that Duke Keramsov opened on his estate when he returned from the war. It is run by housekeeper-slash-director Ana Kuya. Where Alina and Mal grew up.
The height- The capital of Ravka. It is the political and cultural center of Ravka, where the royal family gathers half of the year and where the Grisha live and train. Most of Ravka's rich and aristocratic families live in Os Alta, which means that Ravka's dwindling wealth flows to the city rather than the people.
Related:Everything We Know So Far About Netflix's Shadow and Bone
the kervo- The second most important and second largest city in Ravka next to Os Alta. It is located west of Ravka, on the shores of the True Sea. As such, it is cut off from the rest of Ravka by the Shadow Fold. However, it freely receives all drowned trade and supplies from the rest of Ravka. A movement to secede from the rest of Ravka and become the country of West Ravka is gaining ground in Os Kervo.
Ravka- The main kingdom of the series. This is where most of the Grisha come from and several of the series' main characters, including Alina, Mal, and General Kirigan. Ravka is constantly at war with Fjerda to the north and Shu Han to the south. He's also dealing with a civil war in the making, thanks to the depletion of the country's resources due to Shadow Fold cutting trade and supply routes. Ravka is the only country that fully embraces the Grisha, making them its Second Army and granting them elite status in society. Ravka is based in 18th century Tsarist Russia.
Radish- The people of Ravka.
shadow dobra- Also known as Unsea, the Shadow Fold is an almost impenetrable swath of darkness filled withVolcraand other monsters that split the kingdom of Ravka in two. Legend has it that the Black Heretic created the Fold years ago, but no one knows exactly how it was made.
shu- The people and descendants of Shu Han.
Shu-han-The kingdom to the south and currently at war with Ravka. Shu Han is a scientifically and technologically advanced nation, though this is largely due to inhumane treatment and experiments on its Grisha. Shu Han is a matriarchal monarchy currently ruled by the Taban family. Shu Han is based in Mongolia and China.
southern colonies- A piece of land south of Novyi Zem and currently colonized by Kerch.
true sea- The main ocean of the world, separates the main nations into two: Novyi Zem, the Southern Colonies and the Wandering Isle to the east; Fjerda, Ravka and Shu Han to the west with Kerch in the middle.
we are jumping- An inhospitable region of frozen tundra covered by permafrost that separates Ravka's northern border from Fjerda.
the wandering island- An island nation north of Novyi Zem and across the True Sea north of Fjerda. Its people are mostly red-haired and green-eyed. Not much is known about the Wandering Isle, except for rumors that the Kaelish people believe that Grisha's blood is a panacea, so they practice Grisha's killing rituals to drink his blood. The Wandering Isle is based in Ireland.
Zemeni- La gente de Novyi Zem.
characters and people
Alexei(Antonin Maskek)- A cartographer in Alina's unit in the First Army. Escape the ship and escape when the sand skiff is attacked by volcras while crossing the Abyss. Inadvertently, he is instrumental in putting the Ravens' plans into action.
alina starkov(Jessie Mei Li)- The main protagonist. An orphaned teenager who discovers she has the rare powers of a Sun Summoner. As such, she is the only one who can destroy the Shadow Fold. Torn between her childhood love of Mal and her attraction to the Darkling.
Ana whose(Elizabeth Horseman)- Housekeeper and director of the orphanage on the estate of Duke Keramsov. A stern but kind-hearted woman who tries to do good for her orphans. Factors in a series of Alina and Mal's memories.
Out of Device (Kevin Eldon)-Priest and spiritual adviser to King Pyotr. He is a fanatical religious fanatic who is obsessed with Alina and her powers, as he believes she is a living saint. Inspired by the real-life historical figure of Rasputin.
his faceVisser (Howard Charles)-Also known as The Conductor, he is a mechanical engineer and smuggler who discovered a way to cross the Shadow Fold under the prying eyes of the authorities by building an ingenious train mechanism across the Fold. He is also working with General Western Ravkan in the First Army to foment civil war.
