The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simmons
Publication Date: January 1, 1997
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Series: The Bronze Horseman, #1
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.
What a beautifully crafted love story in the time of World War I! I honestly couldn't have asked for more. Though I should warn you, it's not for the faint of heart. It's very tragic and saddening. But the love between Tatiana and Alexander is worth it!
The story begins with our protagonist our protagonist, Tatiana, waking up and learning that Germany has attacked Russia. Her twin brother is sent to evacuate to a camp. And she's sent to the store to stock up on food. She soon finds that they are quickly becoming emptied out. But she goes to buy ice-cream. She heads to the bus stop to wait when she sees a soldier named Alexander staring at her from across the street.
From the start, there's this uncanny attraction and are pulled towards each other. They spend the day together. He accompanies her back home and soon learns that he's the soldier her older sister was talking about being in love with. This greatly disappoints her for all she had hoped she could have had with Alexander. She's forced to hide her true feelings.
Unable to stay away from each other, they spend the following days together from the moment she leaves from work, he's there waiting for her at the bus stop. It's the only experience of love that she's ever had.
The protagonists were extraordinary! Tatiana is such a strong and selfless character. Always doing what her family asks her to do and she always does it because she wants to make them happy. They are truly useless without her. And they often mistreat her, thinking she's too young and weak. I just wanted to shake her for always listening to her family and to tell her to be independent! But what I also enjoyed about her was how innocent she was in all things like how her body reactions towards Alexander (the feeling of butterflies in the stomach and such). It was very amusing to read about.
I loved that Alexander was so fiercely protective of Tatiana. Telling her to eat the same amount of food as everyone. He was always thinking what was best for her. And his past is just so tragic that it makes me want to hug him. He's just so sexy, passionate, and I love him!!!
The story made me open my eyes of how things were in World War I and how the Germans blockaded Leningrad in Russia. It made me cry for the characters knowing that it actually happened and that more than a hundred thousand people died. Even more so when they were just trying to evacuate from the war.
The romance was written so beautifully. I could feel the attraction and the tension between the two characters that I just wanted to push them together!! I was surprised when we got some steamy scenes. We got so much out of their relationship. It moved along faster than I thought for a first book in a trilogy but it didn't seemed rush. Their love is charming yet tragic at the same time to fall in love at a time of war.
Overall, The Bronze Horseman will leave you surrounded in a puddle full of tears. It's one of my favorite books of the year already. When I finished it, I was planning on waiting until my broken heart healed, but that was tossed out the window and I dived right onto the second book!! You won't regret reading this beautiful peace of literature.
5 Sea Stars: Out Of This World!!