Fancasts/Dreamcasts

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

Image courtesy of Instagram profile: @queen_of_books_and_sleep

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

Image courtesy of unitedtalent.com

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

Image courtesy of fault-magazine.com

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

Credit to owner

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

Botkin Yul-Erdene: Daniel Dae-Kim

Image courtesy of ew.com

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

Credit to owner

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

Image courtesy of whowhatwear.com

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

Image courtesy of contactmusic.com

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

Image courtesy of zimbio.com

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

Credit to owner

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

Credit to owner

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

Credit to owner

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 Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning

Image courtesy of Instagram account: @my_heart_is_booked

***Fair Warning: This post will contain spoilers on the book series, read on at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***

The Fever series is one of my 2020 addictions as I’d discovered it thanks to the recommendation from a work friend, and I’ve devoured each book immediately after the next to see what happens with KMM’s masterful storytelling, and her ability to reveal valuable plot information at an achingly slow pace!

For those that don’t know already, this story revolves around a young, blonde party girl from Georgia named MacKayla Lane, and how she’s devastated when she discovers her older sister, Alina, was mysteriously murdered while studying at Trinity University over in Dublin, Ireland. Vengeful and seeking answers—along with retribution against her killer—Mac sets off for Dublin and discovers some even more shocking news…it turns out that she is a Sidhe-Seer: a person who can see past the glamours and illusions of the otherworldly race of creatures of the Fae, who have been living in the shadows of our world for longer than we’d ever realized.

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, she meets many different and mysterious characters along the way; two in particular are the rare and collectible bookstore owner, Jericho Barrons, along with the vicious and conniving Fae prince, V’lane. It turns out, they and a slew of other dangerous players are all searching for a dark, ancient, and powerful Fae artifact: the Sinsar Dubh. It’s an evil book that holds the power to create and destroy entire worlds, and Mac needs to find it before it gets into the wrong hands…

To see my review of book #1 – Darkfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #2 – Bloodfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #3 – Faefever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #4 – Dreamfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #5 – Shadowfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #6 – Iced – Click HERE

To see my review of book #7 – Burned – Click HERE

To see my review of book #8 – Feverborn – Click HERE

To see my review of book #9 – Feversong – Click HERE

To see my review of book #10 – High Voltage – Click HERE

To see my review of book #11 – A Kingdom of Shadow and Light – Click HERE

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Here is my official Fancast/Dreamcast:

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V’lane: Gabriel Aubry, or Jacey Elthalion

Gabriel Aubry, Image courtesy of gettyimages.com
Jacey Elthalion, Image courtesy of listal.com

V’lane is the Seelie Prince of the high court, and is the Queen’s consort, and apparently was so good looking that a human woman can reach climax just by being in his presence. He’s described as having long golden hair and hypnotic golden eyes that aren’t of this world, and these two male models came to mind when I had begun casting.

Alina Lane: Katheryn Winnick

Image courtesy of celebzz.com

Katheryn is most well known for her role in the hit TV show, Vikings, and has been seen in plenty of other fancastings of books/series I’ve read where there’s a blonde badass female lead. The role of Mac’s dead older sister isn’t a leading role, but I think she’d look the part, especially side by side with who I selected to play Mac.

Fiona Asheton: Lana Parilla

Image courtesy of coveteur.com

You may or may not have seen her play Regina, aka The Evil Queen in ABC’s Once Upon a Time, and I’ve loved her ever since those days. She has shown that she can play an incredibly complex role, and while that’s not really the case with Fiona’s role, I’d still think she’d play the irksome character just as well!

Inspector O’Duffy: Sean Bean

Image courtesy of bean-daily.livejournal.com

Sean Bean is known for many, many, many roles…For me, the most memorable are his times with Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. While I doubt he’d ever do a role like this for the Fever series if it were ever to get the green light, I’d still think he’d be an excellent choice! It would be…fitting.

Mallucé: Cody Fern

Image courtesy of popbuzz.com

I’d been introduced to Cody Fern when he’d been the Antichrist on American Horror Story, and I was blown away by his skill as an actor with that! He had the long, red hair and shortly after, I’d started reading the Fever series and got introduced to this interesting character who may or may not have been a vampire.

Roark “Rocky” O’Bannion: Manu Bennett

Image courtesy of the actor’s section on the CW’s Arrow wikia page

I know he may not exactly fit the physical description of the former boxer-turned-mob boss, but Manu has the physical presence in the roles he plays that match the intimidation the character gives off. If you don’t recognize this guy, he was in Spartacus, Arrow, and was the White orc in The Hobbit movies.

Derek O’Bannion: DJ Cotrona

Image courtesy of the actor’s IMDB profile

He’s an actor I like to look at, plain and simple. Despite the character, Mac did describe him as being pretty good looking, plus I’d believe it if he was casted as Manu Bennett’s on-screen younger brother. He was in the second GI Joe Movie, along with DC’s Shazam.

Dani O’Malley: Abigail Cowen

Image courtesy of chrislabadiephotography.com

This gorgeous actress is seen on Netflix shows like Stranger Things and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and has the perfect look for our younger cast member of the world of the Fever series!

