Fancasts/Dreamcasts

My Fancast/Dreamcast: The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

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Leigh Bardugo is one of the my favorite authors around even from just reading her Six of Crows duology, but once I’d learned that they were actually a spin-off from this trilogy that she’d written before, I of course HAD to check them out too because let’s be honest: there are a few instances where there was obviously information referenced that I missed by not reading them prior. Whether it was because of a certain character’s surprise appearance, a past event mentioned, or more background information on the Grisha in general, I could tell I was missing some vital information.

While I enjoyed Six of Crows much more than this trilogy for multiple reasons, I can still say that the Shadow and Bone trilogy is not to be skipped over! There are some very memorable characters and plenty of twists and turns that you’d expect from Leigh Bardugo’s mind even if you’re like me and read these books out of order!

Even though there’s a Netflix show out with official castings, I still had my own version of the cast list of who I thought would play these characters in my head. Some of my choices below are my own, but I can also admit there’s a few selections from the actual show I agreed with that were mixed in with the bunch to add a little variety. See for yourself what you think!

Here’s a link below to my official Fancast/Dreamcast of the Six of Crows duology for those interested:

Click HERE to see my Six of Crows Fancast/Dreamcast

The Blurb of Shadow and Bone:

Soldier

Summoner.

Saint. 

Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold—a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.

Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite—and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.

As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.

Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems…

To see my review of book #1 – Shadow and Bone – Click HERE!

To see my review of book #2 – Siege and Storm – Click HERE!

To see my review of book #3 – Ruin and Rising – Click HERE!

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Here’s my official Fancast/Dreamcast:

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Zoya Nazyalensky: Shay Mitchell

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My first choice for this character was Megan Fox, which I had no problem with except for when I later learned that Zoya is actually a person of color. I mean, she was the token “mean girl” in the first book, and Leigh described her pretty much as being stupid hot, so c’mon, Megan Fox is an obvious choice for me! Shay is also such a beautiful woman! Her Filipino, Scottish, and Irish descent makes her a much more accurate choice.

Genya Safin: Miguelle Landry

Image courtesy of the model’s Instagram Profile

This Instagram model is like my go to face for whenever a book calls for a gorgeous redhead, so sorry not sorry, but you’re gonna see her on a few of my fancasts *shrugs*.

David Kostyk: Luke Pasqualino

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I don’t know much about him as an actor; he was on Skins not that I ever watched it, but he’s an actual casting for the part on the Netflix show, so I can roll with this casting choice!

Baghra Morozova: Zoë Wanamaker

Image courtesy of theguardian.com

She is another actual casting from the Netflix show, but most of you may or may not recognize her from another popular YA Fantasy series? No? Here’s a hint: she was the broom flying instructor at a certain school for young witches and wizards!

Nikolai Lantsov: Lucas Bloms

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A gorgeous male-model to play a gorgeous prince? Need I say more?

Botkin Yul-Erdene: Daniel Dae-Kim

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Daniel may seem like a cliché go to character for these types of roles, but I can’t help but keep that way of thinking with him playing the role of Alina’s combat instructor at the small palace. I just think he’d make an excellent tutor!

Ivan: Simon Sears

Image courtesy of the actor’s IMDB profile

He’s another actual casting choice for the Netflix show, and he’s not really described as well as I’d hoped in the books, so I’m happy to give my blessing for this choice! He looks rugged and rough around the edges, just like I’d imagined what one of the Darkling’s closest soldier’s would look like.

Fedyor Kaminksy: Julian Kostov

Image courtesy of the actor’s Instagram profile

Julian is actually casted to play this character for the show, so I thought I’d share him too and say I support this choice! I remember I liked Fedyor whenever he made an appearance in the books, sure he wasn’t afraid to viciously kill anyone who stood against him, but at least he killed a Fjerdan in order to protect Alina, right? Right…

Harshaw: Andrew Garfield

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Harshaw is described as being tall and gangly with red hair, so for some reason I thought of Andrew Garfield. Not sure why; Harshaw’s a wackjob who talks to his cat too much and probably an arsonist who just also happens to be an inferni…so yeah…Most of you would recognize Andrew from The Amazing Spider-Man movies with Emma Stone, and The Social Network.

Marie: Nathalie Kelley

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Marie was a conflicting character throughout the books…Sure, she tried to befriend Alina right away when the Sun Summoner first appeared at the small palace, but she was totally two-faced to Zoya and elitist with Genya, and flipped sides when her boyfriend, Sergei, spoke out against Alina in Siege and Storm. I just found her really catty, so I thought Nathalie, who’s been in The Vampire Diaries, and Dynasty (both CW shows), I thought she’d play the part well!

