Tag: high fantasy

Netflix’s ‘Shadow and Bone’ Finds Its Bright New Cast

While we still don’t have a release date for Netflix’s “Shadow and Bone” series, we finally have a cast to shamelessly follow on social media and add to our fan-edits!

 

 

Yesterday, Netflix announced its cast for their new series based on Leigh Bardugo’s award-winning “Grishaverse” books. The series is set to adapt both her Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows book series and the casting for characters from both series has left book fans in a frenzy!

 

Shadow & Bone Books

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Leading the series as Shadow and Bone protagonist Alina Starkov is Jessie Mei Li (known for her upcoming role in Last Night in Soho). Playing alongside her will be a favorite among fans, Ben Barnes (Westworld, The Punisher, Chronicles of Narnia) as General Kirigan. Also joining the Shadow and Bone portion of the cast is Archie Renaux (Voyagers) as Malyen Oretsev, Sujaya Dasgupta (Press, Guilt) as Zoya Nazyalensky, Simon Sears (Winter Brothers) as Ivan, and Daisy Head (Guilt) as Genya Safin.

 

Six of Crows/Leigh Barduugo

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On the Six of Crows front, Freddy Carter (Pennyworth) will be playing gang-leader Kaz Brekker. Starring alongside him will be Amita Suman (The Outpost) as Inej Ghafa, Kit Young (Endeavour) as Jesper Fahey, and Danielle Galligan (Game of Thrones) as Nina Zenik.

The series is being adapted by showrunner Eric Heisserer known for his work on Arrival and is being directed by Lee Toland of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Bardugo herself is an executive producer on the show and expressed her excitement about the casting announcement. The cast we have so far has definitely made us fans more excited about the show and kept us on our toes for casting to come!

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Polygon

6 Reasons You Should Read Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows Duology

After finishing Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology, it bumped The Lunar Chronicles right out of the top-spot as my favorite book series (sorry Marissa Meyer, but you’re always in my heart). This high-fantasy heist series is a striking read. I can’t get enough of the characters, the narrative, the world. Despite having read it a few years ago, to this day it’s left me with the biggest book-hangover of my life. Here are the top six reasons why you need to read this duology too.

 

 

6. You don’t have to read her first series to understand it

Grisha Trilogy

Image via Goodreads

 

While technically a sequel series to Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy, you definitely don’t have to be well-versed in the world to dive right into these books. I personally didn’t read any of the original series and was still able to fall head-first into everything Six of Crows had to offer. It’s completely different than the first series with all new characters. And while I’m told there are a few minor cameos by characters from the Grisha Trilogy, this duology works brilliantly as a standalone.

 

5. It doesn’t play into YA fiction tropes

YA love triangle

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Spoiler alert: there are no lost princesses in this duology! No love triangles, no “I’m not like other girls” girls, and absolutely no Chosen Ones. Even though this is a fantasy novel (and a high fantasy one at that), it strays greatly from the YA conventions of the fantasy genre. With those elements gone, it makes way for a truly unpredictable narrative. With the absence of these stylistic tropes, this series makes way for different aspects of YA to be explored. Not to mention without the comforting predictability of the high fantasy story structure, you’re constantly on your toes while you’re reading.

 

 

4. It delves into real-world issues

 

World Vs. Money

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Ketterdam is where the duology is primarily set and it’s a nation that is so dedicated to capitalism that it’s a religion to them. Bardugo uses these books to explore the dangers of a country that values money above all else. As a consequence of this world, we see characters as members of gangs, having to be prostitutes, and being plagued by illness and addiction. Bardugo paints a grimy world—one that requires her teenage-aged protagonists to grow up faster than most and she writes the psyche of each character so incredibly well.

 

3. The writing is extraordinary

 

Image result for six of crows quotes

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Bardugo’s one of those authors whose writing just hits you. She balances the serious with the loving and the heartbreaking. And despite how grim the subject matter might seem, the duology still manages to be uplifting, relatable and hilarious. Not to mention quotable as hell. Careful, though. You might end up with a Six of Crows quote as your Twitter bio.

 

 

2. The diversity is on point

 

Image result for six of crows characters

Image via We Heart It

 

Much needed discussions in the YA community about diversity are finally being had. And as a tough critic on the lack of book characters of color and how they’re treated when they are there, I can actually give these series a stamp of approval. Not only are the characters racially diverse, but Bardugo is also inclusive in other ways. There’s a character that is plus sized, characters with both physical and mental disabilities, and LGBT+ representation. And when I say LGBT+ representation, I don’t just mean That One Gay Character in the main friend group and his under-developed boyfriend. I’m talking MULTIPLE queer characters of varying identities that are fleshed out. Not only is this diversity baked into the narrative, but it’s also not tokenized or stereotyped. Bardugo strikes a nice balance between writing her diversity so obscurely that nobody knows they are until she retroactively tells us in interviews (looking at you J.K. Rowling) and making that diversity the sole trait of those characters. She’s able to write diverse characters as people and that’s what we want when we ask for representation.

