Parents' Guide to

Shadow and Bone

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Magic, monsters, strong women in fresh but violent fantasy.

TV Netflix Drama 2021
Shadow and Bone Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 15 parent reviews

age 14+

S1 E5 Caution

In this episode, two characters meet and immediately engage in a sexual relationship. No nudity, however, the shirtless characters roll apart and breathlessly discuss the quality of their intimate time together before one departs. Other than this one instant, the other episodes we have watched, S1- E1 -E4 , and the rest of this episode 4 remain on par with appropriateness for our 12 year old with themes of mystery, friendship, trust, family, greed, power, adventure, and more.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
10 people found this helpful.
age 18+

Talk With Your Teens

Have read the Grisha Trilogy books-very good/enjoyed/would recommend for teens on up. This review in NO WAY reflects the books just the ADAPTATION on Netflix. Have not read the Six of Crows duology. The adaptation is mixing the 2 book series and they do a great job. That being said the visual display of the story uses images that would be rated R if on the big screen and would have been censored on TV. I have a teen super-fan of the author and they love these characters/watched the show, (I thinking it was fine as I read the trilogy) and then I watched it. Conversations! we had afterwards were: 1. the violent display of fighting/war/blood with knives, and several execution scenes (in the head)/some where they lost a head. 2. Sex/making out by-Jesper (from the Six of Crows book) and another guy (before and after scenes) for a pair of horses. 3. Collar for Alina-more grotesque in adaption than was originally written in book. Understand why they did it that way but visually disturbing. Conversations to have with your teen would be: relationships/violence/disturbing images for them. A side note: it does help to have read the books as there are a lot of fan-favorite moments: cameo of the author and popular quotes within the dialogue. Mal and Alina's relationship is positive and beautiful.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
5 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (15 ):
Kids say (52 ):

Stunningly gorgeous and mesmerizing, this enchanting series is the rightful heir to the Game of Thrones throne, and solid proof that TV adaptations can improve on their source material. Because as readers of fantasy novelist Leigh Bardugo's work know, the first book in the "Grishaverse" trilogy, also named Shadow and Bone, was dinged by critics for being a bit of a Twilight riff: A young woman passively waits as two powerful fellas fight over her against a supernatural background. Maybe so, maybe not, but few could accuse this TV series of that stale old trope, because this Alina Starkov is no distressed damsel. At every turn of the story, she acts with agency and makes decisions that show that despite being beset by forces both magical and malevolent, she's the one driving her own story.

The costuming cleverly communicates Shadow and Bone's fresh feminist take on fantasy, too. This is a story set in a military world, with men and women in equal number, all dressed in clothing that's utilitarian and comfortable, and with women and men in positions of power. Magical power, too, is distributed equally among women and men, and when the show's narrative drops into the world of the magic-wielding Grisha, we get a fascinating look at how these powers shape the politics of Shadow and Bone's universe. Too many fantasy shows more or less ignore the quotidian details of everyday life, the way characters eat, work, socialize, and so on, in favor of great big plot points. Shadow and Bone scores by slowing down enough so that we start to grasp the rhythms of its characters' existence, which make the great big plot points land all the harder. With its spectacular world-building and compelling characters within, plus a whole lot of book-laid plot at the ready, Shadow and Bone is the most promising series in quite a while.

TV Details

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