Christian Mackeltar: Emilio Alcarez, Taylor Kitsch, or Andrew Biernat

Emilio, image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile
Taylor Kitsch, credit to owner
Andrew Biernat, image courtesy of the model/actor’s IMDB profile

Emilio is a model I’d found on Instagram, and I know he’s not technically from the same background as the member of the Druid’s that have helped the Seelie since ancient times, but I think he does fit the physical description pretty well. Another option is Taylor Kitsch, especially if he’d grow out his hair again like during his Friday Night Lights TV show days. Andrew is a model I found on Instagram who’s been on countless romance novel book covers, and is a more recent choice that would be a sexy male fae prince!

Ryodan: Ryan Paevey

Image courtesy of weareallsmith.com

What made this casting easy for me was Ryan’s eyes. They’re utterly mesmerizing and hypnotic, so this casting for me was almost instant once I’d finally met the Night Club owner in the books.

Jack Lane: Dennis Quaid

Image courtesy of People Magazine

Dennis Quaid, who doesn’t need any sort of reminder of who he is or what he’s been in, has been a favorite for fancasting Mac’s father, and I am completely on board with it!

Rainey Lane: Christie Brinkley

Image courtesy of wealthypersons.com

I’d watched Christie make a surprise appearance on Parks and Recreation as Jerry’s wife, and have known her since her Bowflex commercials with Chuck Norris. She’s a classic hollywood name, kind of up there with Pamela Anderson. She’d make a perfect casting for the Georgian southern belle of a mother, Rainey Lane.

Dreamy Eyed Guy: Nick Ayler

Image courtesy of the model’s Facebook page

Lord Master/Darroc: Sam Heughan

Credit to owner

Watch Outlander and know why everyone loves the TV version of Jamie Fraser, but I would be curious to see how he’d play a villain like the Lord Master in the Fever Series. He’s a terrific actor, and I’d know he’d absolutely crush it.

Inspector Jayne: Richard Armitage

Image courtesy of theonering.org

Inspector Duffy needs to look like a hero, like a Liam Neeson coming to find his daughter in Europe and somehow make more than one sequel on that…Well, At least KMM described him as a Liam Neeson type of character. Richard Armitage was Thorin in The Hobbit movies, and I think he’d be an excellent choice for Jayne!

Rowena O’Reilly: Miranda Otto

Image courtesy of BELLO Magazine

I’ve loved her ever since her days as Eowyn from the Lord of the Rings, but seeing her play aunt Zelda on the Netflix hit show, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, has made me think she’d be an amazing choice to play the role of the leader of the Sidhe Seers in the Fever Series!

Kat McLaughlin: Alexandra Daddario

Image courtesy hawtcelebs.com

Like a few guys on this casting, Alexandra’s eyes are truly magnificent! They’re utterly bewitching, and Kat’s eyes have been described as having a similar effect even though hers are gray instead of the light blue this actress’s are.

Jo Brennan: Hayley Marie Norman, or Jerrika Hinton

Image courtesy of essence.com
Image courtesy of hollywoodsblackrenaissance.com

Jo is described as being in her mid-twenties with dark, short & spiky hair, so these two actresses came to mind. Hayley was in the cheerleader movie, Fired Up, and was in the pilot episode of New Girl, while Jerrika was on Grey’s Anatomy for quite some time!

Isla O’Connor: Emily Blunt

Image courtesy of harpersbazaar.com

A lot of people are fancasting Charlize Theron as Isla O’Connor, and while I love Charlize and usually have her as a favorite for powerful blondes, I pictured Emily Blunt more as Mac’s biological mother because she’s also a beautiful woman, but in a different way than Charlize that I feel captures the essence of the character better.

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Updated: Here’s Part 2 of my Fancast/Dreamcast after reading past book #7: Burned

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Dancer: Ronen Rubinstein, David Corenswet, or Jonah Hauer-King

Ronen Rubinstein, image courtesy of notedames.com
David Corenswet, image courtesy of popbuzz.com
Jonah Hauer-King, image courtesy of 1883magazine.com

Dancer is quickly a favorite of mine, despite how he’s the character trope of being the cute & nerdy best friend who’s hopelessly in love with the protagonist, who was Dani when we met him in Book #6: Iced. Any of these actors could play our boy genius, they’re actually only 25 or 26, so they fit the age better than my other choice, who was Nicholas Hoult.

Lor: Kaman Sheldon, Philippe Leblond, or Steven Christensen

Kaman Sheldon, image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile
Philippe Leblond, image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile
Steven Christensen, image courtesy of the model’s Facebook page

I would go for Chris Hemsworth, who plays the lovable blond himbo role perfectly, I feel like he’s too easy of a choice, plus he’s way too big an actor to play him. Any of these models could be my pick, especially when we see sooooo much of Lor in Burned 😉

Fade: Joe Manganiello, or Casey Christopher

Joe Manganiello, image courtesy of thefashionisto.com
Casey Christopher, image courtesy of newzopedia.com

Both of these men have the Italian features of tan skin with dark hair and eyes, and both could be good choices to play the member of the pack of 9.

