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Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,406 reviews11.7k followers
April 24, 2020
Seeing how highly rated “The Bronze Horseman” is, I guess I’ll be one of those very few who don’t care for this book and brace myself for negative backlash. Oh, well, I just can’t stop myself from writing this review.

First of all, I am not sure why people love this story so much when there are so much better books/movies out there about: lovers separated by war (“Atonement”), Russia during its communist era (“Doctor Zhivago”), escape from Soviet Russia (“East/West”). I truly can’t find a grain of the excellence everybody is talking about in reviews posted on this website.

The book starts well enough: a very young girl eating ice cream meets a soldier at a bus stop. They instantly fall for each other. They start meeting every day, walking and talking for hours. I must admit, this part is quite entrancing - all these emotions, and Tatiana obsessing over Alexander’s every word, every glance, every touch - I suppose I am a sucker for extended foreplay… However the interest starts vanishing once you read for the 50th time which bus they take, how many kilometers they walk, what streets they decide to walk along this time, etc. I guess Paullina Simmons must have done a lot of research about Leningrad and wrote her book with a map of the city nearby, but this is not the kind of detail that adds to the story!

The next blow comes when we learn that Alexander (Oh my!) is the man Tatiana’s sister Dasha is madly in love (and sleeps on regular basis) with. Tatiana, the tender-hearted martyr she is, decides to give up her love for Alexander for the sake of her beloved sister. Which would be OK I guess (every epic love story has to have some kind of obstacle for lovers to overcome) if we don’t learn later that Dasha is a self-centered tramp who also physically abuses Tatiana. Does Dasha deserve Tatiana’s sacrifice? No, she doesn’t, therefore Tatiana’s sacrifice is pretty much pointless and even silly. Dimitri is a more convincing “obstacle,” but even he (I am sure of it) wouldn’t make passes on Tatiana if Alexander simply marries her. What I am getting at is that the obstacles standing between our lovers are laughable at best and do not justify 400 pages worth of angst.

This fateful meeting is followed by another 100 pages of repetitive ramble. How many times can I possibly enjoy reading about Alexander and Dimitri coming over to Tatiana’s house, having dinner and drinking vodka, Tatiana watching Alexander with angst , Alexander seating with unreadable expression, Alexander getting it on with Dasha while Tatiana is groped outside by Dimitri, etc. My answer is: not many, it wears off after the second time.

Same goes for the next 200 pages (in a very small font) depicting blockade of Leningrad where the same thing happens over and over again: Tatiana goes out to get her family’s food rations, she is cold and in danger all the time, she comes home and portions the food (1 kg, 500 g, 300 g, 250 g of bread, etc.), everybody eats, they are hungry, they go to sleep. Same thing happens the next day, and next, and next, until someone dies.

The honeymoon part is written in exactly the same way. Another 100 pages of the same scenario: Tatiana and Alexander make love, talk cheesy rubbish, Tatiana makes cabbage pies/potato pancakes/mushrooms, they make love, talk rubbish, swim, Alexander attempts to build something, Tatiana flirts, they make love again, more cabbage pies. Come on, enough already!

Some more irritating things: Tatiana’s magical recovery from broken leg and 3 ribs in a matter of weeks; her ability to speak and understand English after flipping through English-Russian dictionary; Marina’s pointless presence in the story; Tatiana’s martyrdom; Alexander’s “perfection” in comparison to Russian men who, according to Simmons, are all smelly, with dirty fingernails, and oblivious to violence against women.

Bottom line is: this book could have been much better with 300 pages of repetitive nonsense edited out, because ultimately it has a decent story of love and survival in difficult circumstances, but unfortunately it got buried under a mountain of cheese.

Needless to say, I will not be reading the sequels or any other books by this author.
Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.9k followers
June 25, 2014

10++ bright shining stars!!

Wow. WOW. WOW. !! This is the most intense and epic love story EVER told!! It's exquisitely written, achingly heart wrenching, deeply heart warming, and utterly beautiful, unforgettable and incomparable in every way!!!

Quite simply, there is no other series like this.

The author has a truly uncanny gift for really making you FEEL everything that her characters are going through. I FELT Tania and Alexander fall in love, I FELT their longing, I FELT their desire, FELT their heartache, FELT their joy, FELT their hunger, FELT their pain, FELT their happiness, FELT their loss, FELT their desperation, but more than anything FELT their LOVE .

Love that was all consuming, world-shattering, achingly deep, and EPIC !!!

Honestly, I was an absolute wreck throughout my reading of it. I literally stayed up reading till the sun came up and got up 4 hours later to finish it. Throughout the entire book, I felt as though I was being constantly injected with little bouts of adrenaline. It kept me riveted the entire time. This book ripped my heart out and put it back together over and over and over again. I cried a few times throughout the book... and then there was a part about 3/4 of the way though where I literally sobbed for about 12-15 straight pages. And then I held out until the second last page and the waterworks started again. You want SO BADLY for things to work out for them!

The story basically follows Tatiana, a 17 year old Russian girl from Lenningrad, who on the day that WW2 started in their area, meets Alexander, a 22 year old soldier in the Red Army with a secret past that could be very dangerous for him and anyone around him if it got out. Tania's sister has recently also found a soldier who she is absolutely smitten with and, of course, Tania then finds out that Alexander is indeed that soldier that Dasha has fallen for. Tatiana's is the ultimate selfless giver - she puts everyone else before her no matter the personal costs and even though she and Alexander are clearly crazy for each other, she cannot bear the thought of breaking her sister's heart and begs him to pretend to stay with her sister. This leads to a lot of tension, obviously, and many stolen glances, and gestures, looks, fleeting touches, private names for each other and secret meetings. Over the months they fall deeper and deeper in secret love. But eventually the war comes right to Lenningrad and they are forced to all fight for survival. When Tatiana and Alexander eventually get married, they have a beautiful month long hot hot hot 70+ page honeymoon (this IS a romance story after all despite the tragic setting) ... I won't say more but the ending leaves you hanging and desperate for the next book.

This is book 1 of a trilogy. I have it on good authority that the last one ends with a HEA but its a long and bumpy road until then. It's not your classic romance where everything just "works out", it's a heart wrenching journey of finding love and having the faith to hold on to it no matter what.

Alexander... *sigh* how to describe him. He is one of those male character that just sears themself into your mind. The way he LOVES Tania and the way she LOVES him is just so POWERFUL and BEAUTIFUL!! I really can't do it justice with my own words. They sacrifice SO much, EVERYTHING for each other. I loved how Tatiana grew from a quiet young girl to a very strong woman throughout the book.I just want to pluck the two of them out of this story, put them on a desert island with everything they could every want to live out their lives in perfect happiness. They literally have all possible odds stacked against them and yet still the push through. This is truly a story about survival...

... About how love can give you the will and the courage to survive anything.

The book is long. My print copy was 810 pages but I promise you, it does not feel long at all. I read every single word (often as slowly as I could). I didn't skim a single syllable. The author's writing style is beautiful and flows very smoothly. The story never dragged for me.

If you want an EPIC love story with wonderful characters and beautiful writing, this is the book for you.

