If you have been long obsessed with Leigh Bardugo’s work like me I suspect you were falling-off-your-seat excited for the Shadow & Bone/Six of Crows adaption that just landed on Netflix. Shadow and Bone (the TV show) follows orphan cartographer Alina Starkov as she prepares to cross the Shadow Fold, a permanent sea of darkness inhabited the terrifying Volcra.
When the life of her best friend, Mal Oretsev, is threatened Alina summons the light and is revealed as the only Sun Summoner in existence. Alina is recruited into the Grisha Army under the command of the all-powerful General Kirigan and it is now up to Alina to free them from the Fold. Not only is this epic fantasy series action packed but it is also action *eyebrow wiggle* packed, if you get what I mean.
Romance is rife in S&B and simply how could it not be when it is full of SO many delicious people? I’d be fighting to touch Kaz’s leather clad hand and more than happy to be tied up by a sexy witch hunter.
** Honorary mention to the sexual tension between myself and Jesper firing a gun**
** Warning spoiler territory ahead (and maybe some volcra)**
Alina & Mal
The worst romance in this entire series of Alina and Mal—I will FIGHT all Malina shippers to the death on this one. Admittedly, my thoughts and feelings come mostly from the boo,k however they still ring true in the Netflix series. If the guy you are pining for is describing you to his mates as “his little friend” I would advise running the other way. It is clear Alina feels more than just bestie vibes for Mal but he writes them off or simply doesn’t notice. It is only when Alina is unattainable and poses a challenge to Mal does he move into second gear. Alina deserves to be appreciated for the hot and more than capable cartographer she is, sun summoner or otherwise.
Alina & General Kirigan (The Darkling)
Not far from the bottom but however marginally more acceptable (only because Ben Barnes is hot, and yes sir I will make YOU my villain) are Alina and General Kirigan. We do not stan power imbalance and manipulation tactics in this household! I mean they are fun to look at, and that spicy make out scene WOW. My moral complex would be out the window too if the General Kirigan wanted to make out with me but alas, he doesn’t so I will not fall for the guise of romance today, no sir!
David & Genya
Now we can safely move into wholesome territory with David and Genya. These two were one of my favourite ships from the book series and their relationship was translated perfectly on screen. David is a Fabrikator (dealing with composite materials) and Genya is a Tailor (ability change a person’s appearance)—two of the best in their respective fields both serving General Kirigan. David is known for his eccentric ideas and Genya for her eccentric beauty. Despite how hard Genya tries it seems as though David is not susceptible to her looks. But what we know that Genya doesn’t is that every time she looks away from David his eyes are back on her. It is always the most beautiful girls falling for the weirdest dweebs (trust me I would know) but I love the little looks, the nerves and the sincerest of intentions with these two. They totally give me butterflies, so they get major heart eyes from me.
Kaz & Inej
If you weren’t already hooked by the presence of the S&B crew the Crows have come to play too. Hailing from Ketterdam we have our ruthless gang boss Kaz Brekker, AKA Dirtyhands, and wraith Inej Ghafa whose mutual appreciation for one another is more than meets the eye. Any Kanej stan knows that if these two were to ever touch their relationship would have been horrifically miss represented. Thankfully no intimacy of the sorts occurred between these two and it was PERFECT. The pining, the longing, the intense EYE CONTACT and Kaz’s continuous intimation that there is absolutely no one like Inej to him. I’m talking about LOVE here people, can’t you tell? Despite Kaz Brekker being notoriously known as a person you do not want to cross in Ketterdam the emotional investment he has in Inej Ghafa is second to none.
Honourable mention alert: JESPER AND MILO FOR LIFE. Okay this isn’t a romance, but I simply couldn’t ignore the undeniable connection these two have. Milo is the king of all our hearts and stole not only Jesper’s heart but also the show. Side note, Jesper’s tumble with the stable hand: is it hot in here or just me?
Nina & Matthias
Now finally, a tale as old as time; enemies to lovers. That’s right I’m talking a witch hunter and a witch – the two that had me literally sobbing every time they were on screen Nina Zenik and Matthias Helvar. S&B’s depiction of Nina & Matthias’ origin plot line was so beautiful. You can feel Nina’s seduction and Matthias’ confusion through the screen. The enemies to lover’s trope is fraught with danger, excitement and so much morality bending love. Nina’s outspoken and sexy nature is such a joy to watch on screen and the way this trope, expertly applied, highlights how prejudice is a made-up idea in a person’s mind makes their love all the more worth rooting for.
If you haven’t already watched Shadow and Bone several times over, I would highly recommend giving it a watch. Even if all the romances it has to offer haven’t convinced you I hope at least Milo will.
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Written by Courtney Dyer
Image source: Netflix