June 11, 2012

Review: The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

Series: Tatiana and Alexander
Format: Hardback
Excerpt here
Release Date: May 22, 2001
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Against this backdrop of danger and uncertainty, Tatiana meets Alexander, an officer in the Red Army whose self-confidence sets him apart from most Russian men and helps to conceal a mysterious and troubled past.

Once the relentless winter and the German army's blockade take hold of the city, the Metanovs are forced into ever more desperate measures to survive. With bombs falling and food becoming scarce, Tatiana and Alexander are drawn to each other in an impossible love that threatens to tear her family apart and reveal his dangerous secret -- a secret as destructive as the war itself. Caught between two deadly forces, the lovers find themselves swept up in a tide of history at a turning point in the century that made the modern world.
THE BRONZE HORSEMAN was recommended to me by a cousin, Adry, of ours over a year ago and I have to say I was both heartbroken and in love at the end. I had doubts at first because books set during the World War isn't really my thing but due to Adry's gushing I decided to plow through the thing. I have to say, it wasn't easy going through this 637 paged book not because of PSimons writing but due to the heart wrenching drama, tragedy and triumph that surrounds Tatiana and Alexander and the rest of Russia during the war. 

Just like that Leo Tolstoy novel, War and Peace or the movie classic Doctor Zhivago (1965), this story is riveting as it illustrates not only the journey and hardships of the characters but dabbles in politics, communism and poverty during this time period.  THE BRONZE HORSEMAN is filled with death, war and famine against the backdrop of a seemingly Winter paradise that is Russia and  in the middle of all this tragedy is Tatiana and Alexander whose budding and enduring love for each other is the proverbial rose in winter. IMHO, there's nothing romantic in this book in the sense that though Tatiana and Alexander are in a relationship, there are a lot of factors that gets in the way of seeing that romance through. But if by romance you mean surviving every obstacle that crossed their paths, then THE BRONZE HORSEMAN gets five cauldrons for that.

This epic tale put my heart through the wringer, I can only imagine what it was like to live through a World War with rationed foods and curfews let alone survive it in the middle of a Siberian Winter. It painted a grim picture of what human survival truly is and there is nothing pretty about it. Tatiana has got to be one of my favorite heroines, I can't expound on the why without revealing major spoilers but she'd be a lot like Zoya Fyodorova or Anne Frank if she survived the Holocaust and lived to adulthood. As for Alexander, he'd be the human/ real version of Dimitri Belikov (Vampire Academy) or any soldier for that matter who went to war, fought and struggled to survive if only to go back to the peace, comfort and security of their family. 
Now this is what boggles my mind, it seems like the one I read was the condensed version, or maybe just books 1 & 2 combined in one volume. Much to both my dismay and delight, this is a trilogy and that Tatiana and Alexander is bound to have a HEA after all. I have yet to read The Summer Garden but I can already tell that major waterworks is on the way and I, for one, am ready to stock up on a box of Kleenex as a companion for the last novel.

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  1. I haven't read The Summer Garden but I loved the first book. Gorgeous story! Nice review.

  2. YAYYY! I'm so glad you read this books. The trilogy has been my favorite books of all time! Just wait for The Summer Garden, I cried so much! Have you heard that The Bronze Horseman is hitting the big screen!? They were plans last year about the movie but they are figuring things out! Hopefully we will see it very soon!
    I haven't read Dr. Zhivago yet, now I know I have to! Thank you so much for this beautiful review, hopefully more people can read this amazing books!

  3. I haven't heard of this book or this series and I too am not one to read books set in those times. But wow, this does seem like a good one and I'm willing to give it a try. Adding it to my TBR list :)

    Ana♥ @ Beach Bum Reads

    -BTW, I'm having a giveaway, feel free to stop by :)

    1. You should, but prep a reading kit that includes some Kleenex and a cozy throw.

  4. Ohhhhhhhhh Tatiana and Alexander! My favourite historical romance of all time! It's so tragic, and moving and ahhhhhhh I get all wrung out just thinking about it.

    *stops gushing*

    So glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Thank you ladies, these Russians are giving the Greeks a run for their money with their tragic stories and cursed relationships.

  6. Wow, that's a LONG book! And it sounds like you really have to be ready to be put through the emotional ringer! :) I'm adding it to my list to check into. Thanks for the review!

  7. Thanks, Braine, I'm going to check it out now! It sounds like an engrossing, riveting romance. Roland

    1. Oh it is! It's like War and Peace with less characters LOL.

  8. Well here is something new to read. Sounds like if you were put through the wringer, then I too will be mopping the tears up! Big book!!I see condensed 2 books in 1?? I am a bit confuzzed by this. The three covers you are showing are individual books but the cover of your review is 2 books in one?

    Also Nearly your Blogversary Happy Bloigversay!! Girls!! I shall be asleep when the widget finishes xxxx


  9. Oh please do read this! I thought it was a.standalone so I was so heartbroken at the end, this was before I was blogging so I didn't really bother much and this was the first book I borrowed from the library. Then recently someone was talking about it and after a little research I found that it is a series and looking at the blurbs, the version I read is the combination of 1 and 2. So i have yet to read the HEA part

  10. Thanks for a great review. I've been eyeing this book for a while. Definitely going to have to go check it out :)

  11. I have these on my wish list and just haven't gotten around to them. I enjoyed the review.

  12. I enjoyed the review. I haven't read much during that time period, but this book sounds really good and I think I'd enjoy it.

  13. Definately on my TBR because I've never read a story in this time period and I love historicals.

  14. Hi there, there is a collection of book links happening right now at Carole's Chatter. This time we are collecting links to posts about your favourite historical fiction. Here is the link Your Favourite Historical Fiction Please do pop by and link in – maybe this nice one? Have a lovely day.

  15. Some names were hard to distinguish. Good story though. People had multiple names and nicknames making it difficult to track.
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