Netflix's Shadow and Bone will hit our screens in no time and it will bring a unique flavor of magic. The show is based on Leigh Bardugo's YA fantasy booksShadow and Bone and Six of Crows, both of which are part of a longer list of novels and short stories taking place in the same world, conversely known as the Grishaverse. As this name indicates, the Grisha is a core part of Bardugo's world. But what exactly are they?
To put it simply, the Grisha are the closest Leigh Bardugo's world has to magic users – though you'll not see them call each other that. In-universe, the Grisha as known as practitioners of "Small Science."
In the Grishaverse, this describes the ability to manipulate matter to its most basic form. This ability is called science, rather than magic because it is precise and obeys natural laws. The Grisha don't generate something out of anything; rather, they make use of what is already there.
There are different types of Grisha, each with their own abilities, and even if you've read the books, they can be a bit much to memorize due to their different names. Don't fret though! We have compiled a guide with all the Grisha types, just on time before Shadow and Bone is released on Netflix on the 23rd of April.
Grisha Types in Shadow and Bone Explained: Etherealki
The Etherealki is one of the main Grisha orders, also known as "The Order of Summoners." They have a gift for manipulating natural elements and are divided into three categories, according to the element they manipulate. All Etherealki wear blue garments, with variations according to the category they embody.
The Squallers are Etherealki who manipulate air pressure, to influence weather conditions and objects. One of the most important Squaller in Shadow and Bone is Zoya Nazyalenski. The Tidemakers manipulate temperature to summon and control water, while the Inferni – as you might have surmised from their name – work with combustible gases to manipulate fire.
Our main character, Alina, who can summon light, and her foil and Grisha leader, the Darkling, who summons the darkness, can theoretically be classified as Etherealki, but they've overpowered exceptions, rather than the norm.
Grisha Types in Shadow andBone Explained: Corporalki
The order of the Corporalki might be less flamboyant than the Etherealki, as they don't raise storms or make things explode, but they're nothing short of terrifying when they choose to. This is because what they manipulate is the human body – it's not by chance that they're called "The Order of the Living and the Dead." Their garments are red with variations, and like the Etherealki, they have different specializations within their ranks.
The Heartrenders are arguably the scariest group, as they're able to manipulate and damage a person's internal organs. They can slightly slow someone's pulse to calm them down, but they can also make their heart stop, so they're naturally the most feared Grisha. Nina Zenik, an important character in Six of Crows whom we'll also see in the Netflix adaptation, is a Heartrender.
Healers are quite the opposite: they can mend wounds, though usually not ones meant to be fatal, or ones inflicted by magic. Finally, Tailors can change a person's appearance, but only if they have the right materials. An important Tailor to look out for in the show is Genya Safin.
Grisha Types in Shadow and Bone Explained: Materialki
The purple-clad Materialki manipulate composite materials, such as glass, metal, and chemicals. They're alternatively known as "Fabricators." Their abilities aren't as impressive as the ones we've discussed above, which makes other Grisha look down on them, but they have still made important inventions.
There are two types of Materialki; the Dusrasts manipulate solid items. While the Alkemi work with potions and blasting powders. In the past, none of these groups was trained in battle, but after the events of Shadow and Bone, they become increasingly valued members of the Grisha orders.