***I get asked this A LOT ... "How historical are these books?" so I'm going to answer that here: NOT AT ALL!!! Ok, well maybe a tiny bit considering it takes place during WW2, but the point is that it doesn't FEEL like a historical book at all. I personally am not a fan of historical romances mainly because I don't like the language. In this book, the characters speak in MODERN language. They sound pretty much like you or I would. Also, the book does NOT go into any lengthy detail on historical events. This is first and formost a LOVE STORY. The focus is on the characters, NOT the events. The only events that are highlighted are the ones that DIRECTLY affect the main couple. The rest of the war, etc is pretty much glossed right over. You do learn some facts because obviously they live through the war, but its the background. The story follows ALEXANDER and TATIANA, their life and their love. Trust me, you will NOT regret reading it! :D

10 ++ stars and a place high on my favorites shelf.


A MUST READ!!! Trust me. You'll never forget this story.

“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 important – ask: what do you love?

… I know who I am, she thought, taking his hand… I am Tatiana. And I believe in, and hope for, and love Alexander for life.”

MY CASTING: see above

To sum it up....


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Profile Image for Regan.
457 reviews110k followers
June 9, 2023
This book was wonderful, intense, and quite frankly exhausting. It truly was a ride. I had some minor problems with this and I mean MINOR so I am giving it a 4.85 haha

Those problems were pure maiden trope got slightly old and happiness was so closely related only to sex which got a little repetitive.

I might/ probably will be doing a mini review on this

~2017 update~ lowering the rating because the maiden trope mentioned earlier is more problematic than my naive self picked up on 3 years ago. It's pretty dang creep sketch. Kept it at 2 stars because the Russian war setting is still done well.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,992 reviews298k followers
February 22, 2015
I'm really quite confused.

This book came very highly recommended. I picked it, along with a few others, from Goodreads' top 100 romance novels. It has been recommended to me many times over the years, from people on Goodreads and from those I know in "real life". And it has an average rating of 4.40.

While I didn't loathe the book - and enjoyed some parts - the truth is that more than half of these 600+ pages were excruciatingly boring.

Simons takes some steps towards goodness, but then it is ruined by the prolonged, tedious nature of everything that happens. For example, Tatiana and Alexander's initial flirtations are exciting; it's easy to get caught up in the angst of young love and all the issues that lie between them being together. But the story moves at a snail pace, describing their frequent walks and bus rides in intricate detail. Everything I enjoyed soon soured and became dull.

Similarly, the tale of how people lived in Soviet Russia and the fear that came with Hitler's invasion was a great setting for this wartime love story. What a difficult time and place to try and deal with boyfriend problems. And yet, the story is once again bogged down by pages and pages describing the same things over and over: how many times do I need to hear about the food rationing? I get it: everybody's hungry. Let's move on. The bigger picture is fascinating, but the extent of the details and repetition is mind-numbing.

Also, as much as I'm a sucker for a touch of love angst now and then, I was never completely sold on the whole "forbidden love" aspect of this novel. I don't really know how I feel about the way Tatiana's sister - Dasha - was portrayed. If you've yet to read this book, Tatiana meets a handsome young soldier and they have an instant connection. Only it turns out that this soldier has been seeing and sleeping with her older sister. So, of course, Tatiana does the only right thing and refuses to be with him.

I could practically hear the author's thought process running through my mind as I was reading.

Step 1: Think up a situation that would create a "forbidden love" scenario. It has to be bad so readers will get all caught up in the angsting. The solution: hot soldier boy is already dating her sister!

Step 2: We all know that women who get it on with their sister's boyfriends have a very special level of hell reserved for them, so Dasha must be portrayed in a way that will make us forgive Tatiana for her relationship with Alexander. The solution: make Dasha a selfish, abusive, whiny little bitch!

I didn't like the way it was handled. I felt like Dasha was only a bitch to justify poor, innocent Tatiana's actions. And I also felt like it didn't make sense for Tatiana to sacrifice her relationship with Alexander when Dasha was evidently such an awful piece of work. Tatiana exhibits behaviour of a classic Mary Sue: self-sacrificing, innocent, supposedly plain and yet desired by every male in the book.

Everything about this novel seems overwrought. From the exaggerated innocence vs villainous qualities of the characters, to the constant rehashing of old details. You know when you finish a book and think "half of those pages would have sufficed"? This is one of those times.

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Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
940 reviews14k followers
August 16, 2017
Full thoughts appear on my blog:

The bottom line is that this book normalizes and promotes unhealthy and abusive interactions between a husband and a wife. Never once did Simons denounce any of Alexander’s actions as abusive, violent, or wrong; instead, Tatiana is constantly apologizing for upsetting his husband. It’s sold as a love story, but the main character is only given this love when she’s behaving like a perfect doll for her husband, following his commands, serving him food, and bending over for him any time he feels the urge to pound her.

Alexander faced no consequences for his actions in this book. This violence and this abuse is sold as angst and romance. And I loathed every goddamn second of it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,333 followers
December 31, 2017
The Bronze Horseman is one of my all-time favorites! I decided to re-read it, for probably the hundredth time, and it still moves me just as much as it did the first time. The story of Alexander and Tatiana is so beautifully told and gripping that I can never put it down once I start.

To think, I nearly passed over this book because I don't usually read historical romances. That would have been a tragedy! Thank God, I finally gave it a shot after hearing so much praise for it. I really would have missed out if I had.

I don't give many 5-star ratings, but I would have given this book 500 if I could have! Nothing I could say would do this book justice, it is just that incredible! If you haven't read it, do it now! You won't be sorry. This epic tale of love and loss is a must-read for any romance reader.

LOVE this story!
Profile Image for Heather.
295 reviews13.9k followers
September 11, 2017
Oh what fresh hell. I thought this book would never, ever end.

I never knew how important perfect white teeth could be, that there was such a thing as a slight case of TB, that this many mentions of blueberries could be squeezed into a single book, or that I could ever get bored with/by sex. But these things have all been achieved by Bronze Horseman. She even manages to throw in some scurvy.

The description in this book is endless. Buses, walks, dinners, ice cream, cabbage, love session, buses, walks, dinners, ice cream, cabbage, love session. On and on it goes for hundreds of pages. I'm at a loss, are we supposed to be blown away by Ms. Simmons ability to convey the monotony of everyday life?

Also, I'm assuming this story was meant to be a love story but 1. I would dump anyone doing my sister while "falling in love" with me. 2. I would never drop the man of my dreams for a hussy who beat me, even if I was related to her. Nope, no way.

This book was horrid, the characters were laughable, and if I never see a blueberry again, it will be too soon. Same goes for cabbage.
Profile Image for Sasha Alsberg.
Author 8 books66.6k followers
October 23, 2015
One of the best books I've ever read, so heart wrenching but that's the beauty of it. Tatiana and Alexander's story was truly memorable and amazing.
Profile Image for Tarryn Fisher.
Author 30 books23.8k followers
December 21, 2012
Have you ever loved something so much it made you cry? Have you ever needed someone so bad, you can't sleep at night? Have you ever tried to find the words, but they don't come out right? Haaaave you everrrrrr?

This. Right here. Boom.

Read it, or miss out on the best hero/heroine combo EVERRRRRRRRRR!