 

1. It’s going to be a TV series

 

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Image via Vox

 

This is your chance to be the “I saw it first” friend. As of January of this year, Netflix has ordered an eight episode series of Shadow & Bone and Six of Crows. While there’s no details on how yet, the show will be combining both of Bardugo’s book series to make the show. Get a jump on the narrative by reading the Six of Crows duology. Not only will you be ahead of the curve for what is sure to be a highly talked about adaptation, but it’ll also be fun watching the world and character you know come to life onscreen.

 

Featured image via Affinity Magazine

Two Dark Fantasy Duologies to Binge This Weekend

No plans this weekend? Not the type to go outside? We can relate. Make the best of the weekend for real by binging these duologies. Nothing says relaxation like high stakes magic.

 

Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom

 

Image via Amazon

 

I love a good heist, and this is better than most. Set in the lush universe popularized by Shadow and Bone, this follow up stands on its own legs, and is a great entry to the series. Meet the Dregs, a bunch of street urchin weirdos with just the right skills to pull off an impossible heist in the heart of a hostile state. The characters are so real that you feel you could bump into them on the street, the plot is meticulously executed, and the magic is both grounded and vibrant. It’ll be your new fave.

 

 

The Orphan Queen & The Mirror King

 

Image via Amazon

 

Revolution, dictatorships, secret identities, and a magic system so brutal and so inescapable it shakes the very ground on which the world is built. All the threats feel close, pressing. The characters are multidimensional, living, complex. This is a deeply alarming pair of novels, but despite the dark plot points, the writing is light and compulsively readable. These are entertaining books, and frequently very funny. If you like seeing sense prevail, and survival against dire odds, dive into this truly original world.

 

 

Featured image via ZippyPixels

This Interactive Short Story Will Make You Feel Things

Ever wanted to choose your own profound and horrifying sci-fi adventure? This article is for you.

“With Those We Love Alive” is a strange, deeply atmospheric short story, told a few pieces at a time. You are an artificer, drawn into the service of the Skull Queen. The magic is strange and tangible, and though you don’t see much of the world, you get an impression of its vastness. Live the luminous sense of listless terror made ambiance through the simple but powerful backgrounds, the eerie soundtrack, and the world’s uneasy details. Wander the palace and the city. Look on the outer world. You will be prompted to hold your breath. Look. Look away. Draw all over yourself (cue weird looks from the rest of the editorial team).

 

Please don’t judge my lack of art skills

You make many choices, shape the world, or does it shape you? The pull of the plot is inexorable, subtle. This is a land of monsters, of gruesome beauty, and unlike any fantasy world you’ve ever seen. You will come to feel trapped. You will come to realize you are terribly in love. With a sense of both choice and inevitability, walk through this place, the palace of the Skull Queen, her city, and see what it makes you. Find an ending as sudden and vibrant as the rest of the story, and etch each choice into your skin.

Eerie, gorgeous, and coolly violent, this story will stay with you long after the sigils you’re instructed to draw have faded.

Things you’ll need: headphones, a marker or pen.

See other people’s sigils here.

 

Happy Birthday to ‘Throne of Glass’!

 

Happy anniversary to Throne of Glassa young adult fantasy series by American author Sarah J. Maas. The first book, Throne of Glass, was published in August 2012. Throughout its cycle, the series appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list and is currently being optioned as a series to be adapted for Hulu. The story follows Celaena Sardothien, a teenage assassin in a corrupt kingdom with a tyrannical ruler. As the tale progresses, Celaena forms unexpected bonds and uncovers a conspiracy amidst her adventures. The series concluded with its eighth entry in October of 2018.

 

Image via Wikipedia

 

Calaena is imprisoned and betrayed by her master at the start of the series. Trained from childhood to become an assassin, she is a master of her trade and adopts a new identity in order to avoid painting a target on her, as she was known as the King’s Assassin before her imprisonment. The book follows her journey as she escapes from slavery and finds herself with the destiny to destroy the King and free the world from his tyrannical rule.

The author revealed she grew up reading about such heroines in fiction, such as Sabriel, and wanted to give her own fanbase a strong female protagonist that they too could feel empowered by. She was quoted as saying this about her conception of Calaena:

 

‘I grew up reading books like Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown and Garth Nix’s Sabriel—both of which feature strong heroines, and both of which profoundly shaped my identity and empowered me. I started writing knowing I wanted to create books like that—mostly because that’s what interests me and where my passion lies, but also because I’d love for some young woman to read [Throne of Glass] and feel empowered, too.’

 

Calaena is characterized as very skilled but also with flaws that make her three dimensional, such as arrogance and a bit of narcissism. Funny enough, the author drew inspiration from Disney’s Cinderellafinding the sequence where Cinderella flees the ball to have a soundtrack that was much too intense for the material and imagined it would fit much better if an assassin was in Cinderella’s place. The first book, initially named Queen of Glass, appeared on FictionPress.com before being picked up by the publisher, Bloomsbury, after the series developed a strong online following. From there, the series took off and became an epic fantasy tale, although the author noted nods to Cinderella can still be seen within the novels.

The series has received generally positive reviews, praising its protagonist and setting, noting the author’s skill at both characterization and world-building. We can only hope the series will be picked up for a series on Hulu!

Happy birthday to Throne of Glass! Do you have fond memories of reading this series? Tell us in the comments.

 

 

Featured Image Via Amazon