Nadia Zhabin: Gabrielle Brooks

Image courtesy of the actress’s IMDB Profile

Nadia is pretty much the same as Marie up above, but doesn’t really stick up for herself. Gabrielle is another actual casting choice for the show, which I just want to point out is great that they switched up her look because the books described her as kind of a mousy little blonde, so I’m happy with how Leigh wanted to make it a point to try and add more diversity amongst the cast!

Tamar Kir-Bataar: Lana Condor

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I’m surprised it doesn’t seem like Tamar and her twin brother are going to be in the Netflix show! Like, they’re not even listed on the Netflix show’s IMDB page (check it out HERE)…Whatever I guess, their loss because she’s a badass! Lana may look small and fragile like she kind of is in the All the Boy’s I’ve Met Before Netflix movies, but check out other films she’s been in, and it’s obvious she can hold her own in more action-packed flicks.

Tolya Kir-Bataar: Ross Butler

Image courtesy of the actor’s IMDB profile

Ross is on Netflix’s adaptation of 13 Reasons Why and DC’s “Shazam,” and he’s a tall guy who can also pull off the stoic, “tough guy” persona that I pictured Tolya constantly showed whenever he made an appearance. I’m still upset that him and his sister didn’t make it into the Netflix show apparently…

Ana Kuya: Amanda Donohue

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Amanda just gives me more of how I pictured the owner of the orphanage where Alina and Mal grew up than who they casted for the show! I’m sure the actual actress will still do a great job though!

The Apparat: David Bradley

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David Bradley is just so good at playing creepy, despicable old men in Fantasy settings! He was Argus Filch in the Harry Potter films and Walder Frey in Game of Thrones, and the Apparat gave me some weird vibes, so I immediately thought of David Bradley to play him.

Sergei Beznikov: Jack Falahee

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Sergei was another one of those really conflicting characters in the books; I didn’t really have the greatest opinion of him, especially when he tries to oppose Alina in trying to take charge of the second army, but I felt for him at the end of Siege of Storm and what happened to him…there’s more to it, but I won’t spoil it! I loved Jack in How to Get Away with Murder, and thought he’d be a great choice!

Alina Starkov: Jessica Mei Li

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Here’s another actual casting off the Netflix show, and I for one am happy with how Leigh made it more of a point to make the cast more diverse with more POC actors! She felt bad about how whitewashed she made the books, apologized, and has been making it a point to not do that ever again. Kudos to her, and I can’t wait to see how Jessica portrays our main protagonist of the Shadow and Bone trilogy!

Mal Oretsev: Christian Hogue

Image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile

So, Mal gives me the whole “Golden Boy, Big Man on Campus, Star Quarterback, Homecoming King” kind of guy that we see all over YA fiction, but of course, this particular time in a Fantasy setting. Christian is an Instagram model I’ve known about for some time, and he’s just who came to mind for me when I pictured Alina’s childhood friend-turn-lover.

The Darkling: Nick Ayler

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I’d also casted Nick Ayler as my Magnus Damora in the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes, and I will admit him and the Darkling have some similarities in their aesthetics…they’re both the broody, dark haired bad boy who the golden, innocent protagonist has mixed feelings for…so why not have Nick play my favorite character in the whole trilogy. Besides being my favorite character, you’ve outta admit he’s got the coolest nicknames!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Fancasts/Dreamcasts

My Fancast/Dreamcast: The Six Of Crows Series by Leigh Bardugo

In Bardugo’s fantasy realm of the Grisha, supernatural beings with the ability to manipulate different elements, are in danger as a drug has been developed that means deadly consequences, and the only person who knows the cure has been taken prisoner inside the impenetrable fortress, the Ice Court, in the Frozen northern land of Fjerda. Can Kaz Brekker and his recruits of thieves, assassins, and runaways pull off the biggest heist in history?

To see my review of book #1: Six of Crows – Click here!

To see my review of book #2: Crooked Kingdom – Click here!

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Here’s my official Fancast/Dreamcast:

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Kaz Brekker: Ben Barnes

Image courtesy of bleedingcool.com

I mean, does this image alone NOT give you Kaz Brekker vibes? Sure, Ben Barnes seems older for this role and he’s officially casted as the Darkling on the Netflix show, but I’d made this casting choice before the show was even a thought, and I think he could perfectly exude that dark and twisty vibe that Kaz constantly exudes as he plots against his enemies. The former Prince Caspian, Westworld, & The Punisher actor, in my mind is perfect for this role!

Inej Ghafa: Kelly Gale

Image courtesy of weheartit.com

I know this won’t be a popular choice, but imagined Inej with a really particular look, and this Indian/Australian model looked very much like what I imagined “The Wraith” to appear as.

