Posted on Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 by Donna Dickens
In American pop culture, when people think of the fantasy genre, they usually think of the same things: magic, wizards, elves, orcs, fairies, dragons, a European Middle Ages setting. Despite the genre predating these concepts, the unprecedented influence of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings has so thoroughly wedged itself in our collective consciousness that it can seem impossible to disentangle. Everything from A Wizard of Earthsea and Harry Potter to The Dark Tower and Game of Thrones has found inspiration from Tolkien’s works. But there are so many other mythologies out there, waiting to be built and discovered. One of them, created in 2012 by author Leigh Bardugo, is unlike anything mainstream audiences have ever seen: Shadow & Bone, the first part of the Grisha Trilogy.
Originally set to be a film franchise by Dreamworks, the rights to the “Grishaverse” recently moved to Netflix. Eric Heisserer, the writer behind the streaming service’s horror film Bird Box, is set to be showrunner. This should give you some idea of what kind of tone to expect. While Bardugo’s series is sold as Young Adult, that doesn’t stop her from dealing in body horror and dark themes, all set against a backdrop based on Russian mythology instead of Nordic (where Tolkien mostly pulled from). The result is something worth checking out, for a number of reasons.