*lyrics by Bradi
*Sung by Tarryn
Profile Image for Mikee (ReadWithMikee).
203 reviews1,311 followers
April 14, 2017

❝Good-bye, my moonsong and my breath, my white nights and golden days, my fresh water and my fire. Good-bye, and may you find a better life, find comfort again and your breathless smile, and when your beloved face lights up once more at the Western sunrise, be sure what I felt for you was not in vain. Good-bye, and have faith, my Tatiana.❞

Reread (04/13/2017): God, I love this book so much. It's far from perfect but this book and these characters are just so near and dear to my heart. It's been almost a year since I read The Bronze Horseman the first time and to this day, I still haven't found a love story as great as Tatiana and Alexander's.

I don't know what it is but my heart just aches every time I flip through these pages. It felt as if I was reading this book again for the first time because I cried, swooned, and bawled some more just has much as I did the first time around. I think The Bronze Horseman will always be my favorite love story of all time, and I'll never get tired of reading about the lives of Tatiana and Alexander. <3


Original Review:
I have no words to express my feelings towards this book. All I know with utmost confidence is that I might have just read my FAVORITE book of all time. I think I've also taken binge reading to a whole new level because I literally just finished an 800+ page book within a span of a day. I kid you not. This book devoured me and haunted me even in my sleep for 24 straight hours. I gave up life and food because I couldn't put this book down. Even now I'm still reeling and withdrawaling from everything I just read.

Our two main characters Alexander and Tatiana are the epitome of tragedy. Their whole story from beginning to end was just heart-wrenching. They are the perfect example of lovers who met and loved at the wrong time, especially when the beginning of their love story was also the beginning of the Second World War.

Since the very beginning and for most of the story, Alexander and Tatiana's relationship (or lack thereof) was put in a very complicated position. You just can't help but root for them anyways no matter how bad things may likely turn out in the end. The lengths that they went to just to bury their feelings for each other was absolutely dreadful. The chemistry and the tension between Alexander and Tatiana was just so thick that it pained even me for them to be apart. When they do finally get together, it feels like absolute euphoria just knowing you were waiting hundreds of pages for this moment to finally happen. And I must say, those hundreds of pages were definitely worth the wait because I completely adore the both of them. They weren't exactly sunshine and rainbows every step of the way, and their fighting got irritating because basic communication proved to be such a struggle for these two, but nonetheless I loved them anyways. Their love was undying and sacrificed so much for even just a quick glance or the brush of a hand. Even at the brink of death, even in the end, Alexander and Tatiana just lived and breathed love for one another.

As individuals, Alexander and Tatiana had their own flaws. Tatiana was very naive in the beginning but war and loss sculpted her into a strong, kind young woman. These qualities were also her weakness because it led people, especially her family, to often take advantage of her generosity and kindness. She was the ultimate pushover and I really wanted to shake some sense into herself at times. A lot of times. She was also stubborn to no end and often put herself (and Alexander) in difficult situations. But I admire Tatiana's endurance and perseverance for overcoming the war and the sacrifices she had to make for herself and for her family.

Alexander was a bit more complicated to understand. I could tell without a doubt that he loved Tatiana more than life itself. He spoke of love not with words but through his actions. Sometimes I think he may have even loved her a little too much. One of the things I worry about in regards to his character though was his temper. He became very temperamental as the story progressed and I did feel as if his anger got the best of him. The characters he lashed out to did become a bit testy but sometimes he got a bit too carried away with his rage. Though I feel a bit guilty about saying this, I must admit that I won't be surprised if abuse becomes an issue with Alexander in the later books. Pushes and shoves can easily turn into slaps and punches. I'm hoping it won't happen since I absolutely love Alexander aside from his many flaws, but it won't come as a shock if it does happen.

Aside from the romance, I really enjoyed reading World War 2 in the Soviet Union's perspective rather than America's or even Germany's. I've read a few historical fiction novels that were set during the Second World War but I've never read one that was centered in the Soviet Union. We all know that many countries lost a lot of lives in the war but just reading about what the people went through really hurts my heart. I can't even imagine being starved to death like many of those civilians did. I couldn't even eat a proper meal while reading this book because these characters were only given scraps for food. I haven't read a book like The Bronze Horseman that's actually affected me this way emotionally.

This book is absolutely huge. It's definitely the longest book I've read and I've successfully read it within a day. Though the length of this book could be debatable, I really think it plays a huge role in the book itself. We, as readers, are living through this war with the characters. We are growing and suffering with each and every one of them. I don't think this book would've affected me as much if it was any shorter. There were parts that felt repetitive and possibly could've been omitted but I wouldn't change this book for the world. It's not the greatest piece of literature out there in the world, nor is it the greatest love story every told but it comes pretty close to me.

I've heard about The Bronze Horseman a few months ago but I never really gave it a second thought because I don't normally read historical fiction novels. What a mistake that was. I sincerely regret not picking this book up sooner because I can honestly say that The Bronze Horseman has topped every book I've ever read so far in my life. I always thought that The Night Circus, a fantasy novel, would always be my favorite book of all time. I didn't doubt it because after several years and after hundreds of books, no book has ever replaced The Night Circus as my all time favorite. Until today. On top of that, fantasy has been my preferred genre of books to read. This might have even been my first historical fiction book I've read all year and we're already halfway done with 2016! I was never really planning to read this book or any historical fiction novel any time soon. I just spontaneously decided to read a war romance and stumbled upon The Bronze Horseman even when I was already reading two other books. But that dropping everything for this book was one of the greatest reading decisions I've ever made in my life. I can't even fathom how this book has impacted and affected me so greatly. I'm almost too afraid to read the next two books for fear that they won't live up to the the greatness of The Bronze Horseman. But after that ending, after all that suffering, there has to be a happy ever after in store for these two untimely lovers. I refuse to believe that this is the end for Alexander and Tatiana.
Profile Image for KAS.
317 reviews3,127 followers
August 21, 2018
6+++ Stars!!

Hands Down, IMHO, this is the most beautiful love story ever told! E. V. E. R.

This is book one of a phenomenal trilogy, of which I promise, you will be scrambling to read all three. It will have your heart twisted up six ways to Sunday, and then some.

Paullina Simons is an extraordinary author. She transports you back in time to 1941 during World War II in Leningrad, Russia, 1941. I felt like I was right in the midst of everything that was happening. It was surreal.

Tatiana and Alexander will be seared into my heart forever. The sacrifices they make for each other is nothing short of astounding.

It is simply an epic experience!!

Once again, I’m quite late to the party, as it was published in 2009, but it will most definitely be a re-read for me. One of my top 5 books (and trilogies) of ALL TIME, and that is saying something, considering all the books I have read over my many, many, many decades.

I went in blind of course and could not have been more awed by what I was reading!

Honest to goodness it is just that amazing!!

(Thank goodness my library has the trilogy available, but this book is on sale right now on Amazon)
Profile Image for Samantha.
440 reviews16.8k followers
March 4, 2016
1.5 stars. And that .5 is for the historical elements which I found to be the redeeming quality of this book. I SUFFERED through 800 pages (which were unnecessarily drawn out) for nearly a MONTH reading this book with flat characters, a horribly toxic relationship, and a plot that goes in circles. It's been a while since a book has made me this angry. A lengthy video review will be upcoming on my channel. OMFG.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,916 reviews33k followers
April 20, 2015
5 stars is not enough!

