If you’ve already binged Shadow and Bone season 2 and are wondering what comes next for Alina or the Crows, you’re in luck.


The popular Netflix fantasy series is based on the Grishaverse, a series of popular YA novels penned by Leigh Bardugo.

Shadow and Bone’s first two seasons adapt the first three Grishaverse books, which revolve around Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) as she realises she has the rare power of sun-summoning.

The Grishaverse is made up of the Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows duology, the King of Crows duology, and three supplemental books.

The TV series's primary storyline – concerning Alina Starkov – is adapted from the Shadow and Bone trilogy, but the subplot revolving around characters Kaz, Inej and Jesper actually stems from the follow-up Six of Crows duology, with this part of the series essentially serving as a prequel to those books.

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If you're interested in heading back to the original stories, then look no further. RadioTimes.com has your essential guide to the best reading order.

In addition, if you’re looking for a comprehensive breakdown of just how much the TV series differs from the books, then check out our guide to the major changes.

Grishaverse books in order

Ben Barnes as General Kirigan in Shadow and Bone.
Ben Barnes as General Kirigan in Shadow and Bone. Dávid Lukács/Netflix

The expansive Grishaverse is currently comprised of three series of novels and a selection of short stories, so it's not surprising that some readers may be confused about where to start.

To clear up any uncertainty, here is the intended reading order:

1. Shadow and Bone trilogy (aka The Grisha Trilogy)

The ideal place to start your journey through the Grishaverse is with Bardugo's first trilogy of novels, which serve as an excellent introduction to her fantasy world, as well as one of its key characters, Alina Starkov.

The trilogy should be read as follows:

  1. Shadow and Bone
  2. Siege and Storm
  3. Ruin and Rising

2. Six of Crows duology

Once you're finished with the Shadow and Bone trilogy, you should then move on to the Six of Crows duology, which picks up two years later in a different setting and with a new cast of characters.

While it would be possible to start reading here, it is not advised as these two novels contains some spoilers and references to the events of the Shadow and Bone trilogy.

The duology is comprised of:

  1. Six of Crows
  2. Crooked Kingdom

3. King of Scars duology (aka The Nikolai Duology)

After you've burned through both the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology, you can move on to Bardugo's most recent additions to the Grishaverse.

The King of Scars duology takes place one year after Six of Crows and takes us back to Ravka, where the events of Shadow and Bone unfolded.

As the culmination of everything that's happened so far, it's strongly recommended that readers brush up on the previous novels before diving into these two.

The King of Scars duology should be read in this order:

  1. King of Scars
  2. Rule of Wolves

Once you've finished those two offerings, you're up to date with the main story of the Grishaverse – but there is more content to explore, if you're hungry for it.

Grishaverse companion books explained


For those who want to soak up as much of the Grishaverse as they possibly can, author Leigh Bardugo has also released two companion books that can be enjoyed as a bonus to the main saga.

The Language of Thorns is a collection of dark fairytales that also exists within the canon of the Grishaverse, meaning the characters in the novels would have read the very same stories when they were growing up.

The beauty of this collection is that it doesn't actually require any knowledge of the wider Grishaverse and so can be read at any time when you fancy a break from the drama of the central plot – or even first, if you're really keen!

Meanwhile, The Lives of Saints is another collection of shorter tales, this time following the saints that are referenced throughout the prime series of novels.

This book is not directly connected to the main plot and so it doesn't contain any spoilers for readers who aren't up to date, but it is recommended for those with a sturdy understanding of the Grishaverse.

For that reason, we suggest tackling The Lives of Saints as an intermission of sorts after you finish either the Shadow and Bone trilogy or the Six of Crows duology.

If you see a book called The Severed Moon, don't be confused! This is neither an entry in the main series nor a collection of short stories, but rather a journal, which you are encouraged to fill with your own writing. Naturally, it's an entirely optional exercise.

Shadow and Bone season 2 is available on Netflix now. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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