Baghra (Zoe Wanamaker)- An ancient Grisha of indeterminate age, Baghra has trained generations of Grisha to unlock their gifts. Rigorous, relentless in her training, and wickedly sharp, she brings out the best in the Grisha she trains. The only other known Shadow Caller and Amplifier alive in the world along with the Darkling.
the black heretic- Part Ravkan history and part myth, the Black Heretic is the Shadow Summoner who created the Shadow Fold centuries ago. His name is still spoken in whispers or with a curse.
Botkin Yul-Erdene(Hon Ping Tang)- A former Shu Han mercenary who now serves as a hand-to-hand combat instructor and weapons master for the Grisha of the Small Palace. Botkin was recruited by the Darkling.
Commander Chalikov(Steven Hartley)- The head of the First Army and commander of Mal. A battle-hardened veteran, Chalikov harbors a deep loathing and disdain for the Grisha due to their non-Grisha soldiers always being treated as cannon fodder while the Grisha are uplifted.
David Kostyk (Luke Pasqualino)- A shy and socially awkward Manufacturer who is nevertheless a metal genius and one of the best Durasts in the Second Army. Despite his calm and awkward manner, he attracted the attention of Genya Safin.
sons(Sean Gilder)- A ruthless merchant from Ketterdam who kidnapped Alexei to discover the identity of the supposed Sun Summoner. He hires the Ravens to kidnap Alina Starkov, promising them a million dollars if they are successful.
Dubrov(Andy Burse)- One of Mal's two best friends in the First Army and fellow tracker. A little gullible and slow, he is nonetheless a loyal friend.
Fedyor Kaminsky (Julian Kostov)-A skilled and powerful Heartrender and one of the Darkling's trusted men. Along with Ivan, he is one of two Grisha assigned to travel and protect Alina on the way to the Little Palace when her powers are discovered. He was also tasked with locating the missing Nina Zenik by the Darkling. He has a jovial and friendly personality and is fond of Alina.
General Kiriganalso known as The Darkling (child's legs)- Leader of the Second Grisha Army and the most powerful Grisha in existence. One of only two known Shadow Callers and also a Living Amplifier. He wants what's best for Ravka and especially the Grisha, but it's not all that it seems. His real name is Alexander.
General Zlatan (Tom Weston-Jones)- A charismatic First Army general stationed in West Ravka. He is the leader of the growing movement to secede from the rest of Ravka and make his own country.
Genya Safin (Daisy Head)- The only known Tailor in the world and serves in the Grand Palace as the Queen's personal assistant. She was chosen by the Darkling and given to the Queen at a young age to further relations between the royal family and the Grisha and to gather information. She is Alina's first and closest friend in the Little Palace.
Another "El Spectro" Captured(Amita Suman)- Kaz Brekker's right-hand man and the Ravens' top spy. With Suli training and trained as an acrobat. Nicknamed "The Wraith" in Ketterdam's criminal circles, thanks to its ghostly ability to enter any room and infiltrate any building. She has multiple knives with her at all times. Despite this, she is deeply devoted to her Suli religion.
Ivan (Simon Sears)- A fiercely dedicated Heartrender and Grisha's combat partner to Fedyor, the other half of the Darkling's prized Heartrender pair. Cold and hostile towards Alina, but Kirigan says that's how it is with everyone. Fiercely loyal to the Darkling.
Jesper Fahey(youth kit)- The Crows marksman with near-perfect aim. An incorrigible flirt and gambling addict, she never misses a chance to roll the dice of dreams with a handsome man, but she doesn't miss a fight or shootout either. She is of Zemeni origin and may or may not have strange abilities.
Related:All New Shows Coming to Netflix in 2021
Kaz "Manos Sucias" Brekker(Freddy Carter)- Losin factleader of the Crows, also known as Scum. Young, but already one of Barrel's rising bosses, thanks to being a master strategist, ambitious and daring. Called "Dirty Hands" by some for his willingness to do any job, no matter how violent or dangerous; called the Barrel Bastard by others. He always wears black gloves and carries a cane with a silver handle in the shape of a crow's head.