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This was probably the most beautiful, heart stopping, tragically EPIC love stories I’ve ever read. EVER. Talk about FEELING when you read... I felt EVERYTHING reading this story. It took me days to complete, which isn’t my norm, and I was a wreck the entire time. It consumed me. Utterly and completely consumed me.

I can’t begin to express how wonderful this book was. I’m not even going to attempt to summarize the story. This story is impossible to review properly. No matter what I say, it won’t be enough. Instead, I’m going to do something else. I’m going to let the words and images speak for themselves.

Our beautiful Tatiana is seventeen when the war starts, when her life changes forever.

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Tatia develops feelings for a soldier named Alexander. Alexander is in the Red Army. Tatia soon finds out that Alex is the soldier her older sister is smitten with

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No matter how much they try, Tatia and Alex can’t stay away from one another. Sharing secrets, telling stories, they become close. They feel this pull unlike anything else

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As the war continues, things get worse in Leningrad. Tatiana is fighting for her life, trying to survive.

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If it weren’t for Alexander...

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A forbidden love

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A woman who never lost faith

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A man who only gave his heart away ONCE.

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It started with some ice cream, a bench and a DRESS

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Magical days and nights in Lazerevo

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A savior and a martyr

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A truly epic and everlasting love

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The writing- perfection. The characters- endearing, strong and brave. The story- completely unforgettable. This is a book you have to read for yourself. Your heart will hurt, but it’s worth the pain! I want to jump right into the second book, but I need a little time and I want to spread out the greatness of Tatiana and her Shura.

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Profile Image for Debra.
474 reviews2,410 followers
September 26, 2013


"Love is," she repeated slowly, "when he is hungry and you feed him. Love is knowing when he is hungry."

"Love is, to be loved," said Alexander, "in return."

The Bronze Horseman is probably the most EPIC love story I've ever read. There just aren't any words adequate enough to describe how much I loved this book! From the moment I started reading it, I could not put it down until I finished the very last page. And even then, I just HAD to start the second book right afterwards. Tatiana and Alexander's story is so unique and heartbreaking and beautiful, it's no wonder their story is one the most epic one's out there.

Filled with love, heartbreak, anguish, hurt, betrayal, laughter and tears, The Bronze Horseman is an unforgettable journey unlike any other romance novel I've ever read. And even though it's over 700 pages long, there was never a dull moment in their entire story.

"I found my true love on the banks of the river Kama," whispered Alexander, staring at her.
"I found my true love on Ulitsa Saltykov-Schedrin, while I sat on a bench eating ice cream."
"You didn't find me. You weren't looking for me. I found you."
Long pause. "Alexander, were you...looking for me?"
"All my life."



When Tatiana Metanova and Alexander Belov first meet, she's a sixteen (almost seventeen) year old, free spirited, inexperienced girl living with her family in a two bedroom apartment in Leningrad. On the first day of war, her father has sent her out to buy food supllies, but on an impulse, Tatiana decides to take a break instead and takes a moment to buy ice cream and eat it on a sunny bench while waiting for the bus. And that's when it happens. That's the moment that will change her life forever...

"When Tatiana looked up from her ice cream, she saw a soldier staring at her from across the street."

The soldier crosses the street for her and after that, life will never be the same for either of them. Whenever they're together, nothing else seems to matter and for a short amount of time they can truly be themselves. But their hapiness is short lived because life and reality often get in the way of them being together.

"Oh, Alexander," she said, "what do you want from me..."
"Everything!" he whispered fiercely.

They want nothing more than to be together, but literally nothing works in their favor. Not only the war and the awful living circumstances in Leningrad, but Tatiana's own family and Alexander's friend Dimitri prevent them from being together as well. They have to keep their feelings strictly hidden, which is often easier said than done.

The awful living conditions during the war in Leningrad only become more brutal during the winter time. The hunger, the loss of family and friends...they all start to take their toll on Tania. And honestly, reading those scenes was pure torture at times, especially because of the whole. But, Tania os strong and determined and Alexander does everything in his power to help her through. Despite Tania being so young and vulnerable, she's one of the strongest and most admirable female characters I've ever come across.

And then comes my favorite part of the book: Lazarevo.

"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 important - ask: what do you love?"

I know who I am, she thought, taking his hand and turning to the altar. I am Tatiana. And I believe in, and hope for, and love Alexander for life.

But even their short moment of reprieve doesn't last long, because war is always looming over their shoulders... As a high rank soldier of the Red Army Alexander knows desertation receives the highest punishment, so after every short break he always need to go back to the front.

"And that's my point: all great things worth having require great sacrifice worth giving."

And if there's one thing this story is about then it's exactly that: sacrificing everything you have for the person you love. Everything Tatiana and Amexander go through, all the pain and suffering, they do in order to save each other. But will it be enough? All I can say is that the first part of this series ends in a way that left my heart broken and made me want to start the next part right away! If there's ever a couple that deserves a HEA, then it's without a doubt Tatia and Shura.

If you haven't read this EPIC love story read, READ IT! You won't regret it....

"Good-bye, my moonsong and my breath, my white nights and golden days, my fresh water and my fire. Good-bye, and may you find a better life, find comfort again and your breathless smile, and when your beloved face lights up once more at the Western sunrise, be sure what I felt for you was not in vain. Good-bye, and have faith, my Tatiana."

Profile Image for  ⚔Irunía⚔ .
411 reviews3,182 followers
January 31, 2023
— 5 stars
When Tatiana looked up from her ice cream, she saw a soldier staring at her from across the street.

Leningrad. June 22, 1941.

A light touch of a summer breeze, the northern afternoon light. The odour of jasmine. The gilded dome of St. Isaac's cathedral.

At 4 a.m., without declaration of war and without any claims being made on the Soviet Union, German troops attacked our country, attacked our frontier in many places, and bombed from the air Shitomir, Kiev, Sevastopol, Kaunas, and other cities. [...]
Our cause is just. The enemy will be crushed. Victory will be ours.

The Sunday that would irrevocably change lives of millions of Soviet people.

“Are you getting on, young lady? I can’t be waiting forever.”
Getting on? “No, no, I’m not going.”
“Then what the hell are you doing waiting for the bus!” the driver hollered and slammed the doors shut.
Tatiana backed away toward the bench and saw the soldier running around the bus.
He stopped.
She stopped.
The bus doors opened again. “Need the bus?” asked the driver.
The soldier looked at Tatiana, then at the bus driver.
“Oh, for the sake of Lenin and Stalin!” the driver bellowed, slamming the doors shut for the second time.
Tatiana was left standing in front of the bench. She backed away, tripped, and sat quickly down.
In a casual tone, with a shrug and a roll of his eyes, the soldier said, “I thought it was my bus.”
“Yes, me, too,” she uttered, her voice croaky.

Melted crème brûlée. The bus stop. A white summer dress with red roses. Black army boots. One glance across the street.

The moment that would change the lives of Tatiana Metanova, a 17-year-old Russian girl, and Alexander "Belov" (Barrington), a 22-year-old Red Army officer.

