Includes review + book & author details
But we loved with a love that was more than love.
–Edgar Allen Poe
What has this book done to me?
There’s a reason everybody calls The Bronze Horseman an epic love story. Those are the only words that can come close to describing the sheer beauty and perfection this story was.
When Tatiana looked up from her ice cream, she saw a soldier staring at her from across the street.
One look, and as they say, the rest was history!
If only it was that easy.
Not only has Tatiana set her sights on him, but so has her sister, Dasha. She’s convinced herself she’s in love with him and to spare her sister pain, Tatiana has set aside her own feelings for him so that her sister won’t suffer.
It’s 1941 in Leningrad and a war has started. The Siege has started.
**Before I go on further I just want to clarify: I would not classify this as a love triangle. For those of you who love them, there is a smidgen of it. It’s barely there.
For those of you, like me, who absolutely abhor them, no worries! I would say it’s more of a forbidden romance.
“Ask yourself these three questions, Tatiana Metanova, and you will know who you are. Ask:
What do you believe in?
What do you hope for?
But most importantly– ask:
What do you love?
I can go on and on for days about how much I absolutely loved this book. You won’t find a book like this anywhere else. Their love… it’s the kind of love that everybody looks for. Love that makes you believe. In God, in each other, in something.
“I don’t want to die… and not feel just once what you feel.”
Someday her spirit would soar, she thought, but not this day.
Tatiana is one of my all-time favorite heroines. Maybe even number one. She was so selfless and pure. She had this aura that you could see and feel while you read.
Many complain that she was weak and too selfless but I wholeheartedly disagree. Yes, she had her moments but don’t we all? I think it takes an incredibly strong person to put their own needs aside for others. To not give into their own wants and conveniently forget about everyone else’s feelings. With where she is at in the end of the book alive and standing when we know where everybody else is she obviously must’ve been doing something right. It takes a strong person to survive everything she went through.
The innocence of honesty was gone forever, for she knew she would have to live in deceit, every day in verse and prose, in close quarters… she would live in deceit. Because she felt for him.
But what Tatiana felt for Alexander was true.But my innocence is gone forever.
“Sometimes things don’t work out the way we hope, do they? No matter how much we plan, or how much we wish.”
He wasn’t perfect, by far, but he was pretty damn close. It’s hard for me to explain exactly why I love him so much. There are some guys that win you over with big, grand gestures but Alexander focused on the little things. The small things that showed he was listening, that he cared. He would grab onto the tiniest details and make them special.
Despite how much they loved each other, though, things never came easy to them. If it was any other couple, any other love, I don’t believe they could have survived. They made some difficult decisions, whether they were right or wrong is up to the reader to decide, and it definitely tested them. And the war was only making things worse.
“You promised me you would forgive me–”
“Forgive you,” Tatiana hissed through her teeth, tears streaming down her face, “for your brave and indifferent face, Alexander!” She groaned in pain. “Not for your brave and indifferent heart.”
However, I always believed that they would make it. They have a love like no other and if anybody could make it, it’d be them.
I want you to know that should something happen to me, don’t worry about my body. My soul isn’t going to return to it, nor to God. It’s flying straight to you, where it knows it can find you, in Lazarevo. I want to be with neither kings or heroes, but with queen of Lake Ilmen.
I can’t rave enough about how well written The Bronze Horseman was. Paulina Simmons has a gift. She can make you fall in love with her characters and have you feel for them deeply and absolute despise others. She knew how to toy with my emotions perfectly. Not only was I invested into Tatiana and Alexander’s but also in the story. The way she described The Siege left me feeling desolate. I can’t even imagine what it must’ve been like living during that time. To actually feel yourself slowly die. To feel your organs shut down one by one.
The man’s face, his walk, his silly hat stayed in Tatiana’s mind as she closed her eyes at night. It wasn’t his death that tormented her, because, unfortunately, Tatiana has seen death before… But it was this man’s walking gait that Tatiana saw when she closed her eyes, because when he died, he had been walking, and though he was walking slower than Tatiana, he was not walking slower by much.
This is a story that will make you feel. Love, pain, heartbreak, need, desperation… everything.
The Bronze Horseman is long, about 800 pages, but trust me, by the end of the book you’ll be begging for more. It all goes by quicker than you want it to so don’t let the length scare you! I would recommend this book to anyone in a heartbeat.
“As if God Himself joined our flesh…” He took another breath. “… Me and you together, and said, they shall be one.”
Book & Author Details
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publication date: April 2, 2001
Book Description: 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.
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.
About the author: Paullina Simons was born in Leningrad, USSR, in 1963. At the age of ten her familyimmigrated to the United States. Growing up in Russia Paullina dreamt of someday becoming a writer. Her dream was put on hold as she learned English and overcame the shock of a new culture.
After graduating from university and after various jobs including working as a financial journalist and as a translator Paullina wrote her first novel Tully. Through word of mouth that book was welcomed by readers all over the world.
She continued with more novels, including Red Leaves, Eleven Hours, The Bronze Horseman, The Bridge to Holy Cross (also known as Tatiana and Alexander), The Summer Garden and The Girl in Times Square (also known as Lily). Many of Paullina’s novels have reached international bestseller lists.
Apart from her novels, Paullina has also written a cookbook, Tatiana’s Table, which is a collection of recipes, short stories and recollections from her best selling trilogy of novels, The Bronze Horseman, The Bridge to Holy Cross, (also known as Tatiana and Alexander) and The Summer Garden.