Rey Piotr (David Verrey)- The King of Ravka is an irresponsible, ignorant and overly indulgent man. A lazy leader who doesn't seem to be upset or even aware that his country is falling apart and people are starving as he gorges himself in the Grand Palace. It is heavily implied that he regularly forces himself on Genya.
Malyen "Mal" Oretsev(Archie Renaux)- Alina's best friend since childhood and from the same orphanage. An exceptionally talented tracker and soldier of the First Army. Recruited to track and kill Morozova's Stag for the Darkling. He hid feelings for Alina.
Maria (Jasmine Blackborow)- An Inferni in the Little Palace and best friend of Nadia. Marie is a bit of a gossip and conceited, but she is one of the only Grisha to befriend Alina. She acts as Alina's understudy during the Winterfest.
Matias Helvar(Calahan Forester)-A Fjerdan Drüskelle soldier who captures Nina when she is on a mission. Uptight, stubborn and unsympathetic, but he also has a strict moral code that he won't break. There is a kinder, more open person who is struggling to break out of her harsh upbringing.
Mikhael (Angus Doughty Castle)- Mal's other best friend and fellow tracker in the First Army. He is resourceful and a true friend, being the first to recruit him and Dubrov to accompany Mal on dangerous missions.
Milana (Julia Ubrankovics)- Heartrender who works at Orquideario. Enlisted by Kaz Brekker to give Dreesen as a gift and is the Heartrender to interrogate Alexei.
Milo- The goat that Jesper holds and bonds with during the first time the Crows cross the Shadow Fold with the Driver and who inadvertently helps Mal escape Camp Grisha. A survivor like the Ravens.
Morozova- Also known as The Bonemaker. One of the oldest and most powerful Grisha to ever live. He created rare mystical and legendary animals using the bones of his fingers. These animals created the most powerful amplifiers ever known to Grishakind, but they are widely considered a myth. In the books, he is also known as Sankt Ilya in Chains.
Nadia (Gabrielle Brooks)- A Tidemaker and Marie's best friend. Like Marie, she is one of the few Grisha to befriend Alina in the Little Palace, though her sometimes frivolous nature annoys Alina.
what was nina(Danielle Gallgan)-ARavkan Heartrender and spy a secret mission toGeneral Kirigan, also known as the Darkling🇧🇷 Beautiful, bold and big-hearted, Nina is the first to create a few chinks in Matthias' metaphorical armor. Nina is loyal to her country and often puts Ravka's needs before her own.
Pekka Rollins (Decano Lennox Kelly)- An absolutely ruthless crime lord and leader of the Dime Lions gang. He rules Ketterdam's criminal underworld with an iron fist and nothing happens in the Keg that he doesn't know about. He will kill anyone who gets in his way without a second thought. Kaz Brekker's main rival. They have a bitter history.
Papoula (Micah Holmes)- A dancer and performer at the Emerald Palace. Former friend and business partner of Kaz and partner of Arken. He is the one who gives Kaz Arken's location.
principe vasily(George Parker)- The prince of Ravka who seems to be just as lazy and complacent as his parents.
Reina Tatiana (Georgia Reece)- The queen of Ravka. Vain, imperious and condescending, Tatiana is obsessed with her appearance and despises those she considers inferior to her.
Podre (Narinder Samra)- A lower-level member of the Ravens and one of Kaz Brekker's messengers.
Tante Helen (Deirdre Mullins)- The owner and owner of The Menagerie. She is arguably the most powerful woman in the Barrel, who will not hesitate to eliminate her competition or anyone who interferes with her business. He bought Inej as an indentured servant to work at The Menagerie and has no problem trying to thwart Kaz Brekker's plans to stop him from buying Inej's contract.