Tatiana couldn’t tell if he was young like her; no, he seemed older. Like a young man, looking at her with a man’s eyes. She blushed again, continuing to stare at the pavement between her red sandals and his black army boots.

Tatia and Alexander's story of love and survival during wartime was so poignant and beautiful it caused my heart to tremble like butterfly wings. Reading it felt as if for a moment I was living someone else's life in all of its intangible beauty and all of its tangible ugliness.

“Where were you going?” he repeated politely, still standing across from her, not moving, not making a move to move. Standing completely still, eclipsing the sun.

War and death, everything and everyone around Tania — the deserted street, the summer heat, two rooms in the communal apartment shared with her family — feel like a distant memory when the restless joy of youth and unbridled elation at having caught his attention, at having looked into his eyes crash against the unthinkable coincidence that, no... how can this possibly be?

╭── ⋅ ⋅ ── ✩ ── ⋅ ⋅──╮┌── ⋆⋅☆⋅⋆ ──┐
╰── ⋅ ⋅ ── ✩ ── ⋅ ⋅──╯└── ⋆⋅☆⋅⋆ ──┘

According to conservative estimates, the two-and-a-half-year siege of Leningrad claimed the lives of 670.000 civilians: the human losses caused by artillery bombardment, air raids and extreme starvation (97%) — in other words, the intentional, systematic destruction of the city's citizens by Nazi Germany. The military blockade turned into one of the most lethal examples of a racially motivated genocide in history.

Other evaluations suggest that the number of civilian casualties suffered from extreme famine alone during the siege reached the number of 800, 000. The losses in one city. In. One. City. Only.

For the sake of comparison: the TOTAL death count for ALL Britishmen and ALL Americans during THE ENTIRE WAR amounted to 880,000 and 420,000, respectively.

The total number of human losses during the siege of Leningrad is estimated as 1.5 million, both military and civilian (many of whom died during evacuation due to famine and bombardment).

Before the start of the war, in June, 1941, the city's population numbered around 3.5 million people. The total number of civilians evacuated before and during the siege reached appr. 1.3 million. By the last month of the siege, the city's population amounted to ~550, 000 people.

Chilling math.
Profile Image for  Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~*.
118 reviews387 followers
April 28, 2012

"He wanted to explain but felt shattered. He was shattered." - Yes, I know, Alexander. Me, too. Review to follow when I feel less shattered. On to Book 2!! ^_^
12+ Hours later….

5+ Stars!!! - Also reviewed at:Lady Jayne's Reading Den

Okay, I figure there is NO WAY I can ever do this book justice, so, I just need to pour out this “review” now, and hopefully in the release of my swirling thoughts and emotions I’m not too nonsensical.

Firstly, I would like to THANK my GRs friends, Viola and Quinn, for recommending this book to me, and to thank them and other GRs friends (Catherine, Sans, MBR and Zosia) for giving me some "emotional support" (knowingly and unknowingly) as I read this. *HUGS* Why did I need “emotional support”, you say? Well…

Have you ever read a story that so CAPTURED you, that even as you put it down, the emotions it evoked in you stuck with you all throughout the day, until you could return to it again and were sucked in even MORE? Have you ever read a story that stole your breath away, made your heart feel like it was being twisted into a pretzel, and kept squeezing until you felt…SHATTERED? And yet it also filled your heart to bursting with a love so beautiful it brought tears to your eyes? Have you ever read a story that made you FEEL SO MUCH, that it felt like it was TOO MUCH - too much longing, too much pain, too much anger, too much love - and you needed breaks from it, while also feeling COMPELLED to keep reading, and you actually thought: "HOW CAN I SURVIVE THIS BOOK?!?!" Have you ever read a story of a love so INTENSE and CONSUMING, that it transcends the pages it is written on and etches itself into your heart?

The Bronze Horseman was such a story, for me!

Viola and Quinn told me it would be “heart-wrenching” but that didn’t even begin to cover what I (and I'm sure they) felt reading it. How can I possibly convey the sweet agony of this ACHINGLY beautiful, evocative and EPIC love story? I can honestly say I have NEVER FELT SO MUCH reading a book before!! In fact, there were moments when I wanted to hurl the book against the wall because I felt so strongly…and I have never felt that urge before.

The Bronze Horseman begins on 22 June 1941 in Leningrad, when war is declared between the Soviet Union and Germany. A 17-year-old girl named Tatiana is sent out to buy food supplies by her father. As she sits in her white dress with red roses, at the bus stop, eating her favourite crème brulée ice cream, her eyes meet those of a young soldier named Alexander Belov, who is standing across the street.

“It was a perfect day. For five minutes there was no war, and it was just a glorious Sunday in a Leningrad June.

When Tatiana looked up from her ice cream, she saw a soldier staring at her from across the street.
Tatiana normally would have glanced past him down the street and moved on, except that this soldier was standing across the street and staring at her with an expression Tatiana had never seen before. She stopped eating her ice cream.

Her side of the street was already in the shade, but the side where he stood swam in the northern afternoon light. Tatiana stared back at him for just a moment, and in the moment of looking into his face, something moved inside her;
moved she would have liked to say imperceptibly, but that wasn’t quite the case. It was as if her heart started pumping blood through all four chambers at once, pouring into her lungs and flooding it through her body. She blinked and felt her breath become shorter.”

As Alexander crosses the street, inexplicably drawn to this innocent blonde girl with freckles, thus begins, a tale so moving that I will never ever forget it.

Paullina Simons paints a painfully stark portrayal of Stalin’s communist Soviet Union and the sufferings of the people of Leningrad, as Hitler’s siege of the city slowly starves the people to death. Amidst the starving hunger, the bitter cold winter, and the death of loved ones, burns an “impossible love” between Tatiana and Alexander. For Alexander is the soldier that Tatiana’s sister, Dasha, had declared herself “in love with”, just that very morning, before Alexander and Tatiana’s fateful meeting. But it is lies, secrets and fears that eat at their souls and will threaten to tear them apart. “What does it cost the soul to lie?”

There were moments I was so angry at Alexander that it broke my heart. And there were moments when the intensity of Alexander’s love and protectiveness for Tatia made me love him so much it hurt. My GAWD!! The way he loved her?! Be still my heart! But it was the innocent, naïve, selfless and stubborn Tatiana, who grew into a woman with such strength and perseverance, who became “my hero”. And the way she loved him?? *sniffles* They both made such sacrifices for each other. I loved the yearning, the looks, the little touches, the tender and passionate moments between them, and also all their confrontations.

This was by no means a perfect book. While Paullina Simons vividly paints pictures with her descriptions, there are times when the wordiness becomes too much, and may have benefited from a bit of editing down the repetitive moments. I can completely see why someone would not like this book for that reason. But because the depth and breadth of emotions that I felt reading this book surpassed any other, it was a 5+ Stars!!! read for me - THANK YOU, Paullina Simons, for penning this incredible story!

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book and make sure you have uninterrupted time to read it, if you can have that luxury. Because you will be COMPELLED to read this book into the dawn and beyond! There are two more books to this tale: Tatiana and Alexander and The Summer Garden.

