TGIF folks. My kids are off of school, but part of me just wants to curl up with my just-arrived copy of Melina Marchetta’s “Quintana of Charyn.” But we’ve got our weekly Casting Call feature for you presented by YA Crush, The Grown-Up YA, Gone Pecan, The Book Addict’s Guide and yours truly. The good news? Leigh Bardugo (whom I had the pleasure to meet this week at the Fierce Reads Tour) did get her book optioned by DreamWorks and it’s going to be produced by none other than David Heyman, who produced the Harry “Friggin'” Potter series! That’s like striking gold your first time heading out with a pan. So join us in the fun, cast your own ideal ensemble, and share the link below!
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.
Alina is considered (and even called) mousey at the beginning of the novel, but by the end of “Shadow and Bone,” she has emerged as one of the most powerful characters in young adult literature. Tipton is a model-turned-actress, but she can actually act (check out Wim Wenders’ “Damsels in Distress” for proof). Although she’s obviously beautiful, it would be easy to highlight how slight she is and for her to act shy and unsure until she transforms into Alina the Grisha who could save the entire world.
We have a thing for friends-to-more stories, so when it’s obvious from the get go that Alina has more than a platonic interest in her childhood best friend, we were immediately on board. It is, after all, her love for him that winds up unleashing her power of light. And even though she can’t see it, the readers know that Mal loves Alina too — that it’s always been these two orphans against the odds, and we need an actor who can convey strength and vulnerability, charm and intuitiveness. Kit — just look at him — could nail this part, even though he’s not a blond. Plus, Leigh confessed she is a HUGE George R.R. Martin fan, so we imagine she’d love the GoT connection!
Ian Somerhalder as the Darkling
I’m sure most of you think of Ian as Damon from “The Vampire Diaries,” but since I’ve only watched a handful of episodes, to me he’s still Boone from “Lost.” Still, I am female and can see the appeal of him as the archetypical “bad boy with the heart of gold” in “VD,” so I imagine he’d make a perfect Darkling. He’s got that edge, those bedroom eyes, that indeterminate age about him. Of course he could do a Dorian Gray type of supernatural creature — particularly one that makes all the women in the Ravka Court swoon with desire.
Helen Mirren as Baghra
Mirren needs no introduction; she’s the embodiment of awesome and can still bring it at age 67. Little known fact (to those who don’t read entertainment sites or magazines): Helen is half Russian (her given name is Ilyena Lydia Vasilievna Mironoff) and her paternal grandfather was a Russian aristocrat who fought in the Tsarist Army but was coincidentally in London during the outbreak of World War I (I assume thereby escaping the firing squads during the Russian Revolution). Baghra (who trains Alina to use her gift) is crotchety — sure — but she’s also full of secrets and wisdom and is ridiculously fierce. Helen could do this role in her sleep plus she’s gotta know fellow Brit David Heyman!
Join us in the fun! Cast your own “Shadow and Bone” ensemble and link up!
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Honesty Clause: In our development of this feature we discovered that the book blog Lit Snit featured “Casting Call Fridays.” Our Casting Call feature is in no way purposefully copying or stealing this idea and any similarities is purely coincidental. Also, you should check out their casting because it rocks!