You've probably heard of Leigh Bardugo's YA fantasy series Shadow and Bone, but in case you haven't, here's a quick rundown. The story is set in the fictional land of Ravka (think: Imperial Russia) during a war of endless darkness, and orphaned mapmaker Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) is whisked away to join the magical elite known as "Grisha."
Viewers will recognize dreamy Ben from a variety of recent television endeavors such as The Punisher and Westworld. What do all of these roles have in common? In most of them, he plays the villain. His role in Shadow and Bone is no exception, where Ben plays 'General Kirigan,' also known as the Darkling.
Jessie Mei Li
A newcomer to the television scene, Jessie's previous work includes the psychological horror film Last Night in Soho. Jessie plays Shadow and Bone's main character, Alina Starkov. Alina is a young soldier who comes into extraordinary, world-changing power (some would even say saint-like) as long as dangerous forces don't get to her first.
Another relative newcomer to the scene, Archie is a model and actor. Some of his recent work includes the BBC television show Gold Digger and the upcoming superhero film Morbius. He is playing Malyen "Mal" Oretsev, a young tracker whose childhood friendship with Alina sweeps him into a world of magic and mystery.
Television actress Amita is best known for playing the recurring role of Naya on The Outpost and a guest role on Doctor Who. She plays everyone's favorite knife-wielding keeper-of-secrets Inej Ghafa, a character from the Six of Crows book series. Inej is known as "The Wraith" and as a member of the street gang The Dregs.
Freddy plays iconic gang leader of the Dregs and master manipulator Kaz Brekker. Kaz is also known as "Dirtyhands" for his willingness to take any job (no matter how criminal or bloody), and Freddy is well cut out for the role. His previous work includes villainous Jason Ripper in Pennyworth and Pin Hawthorne in Free Rein.
Jesper Fahey is played by Kit Young. Kit's previous work has been stage work, including A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth. Shadow and Bone is his first television role, and what a role to play! Jesper is a fan-favorite member of The Dregs for his happy-go-lucky personality.
Vivacious Danielle stars as Nina Zenik, a waffle-loving Heartrender (manipulator of the body) and key crossover character between the timelines of Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows. She begins life as a soldier and then joins Kaz's gang after a rather serious unfortunate set of events. Fans have seen Danielle previously on Game of Thrones as Sarra, and the Syfy original Krypton.
Shadow and Bone is Calahan's first major role. Hailing from Wisconsin, Calahan has an MFA in acting from the University of Southern California. Calahan plays Matthias Helvar, a witch-hunter from the icy north whose love of life takes a dangerous turn.
Actor Lewis Tan is most recognizable as the lead of 2021's Mortal Kombat, the Warner Bros. film based on the video game of the same name. He has also appeared in Deadpool 2, About Fate, and Wu Assassins. He will star in Shadow and Bone Season 2 as Tolya Yul-Bataar, a Shu mercenary, twin, and heartrender who works alongside the pirate Sturmhond.
Anna Leong Brophy
Actress Anna Leong Brophy joins Shadow and Bone Season 2 as axe-wielding twin Tamar Kir-Bataar. Tamar is the sister of Tolya Yul-Bataar, and works as a mercenary under the employ of the pirate Sturmhond. However, she and her brother have slightly different goals than the pirate, which include providing protection to a certain Sun Summoner. Anna's previous television work includes EastEnders, Berlin Station, and Last Tango in Halifax.
In Season 2, Irish actor Patrick Gibson assumes the role of lovable scoundrel Prince Nikolai, who masquerades as dreaded pirate Sturmhond. Fans have seen Patrick before in The Tudors, The White Princess, The Passing Bells, and The OA. Fans have been eagerly awaiting Nikolai for his potential romances with Alina and Zoya.
English actor Jack Wolfe will play lovable bombmaker Wylan Hendriks, a member of the Dregs who joins the Six of Crows gang. Jack is best known for his work with London's Royal Shakespeare Company, and he'll star in the upcoming musical film The Magic Flute.
Fans cannot wait to see this massive cast in action for Season 2 of Shadow and Bone. Although the crew has kept the plot a secret, fans can expect the story to at least partially follow the events of Seige and Storm, the second book in the initial Grisha trilogy.
Shadow and Bone Season 1 is currently available for streaming on Netflix.