By James Rose
*WARNING! SPOILERS POSSIBLE*
In Short: A very compelling series with a ton of excitement, intrigue and suspense. Newcomers may get lost in the terms, but stick with it. Game of Thrones meets...Dr Strange? 9/10
Netflix recently dropped its latest book retelling and fantasy franchise that certainly has some exciting potential. Based off the story written by Leigh Bardugo, we're taken to a world where unique magical powers and money-making swindlers are just some of the key elements. Alina Starkov drives the main narrative, as the young innocent found to have unique powers that could shift the political and world forces. However, her allegiances are tested when she later discovers people are not as they seem to be.
The story's central intrigue arguably is the presence of 'the fold' - a dark clouded wall that divides Central and Western Ravka and swarming with flying monsters known as Volcra. Only Alina's unique powers can completely destroy the Fold; But with every decent conflict, there are others with different intentions.
As with most Netflix shows, I was concerned about the character introductions being too overwhelming and more concerned about the terms, names of places and key features which only book fans would know about. However, as you continue through the episodes, characters and motives become clearer, locations become more obvious and the sun summoner...well, becomes powerful!
For those fans of the fantasy shows like Game of Thrones, but prefer something less medieval and more magical will truly enjoy the show. Seeing those powers on display is fun and some of the key battles are well crafted and very suspenseful.
The door has been left wide open for a 2nd season and no doubt Netflix will give Shadow and Bone the green light. 9/10