In this new behind-the-scenes featurette for Shadow and Bone, we see how the world of Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) was built, first from the author herself, Leigh Bardugo, explaining that the fictional country of Ravka is based on tsarist-era Russia.
The nation has been mysteriously divided by a wall of darkness known as the Shadow Folds full of flying monsters called the Volcra, and showrunner Eric Heisserer explains that Alina and her best friend Mal (Archie Renaux) are low-level soldiers in the less-than-stellar Ravkan First Army. However, it's the Second Army, known as the Grisha, who have super-powers and thus keep the nation secure, commanded by General Kirigan (Ben Barnes). When Alina turns out to be the prophesized Sun Summoner, she is thrust into a whole new world of intrigue and power plays at the highest levels of government.
We are also informed of Ketterdam, an island populated with criminals and grifters which is also the home of The Six of Crows, an underworld gang led by Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter), and featuring Inej (Amita Suman) and Jesper (Kit Young). Alina's revelation also puts a price on her head, which the Crows mean to collect.
Shadow and Bone premieres April 23 on Netflix.
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Andy Hunsaker has a head full of sitcom gags and nerd-genre lore, and can be followed @AndyHunsaker if you're into that sort of thing.