7 Awesome Book-To-Screen Adaptations On Netflix That Fans Recommend

Time for another binge-fest!

Cover image via Netflix
Image via Netflix

Based on Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grishaverse series, Shadow and Bone is not your typical YA story about a “Chosen One” set in a dystopian world. Okay, it is that, but with a whole lot of magic and mayhem that even those who have outgrown YA literature would be drawn to.  

The show is a combination of both the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology, with Bardugo working hand-in-hand with showrunner Eric Heisserer to flesh out new stories for key characters in the latter series. Against the backdrop of a young heroine coming to terms with her powers, a gang of charismatic criminals — and an emotional support goat — race against time to pull off the ultimate heist.

Main cast: Jessie Mei Li, Archie Renaux, Ben Barnes

Release date: 23 April 2021

Episode count: 8 (Season 1)

Watch it if you like:
- Fantasy
- Teen Drama
- Action & Adventure

2. Lupin

Image via Netflix

Inspired by the fictional adventures of Arsène Lupin, gentleman thief Assane Diop sets out to avenge his father for an injustice inflicted by a wealthy family.

First introduced in 1905, Arsène Lupin was featured in 17 novels and 39 novellas by its creator Maurice Leblanc, and has inspired a number of books from other writers as well as numerous films, TV shows, stage plays, comic book adaptations, and even video games.

Following the premiere of Lupin in January, Maurice Leblanc’s original book began trending in several countries including Italy, Spain, the US, the UK, and Korea. Looks like the French icon’s influence has persevered in the 21st century, and will continue to do so when Lupin returns for Part 2 in the summer.

Main cast: Omar Sy, Ludivine Sagnier, Clotilde Hesme

Release year: 2021

Episode count: 5 (Part 1)

Watch it if you like:
- Crime & Mystery
- Action & Adventure
- Witty Comedies
- French Shows

Image via Netflix

Who would’ve thought a seven-episode series about chess could have us at the edge of our seats as if we were watching a Thomas Cup final?

Based on the 1983 novel by Walter Tevis, The Queen’s Gambit is a gripping drama that explores the true cost of genius in the form of young orphan Beth Harmon, who discovers an astonishing talent for chess. As she climbs the ranks in chess tournaments all over the country, Beth struggles to keep her personal demons at bay, further fuelled by a cocktail of narcotics and obsession.

Not only did the show’s widespread success contribute to skyrocketing sales for chess sets, it also led to the novel charting at #3 on the New York Times Best Sellers list for the first time since it was published 37 years ago. It went on to stay in the Top 10 for 11 weeks.

Main cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Camp, Marielle Heller

Release date: 2020

Episode count: 7 (Season 1)

Watch it if you like:
- Dramas
- Social Issues
- Intellectual Shows

Image via Netflix

Taking the world by storm and named Netflix’s biggest series, Bridgerton is based off the novels by Julia Quinn. There are eight books in total, each focusing on a Bridgerton sibling.

Our introduction to the family in Season 1 is based off the novel The Duke and I. It follows the story of Daphne Bridgerton as she enters proper society in search of a husband. But her debut takes an interesting turn when she bumps into a handsome but reluctant Duke.

Main cast: Regé-Jean Page, Phoebe Dynevor, Jonathan Bailey

Release date: 2020

Episode count: 8 (Season 1)

Watch it if you like:
- Period Dramas
- Witty Romance
- Swoonworthy Shows

Image via Netflix

The video game trilogy made it a worldwide phenomenon, but did you know that the on-screen adaptation of The Witcher is actually based on the book series of the same name?

Created and written by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher — or rather, Wiedźmin in Polish — is a series of six novels and 15 short stories centered on Geralt of Rivia, a “witcher” or beast hunter with supernatural abilities. Netflix's first season follows Geralt, a solitary monster hunter for hire, as he travels through the world at different points in time. 

Fans of the series can also look forward to the upcoming animated film The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf and The Witcher: Blood Origins, a second live-action prequel series focusing on the origin of the Witchers.

Main cast: Henry Cavill, Anya Chalotra, Freya Allan

Release date: 2019

Episode count: 8 (Season 1)

Watch it if you like:
- Fantasy
- Drama
- Action & Adventure

Image via Netflix

Based on the New York Times bestselling novel of the same name by Malaysian writer Yangsze Choo, The Ghost Bride marks the first Netflix Mandarin original series to be shot in Malaysia with local directors Quek Shio-Chuan and Ho Yuhang at the helm.

Set in 1890s colonial Melaka, the story centres on Li Lan, who was offered a marriage proposal from a wealthy family to become a "ghost bride" to their recently deceased son. In her desperation to get out of the ghastly union, Li Lan soon finds herself drawn into the Chinese afterlife, where she must uncover the Lim family's darkest secrets and the truth about her own family.

The six-part serial also featured a collaboration of talents from Hollywood, Malaysia, and Taiwan. Canadian-Chinese actor Ludi Lin, recently seen in Black Mirror and Mortal Kombat, stars as Tian Bai alongside Taiwanese actors Huang Peijia as Li Lan and Wu Kang Ren as Er Lang.

Main cast: Huang Peijia, Wu Kang-Ren, Ludi Lin

Release date: 2020

Episode count: 6

Watch it if you like:
- Supernatural Fantasy
- Period Pieces
- Suspenseful Mysteries

Image via Netflix

Based on the New York Times bestseller and 2008 Man Booker Prize-winning novel, Balram Halwai (Adarsh Gourav) narrates his epic and darkly humorous rise from poor villager to successful entrepreneur in modern India.

The White Tiger comes into his own as the young and ambitious hero jockeys his way into becoming a driver for Ashok (Rajkummar Rao) and Pinky (Priyanka Chopra Jonas), who have just returned from America. Though eager to please his rich masters, he soon realises the corrupt lengths they are capable of after a night of betrayal. On the verge of losing everything, Balram rebels against a rigged and unequal system to rise up and become a new kind of master.

Main cast: Adarsh Gourav, Rajkummar Rao, Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Release date: 2021

Watch it if you like:
- Offbeat Crime Movies
- Social Issue Dramas
- Provocative Films

Whether you’re already a fan or have yet to dive into the books, catch these page-to-screen adaptations on Netflix!

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