Tofin (Jimmy Clark)- First soldier in the army who travels with Mal to the Small Palace to break the news to the Darkling that the Stag of Morozova has been found.
Zoya Nazyalensky (Sujaya Dasgupta)- An exceptionally skilled Squaller and the Darkling's favorite Grisha until Alina came along. She is extremely jealous and hostile towards Alina for this reason. Despite this, Zoya is extremely brave and will do what is right to protect those around her. She is extremely astute and sensible, which makes her a good advisor.
Alchemy- Grisha in the Materialki order who has the ability to manipulate chemicals and poisons. it's purplekeftasthey are embroidered in red.
Corporalki- The Order of the Living and the Dead. Corporalki can control and manipulate the body on a molecular level, either to destroy or to heal. Considered the highest order of Grisha. TheirkeftasThey are red.
witch corpse- Grishain of the Corporalki order who has the ability to manipulate dead flesh and necromancy. They are rare enough to be considered mere myths.
duration- Grisha in the Materialki order who has the ability to manipulate and transform solid matter and materials such as metal, wood, stone, and glass. it's purplekeftasthey are embroidered in grey.
ethereal- The Order of Summoners. Etherealki can control and manipulate the natural elements of the world, including fire, water and air. Very rarely, some Grisha can manipulate shadows and darkness or sunlight. Considered the second highest order of Grisha. the Etherealkis'keftasthey are dark blue.
Manufacturer- Another name for Grisha of the Materialki order.
Curator- Grisha in the Corporalki order who has the ability to heal wounds, cure some diseases, mend broken bones and restore vitality. It's redkeftasthey are embroidered in grey.
Heartbreaker- Grisha in the Corporalki order who has the ability to damage a person's internal organs, steal the air from a person's lungs, crush their windpipe, slow down a heart. It's redkeftasthey are embroidered in black.
Inferno- Grisha in the Etherealki order who has the ability to control and manipulate fire. They are usually paired with other Infernals. it's bluekeftasthey are embroidered in red.
materially- The Order of Manufacturers. The Materialki have the ability to manipulate composite materials, whether natural or man-made, and are therefore the inventors and creators of the Grisha world. Considered the lowest order of Grisha. Theirkeftasthey are violet
shadow caller- An extremely rare Grisha of the Etherealki order, Shadow Summoners have the ability to manipulate and control darkness and shadows. Currently, only two Shadow Summoners are known: The Darkling and Baghra. The Darkling is the only Grisha allowed to wear an all-black suit.kefta.
Aeros- Grisha in the Etherealki order who has the ability to manipulate and control air and air pressure. They are usually paired with Tidemakers. it's bluekeftasthey are embroidered in silver.
Summoner of the Sun- The rarest of the summoners of the Etherealki order. Sun Summoners have the ability to manipulate and control pure sunlight and heat. At the moment, Alina Starkov is the only known Sun Summoner in the world. Alina can't wear blackkefta, but blue with gold embroidery.
Tailor- A very rare Grisha in the Corporalki order. Tailors have the ability to change a person's appearance, making them ideal for cosmetic or espionage purposes. Currently, Genya Safis is the only tailor in existence. Tailors don't havekeftacolor; Genya wears the cream embroidered in goldkeftasof the palace servants.
tides-Grisha in the Etherealki order who have the ability to manipulate and control water. They are usually paired with Eros. it's bluekeftasthey are embroidered in lighter blue.
Amplifier- Rare and powerful artifacts that can increase Grisha's power. They are made from bones, teeth, feathers and other parts of certain animals. Only the Grisha who kills the animal can use the amplifier. In books they are used simply as props; in the series, they are grafted onto the skin.
crows- Kaz Brekker'screw and a rapidly rising gang in the Barrel, despite the fact that their leaders are young. Crow Club Owners.
The cut- A rare and extremely deadly move that only the most powerful summoners can master. It is about casting shadows or light into a blade of pure matter that can cut through anything existing, both organic and inorganic.
ten cent lions- Pekka Rollins' gang and the most powerful gang in Ketterdam. For now.
