Ben Barnes as General Kirigan/The Darkling and Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov in Shadow And Bone.
22 'Shadow And Bone' Vocabulary Words To Know If You're New To The Grishaverse

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One of the best parts of the fantasy genre is getting to dive into a brand-new world full of adventure and magic, and Netflix's Shadow and Bone definitely delivers on that front. But to those new to the franchise, the complex setting can be a little confusing. To help you enjoy the show to the fullest, here's a list of Shadow and Bone vocabulary words that belong in your Grishaverse glossary:

Based on a series of novels by author Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone takes place in a world split in two by an unnatural, monster-filled darkness called the Shadow Fold. The series follows a young orphan named Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), who discovers she is a Grisha (a manipulator of elements) with the rare ability to summon light. Her newfound powers make her a crucial asset to the Kingdom of Ravka, but they also force her to reckon with others who hope to exploit her abilities for their own gain.

Although the world of Shadow and Bone was inspired by Russian mythology, it's a dangerous yet exciting world of its very own. Whether you're new to the series or just want more context as you watch the show, check out this list of terms from Shadow and Bone, which will help you better understand the Grishaverse as a whole.


Amplifiers are objects used to increase a Grisha's natural power. They are usually animals, although some humans (like General Kirigan) can also act as amplifiers. Most Grisha are only allowed to have one amplifier.


Also known as the Order of the Living and the Dead, Corporalki are regarded as the most-valued Grisha for their ability to kill and heal at will. This group of Grisha includes Heartrenders (who are trained to kill) and Healers (who are trained to heal). They can be identified by their red keftas.


Drüskelle are a specialized group of Fjerdan soldiers who are trained to capture and imprison Grisha.


Etherealki, also known as the Order of Summoners, have the ability to manipulate air. This group of Grisha includes Inferni (who can create fire), Squallers (who can create storms), and Tidemakers (who can control water). They can be identified by their blue keftas.

First Army
David Appleby/Netflix

The First Army is made up of non-Grisha Ravkan soldiers. They are drafted at the age of 17 and don't enjoy the same luxuries and accommodations as Grisha soldiers.


Fjerda is a cold, militaristic country north of Ravka. Fjerdans have a fierce hatred of Grisha.


Grisha are people with the power to manipulate matter at its most fundamental levels. Grisha serve in the powerful Second Army under General Kirigan.

David Appleby/Netflix

Keftas are traditional garments worn by Grisha in the Second Army. Each order of Grisha has a specific kefta color, and the color of each kefta's embroidery reveals a Grisha's designation within that order.


Kerch is a small island in East Ravka that's home to the bustling city of Ketterdam. It is a prosperous trading hub.


Ketterdam is the capital city of Kerch, and home to the Crow Club. It is home to a vast criminal underworld in which Kaz, Inej, and Jesper are involved.


Materialki are also known as the Order of Fabrikators. This group of Grisha includes Alkemi, who can manipulate chemicals (like poisons and explosives), and Durasts, who can manipulate solid matter (like metal, stone, and wood). They can be identified by their purple keftas.


Merzost is the unnatural use of Grisha power to animate or create matter. It's considered an abomination and led to the creation of the Shadow Fold.

Os Alta
David Appleby/Netflix

Os Alta is the capital city of Ravka. It's home to the royal family, as well as the Grishas' home, The Little Palace.


Ravka is the country where the bulk of Shadow and Bone takes place. It was torn in two by the creation of the Shadow Fold, and lacks resources and technology as a result.


Sandskiffs are ship-like transportation devices used to soundlessly transport humans and supplies across the Shadow Fold.

Second Army

The Second Army is comprised of skilled Grisha soldiers who serve under General Kirigan. They train at the prestigious Little Palace in Os Alta.

The Shadow Fold

The Shadow Fold is a swath of unnatural darkness filled with monsters known as volcra. It was created by a Grisha known as the Black Heretic, who illegally used merzost and split Ravka in two, creating a war.

Shadow Summoner

The Shadow Summoner is a Grisha with the rare power to summon darkness.

Shu Han

Shu Han is a wealthy country south of Ravka. Because the Shu Han are Ravka's enemies, Alina faces prejudice for her Shu Han ancestry.

Sun Summoner

A Sun Summoner is a Grisha with the rare ability to summon light, an ability rumored to be the only hope for destroying the Shadow Fold. Shadow and Bone protagonist Alina is the first-ever known Sun Summoner.

Small Science

Grisha don't consider their powers magical. Instead, they manipulate matter at its most fundamental levels, an ability known as "small science."


The Volcra are winged monsters who live inside the Shadow Fold. They hunt humans by sound and make crossing the Fold extremely dangerous.

Shadow and Bone Season 1 is on Netflix now.

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