Netflix's Shadow and Bone, an adaptation of the Legih Bardugo's bestselling book series is finally here. The series is about a young woman named Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) who discovers that she may be the key to saving her war-torn country that is being tormented by a dark void known as The Shadow Fold. It turns out that Alina is a Grisha, a person with the ability to manipulate elements, and a very powerful one at that -- she has the power to summon the sun.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Shadow and Bone is a sprawling fantasy series with its own intricate world and vocabulary. And further complicating the setting, the Netflix series also mixes in characters from Bardugo's spin-off Six of Crows novel into the events of Shadow and Bone. Five major Six of Crows characters are introduced in the Netflix series, providing them with a brand new Ravkan Civil War backstory, so there's a lot of new information even for book readers.
That is why TV Guide is here to help. Whether you're new to the Grishaverse and diving into Shadow and Bone the series head-first, or maybe it's been a minute since you've read Bardugo's novels, we have compiled a handy encyclopedia of characters, places, and terms to help you understand the series -- and included a full introductory breakdown of the Grishaverse in the video above.
Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li): The protagonist of the story and the Sun Summoner who could be the key to destroying the Shadow Fold. She grew up as an orphan with Mal.
Baghra (Zoe Wanamaker): A Grisha trainer at The Little Palace who works to help Alina summon and control her powers.
David (Luke Pasqualino): A very talented fabrikator Grisha at The Little Palace and trusted by General Kirigan, The Darkling.
Fedyor (Julian Kostov): A Heartrender guard at The Little Palace who is tasked with looking after Alina when she arrives.
Genya Safin (Daisy Head): A Grisha servant at The Little Palace whose abilities as a Tailor allow her to improve people's appearances. She befriends Alina.
General Kirigan (Ben Barnes): He is also known as The Darkling and commands the Second Army. He is a Grisha and possesses the power to summon shadows.
Ivan (Simon Sears): A Heartrender guard for General Kirigan.
Malyen "Mal" Oretsev (Archie Renaux): A gifted tracker and part of the First Army. He grew up with Alina and is very protective of his best friend.
Marie (Jasmine Blackborow): An Inferni at The Little Palace who befriends Alina when she arrives.
Nadia (Gabrielle Brooks): A squaller at The Litte Palace who becomes one of Alina's friends when she arrives.
The Apparat (Kevin Eldon): A spiritual adviser to the king of Ravka who takes a special interest in Alina.
Zoya Nazyalensky (Sujaya Dasgupta): A high-ranking Squaller in the Second Army who is dubious of Alina's abilities as the Sun Summoner.
From the Six of Crows novel:
Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter): A gang member from Ketterdam who, in the Netflix series, leads a crew on a mission to capture the Sun Summoner. He is easily identifiable by the cane he carries with the head of a crow on top.
Inej Ghafa (Amita Suman): Inej is also known as The Wraith. She's a former acrobat who works in Kaz's crew, collecting information and helping them sneak into places. She is ridiculously gifted with a set of knives.
Jesper Fahey (Kit Young): A sharpshooter who is part of Kaz's crew. He has a bit of a gambling problem and is a notorious flirt.
Nina Zenik (Danielle Galligan): A Heartrender and spy who gets found out by Fjerdan drüskelle soldiers.
Matthias Helvar (Calahan Skogman): A Fjerdan drüskelle who helps capture Nina Zenik.
Fjerda: A country north of Ravka. It is home of the drüskelle, an elite order of warriors who hunt and murder Grisha because they believe Grisha are evil witches.
Grand Palace: A palace in the Ravkan capital Os Alta, where the King and Queen of Ravka reside.
Kerch: A mercantile island country that is home to most of the Six of Crows crew.
Ketterdam: The capital of Kerch, where we first meet Kaz Brekker and his crew. It is considered a gambling capital.
Keramzin: A small village town in Ravka where the orphanage that Alina and Mal grew up in is located.
