• COMING SOON! -- The Awfully Cheerful Engine on Kickstarter! An action comedy RPG inspired by cheerful tabletop games of the 80s! With a foreword by Sandy 'Ghostbusters' Petersen, and VTT support!
log in or register to remove this ad

 

[Netflix] Shadow & Bones

Gradine

Final Form (they/them)
That said, they really didn't play up enough how sickly Alina is before she starts using her powers. Mal comments that she looks different at some point, but that's the most we get. We learn that Grisha become sick when they don't use their powers, though that sickness can manifest in different ways. It's not a major plot point, by any means, but it's got a nice character moment as payoff later down the road.

The Nina/Matthias scenes are kind of a casualty of blending the two stories together. Those scenes are all flashbacks in Six of Crows, but if you've got other on-screen action happening at the same time, you might as well toss them in. As it is they're kind of a C-Plot, but Nina especially plays a major role in keeping the plight of the Grisha relevant for the Crows.

My one real gripe is that they made Kaz too serious. !Book Kaz is definitely the most serious member of the team (I mean, at least until Mathias joins up) but he's still a wise ass and he especially likes teasing Inej.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
I would include college-aged adults as well. It should be noted that the best of YA treats its audience's intelligence with respect; the genre typically isn't nearly as chaste or straightedge than content that a lot of parents might consider "appropriate" for teenagers.
Well . . . yes, but that's not the point of the YA classification. It's to designate stories aimed at teenagers.

You're right, that good YA is equally entertaining to not-young adults as well. It often gets an unfair rap as not-serious fiction or kiddie stuff.

YA, as a genre or classification, is inconsistent with what is "appropriate" for young adults . . . you're also right that some of the stories get pretty racy and/or violent, but avoid graphic depictions of either.

But still, labeling something as YA means you're aiming it at teen readers and you're saying it contains appropriate content for teens.
 

Ryujin

Hero
Well . . . yes, but that's not the point of the YA classification. It's to designate stories aimed at teenagers.

You're right, that good YA is equally entertaining to not-young adults as well. It often gets an unfair rap as not-serious fiction or kiddie stuff.

YA, as a genre or classification, is inconsistent with what is "appropriate" for young adults . . . you're also right that some of the stories get pretty racy and/or violent, but avoid graphic depictions of either.

But still, labeling something as YA means you're aiming it at teen readers and you're saying it contains appropriate content for teens.
And the YA classification is a fairly recent thing. Looking back over the years at other stories "A Wizard of Earthsea", for example, could easily fit this classification while standing alone. Not so much with the sequels. It's sort of a teenaged Harry Potter story with morality and spirituality substituting for action.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
And the YA classification is a fairly recent thing. Looking back over the years at other stories "A Wizard of Earthsea", for example, could easily fit this classification while standing alone. Not so much with the sequels. It's sort of a teenaged Harry Potter story with morality and spirituality substituting for action.
Oh yeah! Back in the ancient days (1980s) when I was a kid, YA wasn't really a thing in publishing. But there were certainly stories that would have fit into the genre, and even have been retroactively classified as YA.

Which, IMO, was a good thing! My local community and school libraries had no idea which sci-fi and fantasy books were appropriate for young readers, and often assumed the entire genre was for kids . . . . boy, I read some stuff that was NOT appropriate for teens when I was a teen . . . and I feel that I'm a better person because of it! :)
 

Ryujin

Hero
Oh yeah! Back in the ancient days (1980s) when I was a kid, YA wasn't really a thing in publishing. But there were certainly stories that would have fit into the genre, and even have been retroactively classified as YA.

Which, IMO, was a good thing! My local community and school libraries had no idea which sci-fi and fantasy books were appropriate for young readers, and often assumed the entire genre was for kids . . . . boy, I read some stuff that was NOT appropriate for teens when I was a teen . . . and I feel that I'm a better person because of it! :)
I have an excellent example of school officials thinking that any SciFi/Fantasy was just for kids. In middle school (grade 7) I found a book in the school library called "The Cabal" by Philip Dunn. The cover looked interesting, so I signed it out. A quick summary: Humans on Earth are suffering from increasing infertility. An alien race is secretly trying to take over the world. Opening scene is the leader of the protagonists, a criminal group known as The Cabal, fleeing after having robbed a sperm bank. Which has exploded. There's a flood.

It didn't get any better from there.
 

