The second season of Shadow and Bone continued the battle between Alina and Kirigan and the fate of Ravka. Find out what we thought of the second season and how much it deviated from the novels.
There will be spoilers ahead so read at your own risk.
Shadow and Bone Season Two Summary
Season two picks up and follows Alina and Mal as they try to escape their old lives. But that becomes difficult when they discover that there is a bounty on Alina. The two of them are rescued by Sturmhond and they go hunt for the Sea Whip.
Other plots include following the Crows as Kaz Brekker and the crows return to Ketterdam and are hunted by the police. They learn that Pekka Rollins has framed them and wants them dead. We learn of Kaz’s past and his vendetta against Rollins.
In the second half of the season, we get a battle between Kirigan and Alina as their forces face off. Kirigan’s new powers make him even more fearsome and almost nothing can kill his shadow monsters. The Crows are hired to retrieve a sword that can kill the shadow creatures.
Alina and Mal try to find the firebird and finally destroy the firebird. But it isn’t what everything thinks it is. The final battle between the two will decide the future of Grisha and Ravka.
If you read the books, I am sorry to inform you, it was all for nothing. This season is unlike the book in many ways and new powers and plots are inserted in. Some characters die in the show whereas in the books, they didn’t. And the major plots are also changed.
It is weird there were a lot of major changes considering that author Leigh Bardugo is an executive producer of the show. I don’t think that means much because they do not have the final say, just suggestions. The show is not true to the books nor the power system in place.
Even the ending is going to leave you frustrated considering that the Fjerdans do not use Grisha as soldiers in the army, only as a weapon that another Fjerdan controls. That rule is ignored in the show. The prejudice against the Grisha is a big part of the Fjerdan’s identity which is completely ignored.
Too many Characters, Too Many Plots
The show is only eight episodes which is hard to believe considering how much stuff happens. The pacing is honestly not that bad. My issue is with how little time some of these events take. The second season is based on the second and third novel Shadow and Bone novels, and Crooked Kingdom. There is also stuff pulled from another novel about the Saints.
And all of that is crammed into one season. There are a lot of characters and I haven’t even gotten to them yet. It is hard to remember all of them if you haven’t read the books. If you did read the books, you will be disappointed to know that they don’t match Leigh Bardugo’s descriptions.
Zoya Nazyalensky is nothing like her character and it is such a disappointment. Her character in the novel is amazing arc and the show completely ruins it. Her defining trait is not captured and her backstory is not even mentioned. I do imagine season three will focus on her because they have to, considering how big of a role she plays but the setup for that was handled badly.
The second season throws a lot at you and it doesn’t have the buildup satisfaction that directors and writers aim for. Instead, you get a lot of action and romance. The action scenes weren’t that great and I never seemed to get invested. That is where the books excelled at.
The books are better but if you are curious, then give it a watch. It’s pretty forgettable but it’s only about 8 hours. I’d give it a six and I’m not sure how excited I am for the third season.