The Little Palace: A palace in the Ravkan capital Os Alta. The Little Palace was built by General Kirigan to house and train Grisha after their powers are discovered.
Novokribirsk: A Ravkan port city that sits on the west side of the fold.
Novyi Zem: A country across The True Sea famous for its Jurda farms. It is the home country of Jesper.
Os Alta: The capital of Ravka where the Grand Palace and The Little Palace are located.
Ravka: A war-torn country that is a safe haven for most Grisha. It is where the majority of Shadow & Bone takes place.
The Shadow Fold: A dark void, also known as The Unsea, that stretches north to south across Ravka. The Shadow Fold is dangerous to cross because of flesh-eating creatures known as volcra.
Shu Han: A country south of Ravka. Shu Han is at war with Ravka, and in the Netflix series, Alina is looked down upon because she is half-Shu. In Shu Han, Grisha are captured and experimented on.
The True Sea: The main ocean in the Grishaverse
The Unsea: Another term for The Shadow Fold.
Tsibeya: A frozen tundra region in the northeastern region of Ravka, bordering Fjerda.
Alkemi: Materialki Grisha who specialize in chemical manipulation, mostly creating blasting powers and poisons for the Second Army. They wear purple keftas (robes) with red embroidery.
Corporalki: The Order of the Living and the Dead. Grisha who can manipulate the human body. This order includes Heartrenders, Healers, and Tailors. They wear red keftas.
Drüskelle: An elite group of soldiers from Fjerda who hunt and murder Grisha because they believe they are witches.
Durasts: Materialki who specialize in manipulating hard matter like metal and glass. They wear purple keftas with gray embroidery.
Etherealki: The Order of the Summoners. Grisha who can control weather elements. This order includes Squallers, Inferni, and Tidemakers.They wear blue keftas.
First Army: Ravka's army made up of ordinary soldiers who do not possess Grisha powers.
Grisha: People who have special abilities to manipulate the elements, such as controlling wind or water, manipulating the human body, and summoning fire.
Grishaverse: The universe that encompasses all of Leigh Bardugo's novels set in the world of the Shadow & Bone trilogy, Six of Crows duology, and the King of Scars novels.
Healers: Corporalki Grisha who can heal wounds and bullet holes, leaving no mark behind. They wear red keftas with gray embroidery.
Heartrenders: Deadly Corporalki Grisha who can manipulate blood flow and stop hearts with the squeeze of a fist. They wear red keftas with black embroidery.
Inferni: Etherealki Grisha who can summon the power of fire. They wear blue keftas with red embroidery.
Kefta: Special robes designed for Grisha. Different colored keftas denote the Grisha's special abilities.
Kruge: Kerch currency
Materialki: The Order of the Fabrikators. Grisha who can control and manipulate matter. This order includes Fabrikators, Alkemi, and Durasts. They wear purple keftas.
Merzost: The forbidden use of Grisha science to create matter rather than manipulate it. It is essentially dark magic that requires unthinkable sacrifice.
Otkazat'sya: A term for people without Grisha powers. It translates to "the abandoned."
Sandskiff: An open ship made specifically for crossing the sands of The Shadow Fold.
Second Army: Ravka's army made up of Grisha, led by General Kirigan.
Shadow Summoner: A Grisha with the power to summon shadows, like General Kirigan. Shadow Summoners wear black keftas.
Squallers: Etherealki Grisha who can summon the power of the wind. They wear blue keftas with silver embroidery.
Sun Summoner: A Grisha with the power to summon the sun, like Alina. She wears a blue kefta with gold embroidery.
Tailor: A Corporalki Grisha who specializes in manipulating people's looks. Genya is a tailor and wears a white kefta with silver embroidery because she is a servant at the palace.
The Small Science: The science of manipulating matter at a molecular level. Grisha practice the Small Science when they use their abilities.
Tidemakers: Etherealki Grisha who can summon the power of water. They wear blue keftas with light blue embroidery.
Volcra: Winged creatures inside The Shadow Fold who feed on human flesh.