Banco- Another name for the Ravens. In the books, this is the gang's official name.
druze- The Fjerdan word for "witch".
Leak out- Fjerdan elite units of holy soldiers specializing in witch hunting. They track down Grisha and bring them back to the Court of Ice for sentencing, but neither sentence has ended in anything other than death. Even more superstitious and fearful of the Grisha than most Fjerdans, the Drüskelle are trained and taught from an early age that the Grisha are evil creatures who cast a spell on humans and kill them.
Ghost- What a Kerch traveler calls Alina and Mal. It's Kerch for "ghosts". But it also means "survivors".
first army- Ravkan's army composed of non-Grisha forces. The First Army operates independently of the Second Army and is treated as the smaller of the two armies, despite having the greater number of casualties. There is a lot of resentment among the soldiers of the First Army for the Grisha.
Grisha- The word for people who have the ability to master and practice the Little Science, what most would call magic.
grishaverso- The term for the fictional universe that encompasses all of Leigh Bardugo's books set in that world. So far, this includes Grisha's original trilogy ofShadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rise; aSix of Ravens / Crooked Kingdomduology; it's himKing of Scars/Ruler of Wolvesduology
Kefta- The long embroidered coats worn by the Grisha army. Each Grisha order has its ownkeftacor.
Merzost- An obscure and forbidden Grisha practice.Merzostgoes beyond the limits of the natural world and Little Science, perverting the act of creation. Only a few Grisha in history have been powerful enough, desperate enough, or power-hungry enough to try.unpleasant.He extracts a terrible price for the Grisha who tempt him, often bouncing horribly. How the Shadow Fold was created.
"we"- A Ravkan phrase meaning "My Tsar". The equivalent of "Your Highness" or "My King".
Morozova's stag- A mythical giant white deer and the first of the legendary amps created by Morozova. The stagare's horns are said to grant the Grisha who claim them unimaginable power. The deer that keeps appearing to Alina in her dreams.
"Moya Zarita"- A Ravkan phrase meaning "My Tsarina". The equivalent of "Your Highness" or "My Queen".
Nichevo'ya- Creatures created from pure shadow by the Darkling and do his bidding. a bite of onenichovo'yacan poison a person; enough bites can turn them into anichovo'yaabomination. In Ravkan, the word means "nothing".
opener-A member of the Darkling's personal guard. They are the Grisha elite. (pl.oprichniki)
Otkazat'sya- Ravkan word for those born without Grisha's gifts.otkazat'syathey are literally "the abandoned ones" in the Ravkan language. It can also be used as a word for "orphan".
"¡Santos!"- A common saying used as anything from a mild exclamation to an angry insult. A well-known phrase used in several countries.
sand skiff- The giant, low ships built by the Grisha to traverse the Shadow Fold. Built from giant shale, it glides across the sand after the Eros fill their big sails with the wind.
Holy Holy- A male/female Ravkana word meaning "sacred". The people of Ravka began referring to Alina as Sankta Alina.
second army- The army of Ravkan composed of Grisha. Although much smaller than the First Army, the Second Army is considered elite and is handled much better. Due to decades of being shunned and feared, the Grisha now despise the First Army and non-Grisha.
the little science- The Grisha term for your gifts. The Grisha have the ability to manipulate and control matter at the molecular level, i.e. the smallest science.
Citizen- Ketterdam City Police.
Volcra- Monstrous creatures that populate and prowl the Shadow Fold. Giant flying hunters with leathery wings, sharp and grimy claws that can poison a person, and pointy teeth. They are said to be blind because they live in the dark, but they hunt by sound and smell. Few of those captured by a volcra escape.
winter party- Also known as The King and Queen's Fete, it's a big dance that takes place during the winter. Aided by the nobility and the Grisha. A lavish feast the Darkling considers a waste of time and the limited resources they have.