For those who have read the book: I loved the Kirov trips, Luga, St. Isaac’s, Pushkin's book and their chats about it, and Lazarevo! ^_~

For those who haven’t read the book: What are you waiting for??? Besides some time to surrender over to this epic tale? ^_^ Seriously, though, this may not be a book for everyone. It seems that people either love it or hate it. Besides the writing style, it seems whether one loves this or not, depends on how the reader views the characters and the intent/motivation behind their actions. Anyway, if you do read it, I hope you love it as much as I do! Because this truly was the most intense and amazing experience.

I'm sorry if my "review" is TOO MUCH, but I could go on and on about this story...But I won't. ^_^

While there are a number of Sarah McLachlan songs that form my “playlist” to this story, this song below, for me, is Tatiana and Alexander’s “theme song”:

Ice Cream by Sarah McLachlan

“Her lips were on his face, on his throat, on the top of his chest. She whispered, “You know what your skin feels like to me? The ice cream that I love. Creamy, smooth. Your whole body is the color of caramel, like my crème brulée, but you’re not cold like ice cream, you’re warm.” She rubbed her lips back and forth against his chest.
“So – better than ice cream?”
“Yes,” she smiled, moving up to his lips. “I love you better than ice cream.”

My Alexander (Henry Cavill) *SIIIGGHHHSSS*

My Tatiana (Teresa Palmer)

And I came across this very well done fan-made video of The Bronze Horseman, starring darling Henry. ^_^ I quite like the choice of Romola Garai as Tatiana in this video, too.

Fan-made "trailer":

Edited to add some songs from my "playlist" for this book:

And have you ever read a story that affected you so much that you found yourself constantly looking for songs to become your "playlist", so that music could capture what you couldn't in your own words? Well, this book did that to me!

Song For A Winter's Night - Cover of Glenn Lighfoot's song by Sarah McLachlan:
It represents Tatiana's hunger for Alexander during the winter of the siege of Leningrad, and also the starvation of the city. I love the lyrics and her haunting voice.

And this song, Falling Softly (Kris Allen version), to me, represents Alexander's feelings about Tatiana and the whole situation in The Bronze Horseman:

Reading Order:

1. The Bronze Horseman
2. Tatiana and Alexander (also titled The Bridge to Holy Cross, in some editions) - My Review Here
3. The Summer Graden – To be reviewed.

The Bronze Horseman (Tatiana and Alexander, #1) by Paullina Simons Tatiana and Alexander (Tatiana and Alexander, #2) by Paullina Simons The Summer Garden (Tatiana and Alexander, #3) by Paullina Simons

DISCLAIMER: I do not hold the copyright to any of the images, videos or music used in this review. They are posted to add visuals and "soundtrack" to the review and for fun. If any of these images are yours and you would like me to remove them, please let me know, and I will do so as soon as possible. If I can identify the copyright, I will do so.

Profile Image for Aldi.
1,149 reviews84 followers
July 24, 2016
(Contains spoilers, capslock and adjective abuse, and lots of swearing :p)

Right. I wasn’t going to waste more time on this book than the agonising eternity it took me to read it but I feel like my brain needs to vomit, so…


Circumstances Under Which You Should Consider Not Reading This Book (Because It Contains None of the Following, Trust Me):
- You like strong, capable female characters with brains and a sense of independence.
- You like flawed, interesting romances where conflict is character-based rather than purely circumstantial.
-You like male love interests who are complex but believable, who are not right out of the Strong Tough Manly Protective Stalker Hero cliché box, and who are not basically douchebags.
-You enjoy well-developed side characters whose sole purpose is not to thwart our stalwart lovers.
-You like a sense of humour with your drama.
-You enjoy good writing.
-You enjoy good pacing.
-You like characters who are not infuriating and stupid.
-You generally prefer to not feel trapped in an agonising moral dilemma of “But I really WANT to rip the book apart with my bare hands and possibly my teeth!” vs. “It’s a BOOK, you can’t do that!”

Circumstances Under Which You Might Consider Reading This Book:
-The opposite of all of the above.
-If you’re really really really desperate to read a love story set in WW2 Russia, in which case I don’t readily have a better rec handy but I’m positive someone somewhere does, so please, please shop around first!

[ETA: Years later, I do have a better rec handy! Read The Siege by Helen Dunmore. It's gorgeous and devastating and everything this book was trying to be but miserably failed at.]


Right. The story is set in WW2 Russia. That is the single solitary semi-interesting thing about it, and it promptly gets smothered under several dozen truckloads of purple prose and then thoroughly erased by the overwhelmingly infuriating presence of the main characters.

Meet Tatiana. Tatiana is seventeen and lives in a communal apartment in Leningrad with her cartoonishly terrible (and terribly cartoonish) family (self-absorbed, lazy, flighty older sister, uncaring parents, wise doting grandparents). Tatiana is constantly belittled and mocked by all because she is a precious flower that thrives on adversity. Or something. (Reasons for mocking her seem to include the facts that she likes to read, faints a lot, and her hair is long and blonde and flowing, all items very near the top of the Annoying Fake Flaws list in The Universal Mary Sue Handbook). The Germans have just invaded but Tatiana is unconcerned with war or the food she’s supposed to buy for her family in preparation for a siege, because it’s a summer day and she’s in high heels and there is ice cream to eat and strange soldiers to ogle! War, pfffft, fiddle-de-dee.

Yes, soldiers. Enter Alexander Belov, our, uhm, hero. He and Tatiana spot each other across the street while she dawdles uselessly around and they FALL IN LOVE, LIKE, OMG, SO HARD, YOU GUYS. VERY VERY HARD. So hard they give their readers a moderate concussion with all the clichés dropping on their heads. Basically the world disappears and angels sing and unicorns poop out little glitter-throwing Cupids and YES YES, OKAY. WE GET IT. THEY ARE IN LOVE.

They proceed to troop all over the city in search of the food for her family that Tatiana totes forgot to buy. During this endless and incredibly unnecessarily detailed trek, Tatiana stumbles a lot in her high heels and Alexander is solicitous a lot and they have a lot of conversations in which every single line must contain at least one mention of each others’ names and a lot of bizarrely robotic diction that no human being in the history of conversation has ever used, such as:

“Tatiana, would you like an ice cream?”
“I would, Alexander, thank you.”
“Tatiana, can you walk in those shoes?”
“Yes, it is fine, Alexander, thank you.”
“Don’t be silly, Tatiana, take off your shoes.”
“All right, Alexander. Alexander, where are we going?”
“Tatiana, I am taking you to the soldiers’ supplies store so you can buy some food, Tatiana.”
“Oh Alexander, you do not need to do that.”
“I would like to do it, Tatiana. Tatiana, are you feeling all right?”
“Yes, Alexander, I just faint a lot. I faint all the time, Alexander.”
“Oh, Tatiana.”
“Oh, Alexander.”