DeviousQuail

Explorer
  • The "persecuted mages" storyline does stand up to scrutiny. It's part of the Darkling's motivation, to make grisha useful to the kingdom so that they won't be persecuted. He succeeds, but only by making grisha indentured servants to the crown. The grisha were persecuted in the past, they are now well-treated, favored servants . . . but have no options other than to join the 2nd Army, in Ravka at least. With the disaster in the final episode, it's hinted that the grisha's favored status might be coming to an end, with a return to persecution.
I agree that it stands up to scrutiny in this show (hard to tell if you thought I was saying it didn't or if you are just summarizing the point. Either way we agree.) I just know there are a lot of stories that make use of the "persecuted mages" trope and it often just doesn't make sense. So whenever I see it in media I always worry that it's going to ruin the story for me.
  • The bullet proof outfits are likely expensive, too expensive to "waste" on the 2nd Army soldiers.
No doubt. It also emphasizes the difference in privilege the Grisha have over the common folk and soldiers which is important to the story. But let's be real, Ravka is losing a war where their enemies don't have Grisha, just guns. So make as many bullet proof outfits as you can, get them on your front line troops, and kick the Fjerdan's teeth in.
  • The grisha would likely benefit from carrying weapons . . . but their point of pride is the mastery of their elemental powers. There is dialog about how the grisha were once worth 50 regular soldiers, but then as gun technology improved, their worth has lessened a bit. It seems that firearms tech has been improving rapidly with the neverending war with Fjerda.
And if your one weakness is being prevented from clapping your hands it makes sense to carry some one-handed weapons. But pride has made a fool of many militaries in history so it's not exactly a plot hole.
  • The stag is a remnant of an ancient time with grisha significantly more powerful than those of the present day. The "powerful, ancient mages" trope. An ancient, powerful grisha "saint" created the stag, and other magical animals, out of his own bones (how does that work?) . . . killing one of these animals and incorporating it's bones into your body significantly amplifies a grisha's powers. This is where the "bone" in "Shadow & Bone" comes from.
I guess I'm just left with the question of why this was included at all. Why were Grisha more powerful back in the day? Why store your immense power in a creature made from your own bones? Why did the darkling not already search for the stag long ago if he wanted that power? Does mystical stag bone have a shelf life once it's been harvested? Could you remove this entirely from the story and instead incorporate some Grisha ritual/Fabricator device that enables the power sharing/stealing instead?

It's probably not worth the energy to worry about but it came off as odd. Still liked the show though. Hopefully, a second season is in the works.
 


Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
I guess I'm just left with the question of why this was included at all. Why were Grisha more powerful back in the day? Why store your immense power in a creature made from your own bones? Why did the darkling not already search for the stag long ago if he wanted that power? Does mystical stag bone have a shelf life once it's been harvested? Could you remove this entirely from the story and instead incorporate some Grisha ritual/Fabricator device that enables the power sharing/stealing instead?
We don't get a lot of answers about the ancient grisha saint who made the stag, it's something that has passed into myth and it's hinted that modern day grisha don't know the answers. Most grisha consider the stag a myth, and some openly question the general when he sets out to find it.

The stag doesn't store power, it amplifies power. The Darkling doesn't need it to amplify his own shadow magic, as he is already incredibly powerful. He doesn't seek the stag until he learns of the sun summoner, Alina, and wants to use the stag's bones to be able to control both his own and Alina's powers simultaneously.

He claims (lies) that he wants to amplify their powers to end the Shadow Fold . . . when really he wants to weaponize it against his enemies and conquer the world. In the scene where he finally takes the stag's bones and has his crafter grisha integrate them into both him and Alina . . . he's not 100% sure it's going to work, until it does!

Why did the ancient grisha saint make the stag, and other amplifying animals? We don't know the answer to that, and . . . we don't need to. Not everything needs to be explained for the story to be good and make sense.
 

Ryujin

Hero
We don't get a lot of answers about the ancient grisha saint who made the stag, it's something that has passed into myth and it's hinted that modern day grisha don't know the answers. Most grisha consider the stag a myth, and some openly question the general when he sets out to find it.

The stag doesn't store power, it amplifies power. The Darkling doesn't need it to amplify his own shadow magic, as he is already incredibly powerful. He doesn't seek the stag until he learns of the sun summoner, Alina, and wants to use the stag's bones to be able to control both his own and Alina's powers simultaneously.

