Quickie Review: The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

Publisher: Harper
Where did you get the book: Purchased
Release date: Out now

The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler’s armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad. bronzehorseman

Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana–and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander’s impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects–a secret as devastating as the war itself–as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever.

*blurb taken from Goodreads*

I’ve been looking for an epic romance for a long time and was getting all sadfaced when it kept eluding me. Jane from Dear Author mentioned The Bronze Horseman on twitter and I thought to myself, go on–give it a try. Since it’s 99p on the UK Kindle store, I thought what a fantastic bargain.

I was not expecting The Bronze Horseman to completely wreck me. The setting is so vivid, and I almost felt as if I was in Leningrad during WW2. The book is set against a stark time period. Love, passion, death and war all feature in this book. This is not your conventional romance story, and it’s not without flaws. Tatiana is a Mary Sue but I forgave the character that flaw because of what she had to endure.

The book starts off innocently with Tatiana eating an ice-cream on a bench. She’s wearing her special dress and shoes, and she is carefree in the world. She lives with her family and she’s feeling excited about the talk of evacuation. At that moment in time, Tatiana is young and selfish. She doesn’t comprehend what war means, and she’s blissfully happy eating her ice-cream cone. But her eyes meet those of a young handsome soldier across the street from her, and time seems to stand still. Tatiana and Alexander are captivated and mesmerized with one another. Love doesn’t blossom innocently between them, but erupts passionately.

The Bronze Horseman is a book that doesn’t shy away from the consequences of the blockade in Leningrad. It also doesn’t shy away from messy entanglements of the heart. One of the biggest obstacles of Tatiana and Shura’s (his nickname Tatiana uses for him) romance is his involvement with, Dasha, Tatiana’s oldest sister. It makes for ugly and messy reading, yet the romance between Shura and Tatiana has plenty of page time. Never has glances and innocent of touches contained so much passion and tension. I mentioned Tatiana being a Mary Sue, and she’s definitely that for most of the book. It nearly came across as annoying, but I was so engrossed with the story that it didn’t bother me. It’s probably the one time that I forgave a character for being a Mary Sue.

The blockade was heart wrenching. People were starved to death, and the author didn’t shy away from what happens to your body when you’re starving. She also didn’t shy away from what people would do to feed their bellies, and that’s including licking and eating wallpaper paste from the walls. The book is long. Very very long. And yet I was glued to the pages. The bags underneath my eyes are a testament to how engrossed I was in this story.

This quickie review doesn’t do this book justice, but I wasn’t planning on reviewing this title. But after reading The Bronze Horseman, I knew there was no way I couldn’t not mention it.

I give The Bronze Horseman an A.

4 thoughts on “Quickie Review: The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons”

  1. This book tore out my heart, stepped on it, set it on fire and had me wanting more. My all time favorite romance is TBH.

    Blueberry ice cream and time standing still *sob*

  2. I just finished this book last weekend. The angst was off the chart. I agree with the reviewer re: feeling the desperation of Leningrad during the blockade in WWII. An amazing book.

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