This painful fest of awkwardness continues until they get to Tatiana’s place where the Fabricated Conflict Fairy awaits with the gleeful news that Alexander is actually the bloke that Tatiana’s sister Dasha met while going out and that she is super-duper into. Awkward. Alexander wants to tell Dasha that he’s into her baby sister now, because he is one classy dude. Tatiana wants him to not tell Dasha anything of the sort and to keep on dating Dasha, because Tatiana is Cinderella and must selflessly martyr herself for no good reason whatsoever. After a lot of back and forth, Alexander agrees. He carries on with clueless Dasha, which is basically a massive dick move, and weeks and months pass in which he oh-so-unwillingly cavorts around with Dasha IN THEIR FREAKING FAMILY APARTMENT whilst Tatiana looks on and suffers and martyrs and heartbreaks silently, yet somehow in the most obnoxious fashion imaginable. To make the whole charade even more ridiculously over the top, Alexander’s smarmy friend Dimitri comes along for the ride and hits all over Tatiana, which is encouraged by all, even when he goes all semi-rapey on her. (Gross). Somewhere early on, Tatiana also finds out that Alexander is originally American and his parents moved to Communist Russia when he was little. This titbit of portentous info tries very, very hard to make Alexander more interesting, and also to shove the plot along a little. (Spoiler: It fails.)

Time passes. War happens. The war stuff would be interesting but NO, we cannot focus on that! Not when there is self-imposed angst and ludicrously unnecessary deception galore! Tatiana and Alexander have many, many furious confrontations in which she yells at him for coming round all the time and being with her sister, HE yells at HER claiming that is exactly what she bloody well told him to do, SHE yells at HIM that if he really loved her, he’d stay away, HE yells at HER that he can do that if she wants, and SHE yells at HIM that no, he must stay with Dasha, which sets them back at square one of this hair-tearingly idiotic game.

In between all that, some small and insignificant stuff happens: people die, Leningrad gets the shit bombed out of it, rations get smaller and smaller, more people die. BUT! Both Alexander and Tatiana have discovered the many many variants of each others’ (or at least her) names, so their headache-inducing conversations of idiocy now get liberally sprinkled with not only Tatiana and Alexander, but also Shura, Taneshka, Tania, Tatia, Tatiasha, Tatiantatuchkatishkatinkadiddlydums, etc ad nauseum. I swear if you dumped together all the unnecessary name mentions, they’d fill up at least 50 pages of this overblown tome of doom.

Onwards! More people die! Tatiana’s family is horrid and selfish and eats all the food! Tatiana is silent and suffering and meek and selfless and feeds everyone! She learns to cook in 2 minutes flat. She buys their rations every day. She does all the work. Everyone else wails and complains. Tatiana suffers silently and meekly. Alexander is disproportionately ANGRY about her silent suffering and threatens to beat somebody up every two minutes for mistreating her. Everyone’s like, “Dude, chill.” Tatiana is like, “Oh Alexander, please, chill,” and swoons a lot. Alexander is like, “RAAAAAAAA, MY POOR PRECIOUS TATIANA!” Nobody notices that this is in any way weird, because he is still dating Dasha. Le sigh.

More people die. Tatiana cries and starves and suffers nobly. Alexander goes off for brief periods and fights in the war. When they have time, they have the same circular argument of “IF YOU LOVED ME, YOU WOULD NOT DATE MY SISTER!”, “I AM DATING YOUR SISTER BECAUSE YOU TOLD ME TO BUT IF YOU WANT, I WILL TELL HER THE TRUTH RIGHT THE FUCK NOW!”, and “NO, NO, IF YOU LOVE ME, YOU MUST CONTINUE DATING MY SISTER!”

War goes on. The idiot charade goes on. Alexander goes, “RAAAAAA.” Tatiana goes, “WAAAAAAA.”

Eventually, Dasha dies, because she has apparently realised that this conflict is too dumb to live. (Good for Dasha.) All of Tatiana’s family are now dead, so (having escaped from Leningrad), she goes and finds herself a village with a few old crones for whom she can fetch and carry and who belittle her in the way she is accustomed to. She cooks, she cleans, she slaves. Alexander’s at the front and she does not write to him that she survived because, because…. because… I have no fucking clue why, she is just that dumb. Eventually he tracks her down anyway. A lot of yelling ensues about her not fucking writing to him and about him really loving Dasha because he played along like Tatiana told him to. Or something. It literally went in circles for pages and pages with the exact same phrases repeating over and over and I guess at some point my eyes glazed over because when I clawed my way back towards active focus, Tatiana and Alexander are fucking. Like rabbits. A lot. It’s probably only 50 pages or so but it sure feels like 500. It contains a lot of cringey “Oooh noes, your marvellous manhood is too large and won’t fit!” and “Oooh, devirginising you makes me so hot” exclamations and him going on about her nipples, which are apparently the bestest, cherriest, nippliest nipples that ever nippled. I like me some smut, but holy crap, this was painful.

Sometime before the fuckfest, they get married. Sometime after the fuckfest, Alexander goes back to the front. He makes Tatiana promise not to come along. Tatiana promises, then follows him anyway. He finds out. Lots of over-the-top rageyness ensues. As in, actual, physical rageyness, because Alexander is such a charmer. (At some point he throws a heavy bag at her head, and punches through the wall next to her head. Truly, he is one dream of a mancake.) He screams at her that she promised. She makes dewy eyes and earnestly tells him that she always does whatever he wants, i.e. when he wanted her to promise, she promised, then did what she wanted anyway. Because theirs is a stalwart, precious, perfect love. That is built on, uhm, trust and understanding. Alexander goes, “RAAAAAA.” Tatiana goes, “WAAAAAAA.”

The war’s still on. The plot still… puddles along pathetically. Alexander gets shot. Tatiana, who is a nurse in a field hospital (BECAUSE OF COURSE SHE IS) refuses to let him die by giving him, like, two litres of her own blood (BECAUSE OF COURSE SHE DOES) and totally, proudly ignoring all the other patients in the hospital while nursing Alexander exclusively. This is later mentioned as a supposedly tearjerking demonstration of her undying holy love for him. She loves him so much she let the SINGLE OTHER NURSE in the hospital basically kill herself of exhaustion looking after dozens of other severely injured or dying patients, and also probably let dozens of said patients die because she needed to be with her precious pooh-bear 24/7. Because she is a treasure of selflessness and nothing but their love matters. (I kept a puke bucket permanently on hand by this point).

They plot to escape to America via Scandinavia. This necessitates a lot of fervid mutual assurances that neither of them can go alone and if one were to be held back, the other would kill themselves, which then leads to more circular arguments and angstfests of “But no, if I die, she must live” and “But no, if he stays, I shall not go!” You can guess where this goes. Because their lives are not yet ridden with fabricated cheesy conflict enough, Tatiana is also pregnant by this point, spicing up the crap hypotheticals with a lot of gaggy “but our precious baaaaaybeeeee, waaaaaaa” declarations. To the surprise of utterly no one at all, Alexander is about to be arrested because he is American and the enemy (or something), but he cleverly (??) orchestrates it so Tatiana thinks he’s dead. Against her best efforts, she is forced by the Tragic Survivor Fairy to make it to America anyway, where she promptly pops out their tragic bundle of joy and names it for his tragically not-deceased dad. HOW WILL SHE SOLDIER ON? HOW WILL HE? WHOM WILL SHE NEEDLESSLY SLAVE FOR NEXT? WHOM WILL HE NEEDLESSLY BEAT INTO A PULP TO GET BACK TO HER? FIND OUT IN NOT ONE BUT AT LEAST TWO EQUALLY LENGTHY SEQUELS TO THIS ATROCITY.