He claims (lies) that he wants to amplify their powers to end the Shadow Fold . . . when really he wants to weaponize it against his enemies and conquer the world. In the scene where he finally takes the stag's bones and has his crafter grisha integrate them into both him and Alina . . . he's not 100% sure it's going to work, until it does!

Why did the ancient grisha saint make the stag, and other amplifying animals? We don't know the answer to that, and . . . we don't need to. Not everything needs to be explained for the story to be good and make sense.
Given that The Darkling, himself, is an amplifier I suspect there's a lot more he knows about the saint who made The Stag than has been let on so far. I haven't read the books so no idea if there's any sort of payoff to that, or if it was an anomaly that is just never explained.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
Given that The Darkling, himself, is an amplifier I suspect there's a lot more he knows about the saint who made The Stag than has been let on so far. I haven't read the books so no idea if there's any sort of payoff to that, or if it was an anomaly that is just never explained.
Possibly. The Darkling has definitely done his research and probably knows the most out of all the grisha, save perhaps for his mother. But I also suspect there is a lot he doesn't know, as records were lost and stories became myth.

I haven't read the stories either, but it seems that the Darkling, and perhaps Alina, are in the same class as the ancient grisha saint . . . but don't have the knowledge or experience (yet) to pull off the amazing things he did, at least according to myth. The Darkling is an amplifier, immortal, and has amazing control over shadow . . . the very end of the last episode implies that perhaps the Darkling didn't need Alina or the stag's bones after all to gain control over the Shadow Fold . . . . .
 

Well . . . yes, but that's not the point of the YA classification. It's to designate stories aimed at teenagers.

You're right, that good YA is equally entertaining to not-young adults as well. It often gets an unfair rap as not-serious fiction or kiddie stuff.

YA, as a genre or classification, is inconsistent with what is "appropriate" for young adults . . . you're also right that some of the stories get pretty racy and/or violent, but avoid graphic depictions of either.

But still, labeling something as YA means you're aiming it at teen readers and you're saying it contains appropriate content for teens.
YA really does get an unfair rep. I read both YA and adult fantasy. I read adult fantasy as a teenager, as well. Lately, I've actually been reading a lot of YA.
 


Gradine

Final Form (they/them)
"I see now that dismissing YA books because you’re not a young adult is a little bit like refusing to watch thrillers on the grounds that you’re not a policeman or a dangerous criminal, and as a consequence, I’ve discovered a previously ignored room at the back of the bookstore that’s filled with masterpieces I’ve never heard of.” - Nick Hornby
 

Ryujin

Hero
YA really does get an unfair rep. I read both YA and adult fantasy. I read adult fantasy as a teenager, as well. Lately, I've actually been reading a lot of YA.
Unfortunately, YA is frequently used as a dismissive term. It makes for a handy shorthand, as when using Punk, Ska, or Heavy Metal to describe a piece of music, but shouldn't be used dismissively.
 


Gradine

Final Form (they/them)
The story diverges enough that you'd probably want to read the first book first. Or at least the last third of the book; season 1 veers a bit off those rails.

You'll also have to deal with Mal being a complete doucebag. God, Book!Mal sucks so much.

Oh yeah, and the book versions of Alina and Mal are not half-Shu and half-Zemeni, respectively; that's new to the show as well, in case you get confused they stop bringing that stuff up.

Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Nina, and Matthias aren't in these books either; they're from a sequel series Six of Crows
 


MarkB

Legend
No doubt. It also emphasizes the difference in privilege the Grisha have over the common folk and soldiers which is important to the story. But let's be real, Ravka is losing a war where their enemies don't have Grisha, just guns. So make as many bullet proof outfits as you can, get them on your front line troops, and kick the Fjerdan's teeth in.
The bulletproof outfits are made by Fabricators, who are Grisha and under the General's control. He doesn't want them outfitting the regular army - that would just make the Second Army even less important than they were already becoming. And even if he were overruled, there probably aren't enough of them to create such outfits in large enough quantities to make a big difference.
The stag doesn't store power, it amplifies power. The Darkling doesn't need it to amplify his own shadow magic, as he is already incredibly powerful. He doesn't seek the stag until he learns of the sun summoner, Alina, and wants to use the stag's bones to be able to control both his own and Alina's powers simultaneously.
I think he just didn't think the stag existed until he learned that Alina had dreamed of it and drawn it. His mother was keen enough to keep him ignorant of it that she conspired behind his back to kill those who were going to tell him of its existence, because she feared that with its amplification he would become too powerful for anyone to oppose.
 


An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top