Jada: Miguelle Landry

Image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile

So she was originally my Dani O’Malley, and without giving much away except that I’ve read Burned by now, I had to make a switch on my casting!

Sean O’Bannion: Flamur Ukshini

Image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile

The O’Bannion family tree has a truly unique ethnic background: I believe they’re Black Irish with Arabian/Middle Eastern features as well… okay, well someone guide me to models/actors that fit that bill, but while I’m waiting, this Zayn Malik-lookalike model is my choice to play the last O’Bannion member who is betrothed to our Sidhe-Seer Empath, Kat.

Unseelie Prince Rath: Jay Byars

Credit to owner

Unseelie Prince Kiall: Alex Sewell

Image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile

Seelie Prince/King R’Jan: Rick Cosnett

Image courtesy of mixedarticle.com

You may or may not remember this guy making a short appearance in the fifth season of The Vampire Diaries where he played that professor that was much more than a pretentious jerk? I thought he’d play this part wonderfully!

Kasteo: Kenta Sakurai

Image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile

I made Kasteo a POC, why not? Not much is known about this silent member of the pack of 9, except that he is incredibly justified in exacting revenge on Barrons and Ryodan at some point! This Mexican/Japanese model has such a beautiful face, he gives me major vibes of Kasteo!

Dageus Mackeltar: Colin O’Donoghue

Credit to owner

Drustan Mackeltar: Sean Maguire

Image courtesy of sean-maguire.net

Margery Bean-McLaughlin: Katharine McPhee, Camilla Luddington, or Odette Annable

Katharine Mcphee, image courtesy of last.fm
Camilla Luddington, image courtesy of 9gag.com
Odette Annable, image courtesy of theplace2.ru

Any three of these credible actress’s could play the conniving and backstabbing Sidhe-Seer who’s looking to take over from Kat’s position past Shadowfever! They all give me vibes of what I pictured Margery appearing as.

Seelie Queen Aoibheal: Rachel McAdams

Image courtesy of 9gag.com

That’s right, Ms. Regina George herself is my queen of the fae because she’s been my real life queen ever since she’s been Regina George in my favorite quotable movie of all time: Mean Girls. I’m making it happen, it’s GONNA happen!

Unseelie King: Gerard Butler

Credit to owner

Gerard is such a terrific actor who has such variety and range in whatever roles he takes on. He also has such a powerful and commanding presence on the big screen, I know he’d make an excellent king now that we’re starting to see him in his actual form!

Unseelie Princess: Zoe Saldana

Image courtesy of Chris M. on Instagram

Zoe Saldana is no stranger to playing these kinds of roles, from Avatar to Guardians of the Galaxy, I know she’d be absolutely wonderful at playing this character too!

Cruce: Sahib Faber

Image courtesy of malemodelscene.net

That’s right, Cruce gets his own casting because V’lane was merely a glamour that he’d placed upon himself for so many years to fool us all! This male model is a perfect choice to play our first and most powerful Unseelie Prince who’s not entirely out of the picture quite yet.

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And without further ado… here are the two fancastings I’m sure everyone has been waiting for…

Jericho Barrons and MacKayla Lane!

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Jericho Barrons: Marco Dapper, or Michele Morrone

Marco Dapper, image courtesy of the actor’s IMDB profile

He’s not a very well known actor, I can admit that. Not everyone has heard of him, but I’d discovered him many years ago because I’d casted him in another role from another book. Yeah…I’ve been fancasting for awhile! He may not have the shoulder length hair, but I do believe Marco could look the part of one of my preferred alphaholes. Here are some examples:

Exhibit A: He’s pretty much got that heated, smoldering gaze down pat that we all know Jericho is almost famous for. I can already see the mix of disapproval and barely contained lust like he was staring at Mac in their Bookstore now!

Exhibit B: He looks hella good with his shirt off…He’s even got that longer hair to resemble Barrons even further (for any doubters that may still be out there).

Michele Morrone, image courtesy of marieclaire.com

After watching the… interesting film 365 Days on Netflix, I discovered this beautiful 29 year old Italian man who starred in it, and the entire time I was thinking to myself how this man was giving off some HEAVY Jericho Barrons vibes… I definitely wouldn’t be disappointed with running into him at the bookstore!

MacKayla “Mac” Lane: Barbara Blank

Image courtesy of the actress’s Instagram profile

She’s a reality tv star/actress, but I know her more as a former WWE female wrestler who went under the stage name “Kelly Kelly.” She had a name so nice, they’d named her twice and she sometimes had the characterization as a sexy, playful, flirty, stereotypical blonde that seemed VERY similar to our star of the whole book series. If you have any other doubts, she’s even had a similar hair changing moment like Mac too:

She’s had a time when she’d gone brunette after being blonde her whole life, so I think that is what sold me to personally fancast her as MacKayla Lane. Plus, being a former WWE competitor, you know she’d be able to do the more physically demanding stunts involved like when she needs to kick some serious Unseelie ass!

Stay to the light, and Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell