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The highly anticipated second instalment of The Shadow & Bone of Leigh Bardugo’s book series, Shadow & Bone Season 2 brought the second and third novels of the Grisha Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, and even the King of Scars Duology to life. It is now accessible on Netflix. When the program’s first season debuted on Netflix in April 2021, it immediately became popular with viewers.

The show’s first season had eight episodes under the direction of showrunner Eric Heisserer, and Shadow & Bone Season 2 has been renewed for another eight episodes, serving as a direct sequel to season 1. But did the fan’s hopes for a faithful adaption come true? Season 2 was crowded and loaded with many things that were quite a mess because it only had eight episodes, making it difficult for the entire season to include all these stories.

The first few episodes had much potential, and things were progressing smoothly. Regrettably, the rest of the season was a jumble. They attempted to jampack too much into each episode since too many narratives were taken on simultaneously.

Additionally, Shadow & Bone Season 2 revealed too much information too soon, detracting from the developing tension and mystery. Another deterrent was the introduction of too many new characters and the need for sufficient development time for them. Because Netflix hasn’t yet revealed the release date for season 3, it’s plausible that they wanted every narrative to fit in, which didn’t go that smoothly.

Shadow & Bone Season 2
Shadow & Bone Season 2

Shadow & Bone Season 2 Cast

Shadow & Bone Season 2 has esteemed Jessie Mei Li reprising her role of Alina Starkov, while the talented Ben Barnes is portraying General Aleksander Kirigan/The Darkling continuing from the first season. Not much has changed cast-wise as recurring characters are played by the same actors from season 1, only the revealed characters got new faces as it should be.

Archie Renaux is portraying Malyen ‘Mal’ Oretsov, while Freddy Carter plays Kaz Brekker, alongside Amita Suman who is donning the robes of Inej Ghafa. Additionally, Kit Young as Jesper Fahey, Danielle Gilligan as Nina Zenik, Calahan Skogman as Matthias Helvar, and Patrick as Nikolai Lantsov are the most notable cast members. Apart from them, there are many more as the showrunners decided to unleash a whole bunch of characters in the fray.

Starting Of The War

The rivalry between Kirigan and Alina comes to a head in Shadow & Bone Season 2 as they both work for their individual goals while waiting for the right moment to strike. While Kirigan hopes to regain Grisha’s favor and take over Ravka, Alina’s success depends on her finding the rare sea whip and firebird. The outcome of their conflict, which pits the powers of light and darkness against one another, will determine the fate of their world. Ultimately, the winner is not known until the very last second.

With an unwavering determination to liberate her beloved Matthias from the infamous Fjerdan prison known as Hellgate, Nina joins forces with Kaz to ensure their success. Although their adventures may seem disconnected from the rest, the ongoing journey of these characters is nothing short of captivating. It will unquestionably leave you on the edge of your seat.

Darkling creates a new weapon known as Nichevo’ya, made from shadow. Grisha isn’t supposed to use Merzost. Using most to create Nichevo’ya comes at a cost or sacrifice to The Darkling, as the abominable usage of the small sciences goes against its means. In the last two books of the series, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising, Nichevo’ya plays a significant role and poses a severe threat to Alina’s army.

Nikolai’s Grand Appearance

The initial episode of Shadow & Bone Season 2 presented a significant revelation that caught my attention. This series showcases Nikolai, who goes by the name of Sturmhond, enlisting the services of Kerch merchant Dreesen, portrayed by Sean Gilder, to assemble a crew and apprehend the Sun Summoner. This particular plotline was created for the show and did not feature in the novels. In the books, Nikolai collaborates with the Crows in Rule of Wolves and the Crooked Kingdom. However, the program is delving into and expanding their relationship earlier on.

This must have been a strategy to push through with the plan of jam-packing all the narratives they could in one season. Although, it serves as a different perspective for the audience as they might find the difference from the books rather interesting if it will work for the best, in the long run, is yet to be seen.

Shadow & Bone Season 2 Trailer

Alliances & Revelations

The Crows and Alina team up again in Shadow & Bone Season 2 to embark on an exciting new adventure. With Tolya and Zoya, they set out to locate the legendary sword, Neshyenyer. This sword, crafted by Sankta Neyar, is believed to possess the power to penetrate the darkness, making it an invaluable weapon against the Nichevo’ya. Although Sankta Neyar and Neshyenyer may not be well-known figures in the Grishaverse, they are both referenced in The Lives of Saints, a book that Alina studies throughout the novel. The heist to acquire the sword is a unique addition to the show.

Throughout Shadow & Bone Season 2, Alina’s objective is to locate the remaining two legendary creatures linked to Ilya Morozova. These three creatures – the Stag, the Sea Whip, and the Firebird – are believed to be the most powerful amplifiers, amplifying Grisha’s strength. Having bonded with the Stag’s antlers, Alina is convinced that acquiring amplifiers from the other two creatures will give her the power to dismantle the Shadow Fold single-handedly.

Further down in the season, Alina uncovers a surprising truth about the Firebird. Contrary to her previous beliefs, it is not a physical being but rather a lineage that the descendants of Morozova’s offspring have inherited. This newfound knowledge is divulged to her by Baghra, who is revealed to be Morozova’s daughter and has intimate knowledge of the Firebird.

Should You Watch Shadow & Bone Season 2?

Well, in the beginning, I bashed Shadow & Bone Season 2 for trying to push so many narratives together, but overall, it’s a fantastic 8 episodes to watch. The jumbled-up storyline can be forgiven somewhat for the flawless direction of exciting sequences and amazing cinematography involving vivid imagery.

The actors involved gave convincing performances to keep the show engaging, especially Jessie Mei Li and Ben Barnes were stunning in their respective roles. Sean Gilder’s portrayal of Nikolai is a treat for the eyes. The other actors also performed well given the severe complexity of a complicated narrative depiction.

So, I would definitely recommend Shadow & Bone Season 2 to the readers. It is a fun show that is definitely worth your time. And, if you haven’t watched season 1 yet start with it first as Shadow & Bone Season 2 is the direct sequel to it. Furthermore, if you want to gain some prior knowledge on it before starting to watch do read our review on Shadow & Bone Season 1!


An Engineering student walking the roads of life by learning from people, environment, and uncertainty of life. Hoping to see the ray of light by crossing the stumbling potholes of uncertain life.

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