Wylan Van Eck: Daniel Sharman

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I know this may also not be a popular choice, but I’ve always seen Daniel play the arrogant bad-boy in The Originals, and Teen Wolf, but I’m curious to see him play a role thats the total opposite of that! Let’s stop typecasting, yeah?

Jasper Fahey: Kendrick Sampson

Image courtesy of the actor’s Twitter profile

He’s a go-to POC guy for me, I know…but I imagined what him and Daniel Sharman looked like together and I couldn’t help but ship it! See him make appearances in shows like How to Get Away with Murder, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural to name a few!

Matthias Helvar: Wyatt Nash

Image courtesy of the actor’s IMDB profile

This guy sneaks around and becomes a side character for SO many shows that I watch! Catch him in Netflix’s Dear White People, GLOW, and he also was recently added to Riverdale! Others may go for a Kellan Lutz type of guy, but remember that Matthias has been in prison for some time when we meet him, the dude isn’t going to be shredded or jacked, he’s going to have thinned out a bit, but still be just as blond and handsome as we believe!

Nina Zenik: Robyn Lawley

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Nina was the hardest character to cast for this group! There aren’t a whole lot of plus-sized actresses or models that I felt matched Nina’s physical description and also could possibly exude her sensual confidence! I initially had plus-size model Tara Lynn as a casting choice, but now I’ve updated to this other plus-sized model. She’s Australia’s top plus-sized model, and has even been featured in Ralph Lauren ads!

Pekka Rollins: Aidan Gillen

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Leader of the Den Lions, an enemy gang to the Dregs lead by Kaz; he’s an overall douche-wad with some serious power in Ketterdam, so I thought the man who played the slimiest character in Game of Thrones, Littlefinger, would be perfect for this role!

Jan Van Eck: Martin Henderson

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Another powerful man in Ketterdam, he’s Wylan’s father and one of the most influential merchants in this series. While being a complete asshole, the man is still described as being pretty easy on the eyes, and after watching him in Grey’s Anatomy, I thought this Kiwi actor from New Zealand would be a good choice!

Tante Heleen: Betty Gilpin

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After enjoying her in the Women’s wrestling show on Netflix GLOW, I thought she’d be a great person to cast as the despicable brothel owner who used to physically torment Inej back when she was a sex slave.

Per Haskell: Skeet Ulrich

Image courtesy of weheartit.com

The former leader of the Dregs before Kaz took over; he’s a moody, drunken, greedy man who’s a shell of his former glory. Watching him in play Southside Serpent Gang Leader FP Jones in the CW’s Riverdale, Skeet seemed like a safe choice. I’d just ask him to turn it down on the rugged charm and endearing fatherly moments!

Jarl Brum: Tom Hardy

Image courtesy of nytimes.com

Leader of the Drüskelle (the Fjerdan organization formed to eradicate Grisha), and Mathias’s former mentor, he’s a ruthless witch hunter who’s extremely dangerous! Tom Hardy is an incredibly versatile actor, and I think he’d be great with playing this military general.

Kuwei Yul-Bo: BooBoo Stewart

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Jordie Rietvold: Ben Schnetzer

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He was the overall favorite to play Kaz’s older brother in almost EVERY other fancast I found, So I thought I’d continue the bandwagon because I do see it immensely.

Dunyasha Lazareva: Alyssa Campanella

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She’s a gorgeous, scarlet-haired assassin who’s known as “The White Blade.” Pekka Rollins and Jan Van Eck hired personally as a lethal contender to go up against Inej, who believes her to be her shadow; her other half, the flip side of the coin, the ying to her yang, you get the picture. She’s not an actress, but the former Miss USA winner sure looks the part!

Genya Safin: Miguelle Landry

Image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile

Another gorgeous redhead, this Tailor Grisha makes a surprise appearance in Crooked Kingdom along with some other noteworthy characters from the Shadow and Bone trilogy! Again, not an actual actress, but give this model some ember colored contacts, and she’d for sure look the part!

Nikolai Lantsov: Lucas Bloms

Image courtesy of adonmag.com

Oh Nikolai…one of Leigh Bardugo’s masterpieces, besides the Six of Crows duology in general, and this male model could definitely take on the role of Sturmhond!

Zoya Nazyalenksy: Shay Mitchell

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Shay Mitchell is a personal favorite of mine since I’d first seen her in Pretty Little Liars, and she wowed me too when she was in the first season of You on Netflix. She’s so absolutely gorgeous, and just throw on a pair of blue eye contacts and she’d be a perfect Zoya!

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Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell