Leigh Bardugo's Books Were Like a "Bible" on the Set of 'Shadow and Bone' (EXCLUSIVE)

Sara Belcher - Author

Apr. 22 2021, Updated 7:03 p.m. ET

'Shadow and Bone'
Source: Netflix

The bestselling fantasy novels that make up Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse are about to come to life on screen. The Shadow and Bone trilogy has been adapted into a show for Netflix, and the first season drops on the streaming platform on April 23. 

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The show features a cast lineup that covers most of the characters from the first book in the trilogy, as well as some unfamiliar faces. Does Shadow and Bone also include Leigh's follow-up duology, Six of Crows? Danielle Galligan and Calahan Skogman share some exclusive behind-the-scenes details with Distractify.

nina shadow and bone
Source: Netflix

Danielle Galligan as Nina Zenik

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The first season of 'Shadow and Bone' will include pieces from 'Six of Crows.'

While the Netflix series is named after Leigh's original trilogy, the show will expand into some of the other works she's written within the Grishaverse, namely the Six of Crows duology.

The duology takes place a couple of years after the Ravkan civil war that happens across the original trilogy, but the two books (Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom) are centered on a new band of characters.

Netflix purchased the rights to both the Shadow and Bone series and the Six of Crows duology, and the first season of the show will include some of those flashbacks readers see in Six of Crows. This is where Danielle and Cal's characters come in.

Nina Zenik and Matthias Helvar are two members of the Crows, a team of thieves led by Kaz Brekker in Kerch (and of course, they're in love). The first season will delve into the Crows' backstories as they're happening alongside the Ravkan civil war.

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nina and matthias shadow and bone
Source: Netflix

Danielle Galligan (L) and Callihan Skogman (R) as Nina Zenik and Matthias Helvar

"It's kind of nice that we get to go right back and start at the beginning with them instead of meeting them at that kind of very fiery hostile place where we meet them at the start of Six of Crows," Danielle told Distractify exclusively. "I think if anything it just makes the story more poignant because now you see firsthand the real intense love that [Nina and Matthias] do have for each other at the beginning."

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How closely is the show based on the book?

Long-term fans of the Grishaverse have worried about how closely the on-screen adaptation will align with Leigh's original books, but Cal and Danielle reassured readers that they felt (as fans of the books themselves) that the show does the novels justice.

"We were all reading the books and kind of using them as a bible," Danielle explained, promising there are enough "Easter eggs" to keep hardcore fans satisfied.

matthias shadow and bone
Source: Netflix

Calahan Skogman as Matthias Helvar

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"It's not going to be identical to the books," Cal amended. "It's intricate to try to weave it all together and keep it honest but also make it new and entertaining. It's a different medium. Though I think with [Nina and Matthias'] storyline, in particular, it's extremely close to the books."

Helvar fans can rejoice knowing that at the very least, we'll get some serious screentime with the couple.

"I kind of feel like I'm just adding another form of art to the fan art that's already there in a way," Danielle said to us about her role in the show. "So I feel like I'm connected to them."

You can watch the first season of Shadow and Bone when it drops on April 23 on Netflix.

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