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You can watch the first season for the twisty world-building, Wendy Partridge's lovely costumes, several enjoyable performances and the comfort of its reliable YA plotting. Just don't expect to immediately understand everything.
Unlike its predecessors on film, this Netflix adaptation sets about improving on the source material's tired, sexist clichés at every turn, creating a lead character worthy of her own adventure series.
Shadow and Bone is proof that adapting someone else's work doesn't mean adapting all of their choices - it's possible to be bolder, more introspective, and in some cases corrective to the original story and come out looking better than ever.