Here's the reading order to prepare you for Netflix's Shadow And Bones

Stephanie Zheng
·Lifestyle Editor
·3-min read

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Alina, the Sun Summoner on Shadow & Bones
Alina, the Sun Summoner on Shadow & Bones

Fiction such as Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Twilight and more have all been adapted into wildly successful movie franchises, alongside TV adaptations of titles such as Umbrella Academy, Sweet Home, Good Omens, Queen's Gambit, Shadow And Bones, and the upcoming The Sandman. Those titles mentioned above alone came with well-loved (and hated) characters and their own legion of fandoms. 

For someone who has consumed every single title mentioned above, both in print and on-screen, seeing stories come to life on screens never loses its magic, more so when we are talking about fantasy and science fiction where anything can happen. Sure, things may get lost in translation(or improved on!) from print to screen, but that's why it is important to check out the source materials where the shows came from.

Here's something for your next obsession. The Grishaverse of Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bones comes to life on Netflix, where steampunk meets heist meets magic (or Small Science, as they call it). 

Orphan Alina Starkov (played by Jessica Mei Li) and her childhood beau Malyen Oretsev exist within a landlocked border cut off from the rest of the world by a perpetually dark, barren strip of land called the Unsea (otherwise known as the Fold). Expeditions across the sea and back for transport of goods are often plagued by monsters called volcra that inhabit the Fold. Ways around the Fold take weeks longer and come accompanied by hostility from countries on either sides. 

The story starts with them heading into the Fold, with Alina unleashing a power that she didn't know she had to protect Mal. This attracted the attention of the army's general, The Darkling, plus other unsavoury characters who want or fear her power. 

If you like getting into the source material first before watching the Netflix adaption (also, the series finale left us on a cliffhanger, as usual), here's the order in which you can read the books. 

The Shadow and Bone Trilogy (previously published as The Grisha Trilogy)

The Shadow and Bone Trilogy (Photo: leighbardugo.com)
The Shadow and Bone Trilogy (Photo: leighbardugo.com)

The story here starts with Alina Starkov and she grapples with her new power and her new responsibilities.

1) Shadow and Bone

available here

2) Siege and Storm

available here

3) Ruin and Rising

available here

Bonus: Read the Darkling's backstory in a short novella, The Demon In The Wood

The Six of Crows Duology

Six of Crows Duology (Photo: leighbardugo.com)
Six of Crows Duology (Photo: leighbardugo.com)

This duology picks up two years after the end of the Shadow and Bone trilogy, set in an unsavoury part of Ravka with new characters. In the Netflix series, we get introduced to the characters in this duology.

4) Six of Crows

available here

5) Crooked Kingdom

available here

The King of Scars Duology

King of Scars Duology (Photo: leighbardugo.com)
King of Scars Duology (Photo: leighbardugo.com)

This duology picks up back in Ravka, one year after the end of the Six of Crows duology. Here, we explore the story of an important character who helped Alina Starkov, and who now has to rebuilt and defend Ravka after the events in the first two series.  

6) King of Scars

available here

7) Rule of Wolves

available here

Sidequests

These books are accompaniment for a reader to get a deeper understanding of the Grishaverse.

8) The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

available here

9) The Severed Moon: A Year-Long Journal of Magic

available here

10) The Lives of Saints

available here

The entire world on which these three arcs are built is compelling, but the Six of Crows duology that comes after the first Grisha Trilogy are known for its better writing. Regardless, the plot from the first trilogy is plenty enough to propel you forward into the Grishaverse. Happy reading!