7 TV Shows like Shadow and Bone: Shadow and Bone is a daring combination of combining and altering the books it’s based on, which is a big no-no for fans of the source material. Thankfully, the combination of fantasy and heist thriller worked well, as evidenced by two seasons in an era when Netflix frequently cancels shows after one season. But what does one actually watch when they’re done with Shadow and Bone?
Like Shadow and Bone, Arcane is also an adaptation, but unlike it, it is an adaptation of a video game rather than a book series – and it’s animated. Arcane is set in Piltover, the “City of Progress” and its under-city of Zaun. There is a vast divide between the two cities in their lifestyle, wealth, and more, similar to how there is between Grisha and non – Grisha in Ravka.
Furthermore, there is a sprawling cast that has several parallel story-lines and locations with different themes which eventually intersect with fantastic results. The main protagonists of Arcane are orphans like Alina and Mal, albeit with vastly differing relationships, but there is enough here for Shadow and Bone fans despite some significant differences.
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2. The Order
The show follows the story of Jack Morton, a young man who joins a secret society known as the Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose at Belgrave University, a prestigious college with a hidden agenda. As Jack begins to learn more about the Order, he discovers that it is a centuries-old organization dedicated to practicing magic and protecting humanity from dark supernatural forces. However, as he delves deeper into the world of magic, he also uncovers a web of secrets and lies that threaten to destroy the Order from within.
It doesn’t exactly sound like Shadow and Bone on the surface, given that it’s an urban fantasy show, but there’s enough if you dig a little deeper. The young adult drama fantasy is becoming more and more popular, and this show encapsulates that very well. Jack joins a new world full of magic and mysteries like Alina, but he’s better prepared for it than Alina. The lies and secrecy in the show would mean The Crows, especially Kaz Brekker, would be right at home.
3. The Irregulars
The Irregulars is a supernatural crime drama TV series from Britain that centers around the Baker Street Irregulars, a group of street children who assisted Sherlock Holmes in collecting evidence for his cases in the original canon. However, the show takes a new twist by depicting the Irregulars as a “troubled group of delinquent teenagers” who are coerced into solving crimes by the sinister Doctor Watson and his mysterious partner, flipping their traditional relationship with Holmes. The series incorporates supernatural elements as the Irregulars discover they are facing a menacing force that threatens not only London but potentially the entire world.
Almost the entire main cast, like Alina and Mal, are orphans who get caught up in something bigger and evil because one of them has powers she doesn’t comprehend (just like Alina). This show also has young adult drama galore. The manner in which it steps away from Sherlock Holmes canon to give us something entirely new is similar to how Shadow and Bone adapted not just the original series but also characters from The Six of Crows.
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4. Lockwood and Co
Lockwood & Co. is a young adult series by Jonathan Stroud that has been adapted into a TV show, following the story of Lucy (played by Ruby Stokes), a young girl with psychic abilities who becomes a member of a ghost-hunting agency run by two teenage boys, Anthony and George. Together, the trio faces the spirits of London and unravels a mystery that could change the course of history. The increase of ghosts in the world is called The Problem, and it has tremendously impacted regular life for everyone, just like The Fold in Ravka. Both have very different reasons for existing and saying more would be wading into spoilery waters.
The show boasts an ensemble cast filled with charm and a compelling plot, which should appeal to fans who are fond of Shadow and Bone, despite Lockwood & Co is for a slightly younger audience. Fans can appreciate their successful yet contrasting methods of adapting their source material for streaming because the TV show is also based on a book series.
5. Shadow Hunters
The Mortal Instruments: Similarly to Shadow and Bone, Shadowhunters is based on Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, and follows the story of a young woman discovering her life-changing powers. Clary, on her 18th birthday, discovers that she is part of a lineage of human-angel hybrids known as shadow hunters, whose mission is to defeat demons.
After Clary’s mother is kidnapped, she finds herself fully immersed in her new world and befriends a group of fellow hunters, encountering supernatural creatures that look like vampires and werewolves along the way. Like Alina, Clary is a teenage girl trying to understand how to use her newfound abilities to fight for good and protect the world she knows. There’s enough magic, drama, and romance to keep all kinds of fans engaged.
6. His Dark Materials
Another book-to-TV adaptation. His Dark Materials is based on Philip Pullman’s trilogy of novels. In His Dark Materials, Lyra is on a search for her missing friend and ends up uncovering a series of mysterious kidnappings, as well as an unknown substance known as Dust. These events lead her to embark on an unexpected journey that is much greater than she ever anticipated. The show offers viewers a mix of mystery, intrigue, and multiple realities. Additionally, it also portrays the human world through the perspective of a teenage character named Will and the various worlds that Lyra must explore, resulting in a complex world with highly developed world-building to enjoy.
The show is captivating and easy to become immersed in. Both Alina and Lyra in their respective fictional worlds share a sense of duty to fulfill their responsibilities. Additionally, His Dark Materials features a fascinating world, the most unique and interesting of which is a highly intelligent army of polar bears.
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7. The Magicians
Last on the list but by no means the least, The Magicians is an urban fantasy show that isn’t afraid to get real and dark. It is based on the books by Lev Grossman and follows a grad student by the name of Quentin as he studies to become a magician at the Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy in New York. As he delves into the completely new magical world, he discovers that magic is both real and perilous. Meanwhile, his best friend Julia is denied entry into the school, causing her to search for the magic she craves in a dangerous manner.
For Quentin, who spent his childhood fixated on the magical world he read about, attending the University is eye-opening as it reveals a darker and more dangerous side of magic, similar to how Grisha’s powers can often have unexpected results. The series offers fans of Shadow and Bone a similar blend of magic, fantasy, action, intrigue, and of course drama.