Or, you know, don’t, if you value your time and brain cells.


I’ll freely admit I skimmed bits of this once it became glaringly obvious that it was not getting any better, but it’s just left me utterly boggled as to why this pile of rubbish is so popular. It’s a book about two immensely unlikeable, one-dimensional characters slogging through a potentially interesting setting and ticking every single box in the Painfully Heavy-Handed Stereotypes Manual. It’s purple prose trying really really hard to be poignant and dramatic and impactful but really just… purpling along, prosely and purplishly. It is not poignant, meaningful, well-crafted, or moving. It’s overblown and corny and fake and awful. You’d have to go into tertiary characters to find even one that’s remotely appealing, and even then every single character in this book only exists to either enable or provide fake obstacles for our precious pair of lovebirds. He’s a controlling, stalkery, semi-abusive dick. She’s a wilting, swooning, selfless, spineless Cinderella. None of them has even a single personality trait that isn’t about each other. They’re useless and infuriating and I hated them and their contrived, selfish, horrible romance. I wanted to come up with new tags just for this book to express my utter loathing for it, but I don’t want to be reminded of its existence every time I look at my tags, so I won’t.


Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,983 followers
July 18, 2012
" and I had only one moment.." said Alexander, "A single moment in time, in your time and instant, when another life could have still been possible."

This might very well be the most exquisitely-written blend of historical fiction and romance in one book that I have ever read. Dare I even say that this heart-wrenching and beautiful tale has taken over the top spot from Outlander? I know. I can't believe it myself. Both are 5 star books and both will stay on my all time favorites list. I honestly didn't think anything else could compare to Gabaldon's epic love affair of Jamie and Claire. I thought wrong.

So many people compare The Bronze Horseman to the infamous Outlander series when the only things that the books have in common is that they are lengthy historical fiction books featuring an epic romance. Otherwise, these two stories have absolutely nothing in common. Granted, I haven't read enough of Tatia and Alexander's tale to think that their love story encompasses the miraculous wonder of Jamie and Claire in Outlander, yet I will say that T&A's (yes, I did giggle as I typed T&A) story is no less engaging or heartfelt. The greatest accomplishment of TBH is that the story never falters the way that Outlander tends to in parts. Every single moment is a recorded moment in time. A beautiful moment in time at that - whether the moment is painful, torturous, sensual, or endearing. Because I devoured every word, every page, this gives TBH the edge over Outlander (which I admit to skimming in a few parts, even though I loved the book as a whole). If you tried Outlander and found that you weren't a fan Gabaldon's heavy-handed way of writing, you might find that the style of writing in The Bronze Horseman works better for you. This is a much more fluid and less fussy style of written word.

Tatiana and Alexander should have been doomed from the start. There is no way that two normal people could possibly survive impossible obstacle after impossible obstacle. Everything from an unfortunate age difference, being promised to other people, war, starvation, death, fear of capture...there were insurmountable odds at every turn for a couple who were not supposed to be together, yet fought to hold on to what they wanted the most.
Please, God, Alexander prayed. Let her not love me anymore, but let her live.

Alexander is a soldier in the Red Army, fighting for a country he does not belong to. Tatiana is an innocent child, serving all those around her who would take advantage of the girl with a never ending supply of compassion. Be prepared for having your heart ripped out over and over. This is not an easy story to read, but it is a story well worth following. The details of living among war are not pretty. You will read about people fighting through injuries and deaths of loved ones and holding on after going weeks on end without but a scrap of food. If you thought that the starvation was hard to read about in Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Long Winter, consider that instance to be a walk in the park compared to this one. The strength of spirit from our main characters is incredible to watch. The sacrifices that people make for one another in the name of love is so incredibly emotional to watch.
Under a black smoky sky, amid burning woods, Alexander carried Tatiana on his back six kilometers to the next station.

This is not a one-sided relationship. The care that Tatia gives her Shura in return is just as much of an effort.

This is a tale of how the heart will fight for what it wants the most.
I have nothing left to say. Just read this book. There's no way for me to sell it other than to say that if you know how picky I am, this book must be extra special to earn such high praise from me. If you love historical fiction, read it. If you love epic war-time love stories, read it.
"Shura, how can we have such a closeness? How can we have such a connection? Right from the start."
"We don't have a closeness."
"No. We don't have a connection."
"No. We have communion."

Profile Image for Mali Mor ❤️ The Romantic Blogger.
433 reviews541 followers
April 21, 2020
Today is the Holocaust Memorial Day, so it was a great opportunity for me to read again one of my ALL TIME favorite trilogy's. ❤

📚 "𝑨𝒍𝒆𝒙𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓, 𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒎𝒆?"
"𝑨𝒍𝒍 𝒎𝒚 𝒍𝒊𝒇𝒆." 📚

The plot takes place in Leningrad, Russia, during World War II and tells the story of Alexander, a Red Army officer and the 17-year-old Tatiana, during the war. 💥
Their journey towards happiness was not easy - it was forbidden, heartbreaking and felt impossible, about two people who will do anything... risk everything... sacrifice all they have... for each other. 💔❄

📚 "𝑷𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒆 𝒅𝒐𝒏'𝒕 𝒅𝒊𝒆," 𝒔𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒅. "𝑰 𝒅𝒐𝒏'𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌 𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒃𝒖𝒓𝒚
𝒚𝒐𝒖. 𝑰 𝒂𝒍𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒚 𝒃𝒖𝒓��𝒆𝒅 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒆𝒍𝒔𝒆."
"𝑯𝒐𝒘 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝑰 𝒅𝒊𝒆," 𝑨𝒍𝒆𝒙𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓 𝒔𝒂𝒊𝒅, 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒗𝒐𝒊𝒄𝒆 𝒃𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈, "𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒑𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒊𝒎𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒂𝒍 𝒃𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒆?" 📚

Paullina Simons is truly an AMAZING author. She portrayed the characters feelings and emotions in such a realistic way that made me feel EVERYTHING, the good and bad, along with them... the moments of hunger and pain... fear and depression... passion and love. 😭🙏❤

📚 "𝑶𝒉, 𝑨𝒍𝒆𝒙𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓. 𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒅𝒐 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒎𝒆..."
"𝑬𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈", 𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒇𝒊𝒆𝒓𝒄𝒆𝒍𝒚. 📚

Although this book is not easy to read, it's undoubtedly touching, full of hope and love.
It's a journey - painful and sometimes frustrating, but totally worth it!!! 👑
If you ask me, this is one of the most beautiful love stories EVER WRITTEN!!! 😍❤

The only question remains is... how could it be that no one produced a movie based on this book yet, TELL ME HOW?! ❄❤

📚 "𝑮𝒐𝒐𝒅-𝒃𝒚𝒆, 𝒎𝒚 𝒎𝒐𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒐𝒏𝒈 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒎𝒚 𝒃𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉, 𝒎𝒚 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒕𝒆 𝒏𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒈𝒐𝒍𝒅𝒆𝒏 𝒅𝒂𝒚𝒔, 𝒎𝒚 𝒇𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒉 𝒘𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒎𝒚 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒆. 𝑮𝒐𝒐𝒅-𝒃𝒚𝒆, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒎𝒂𝒚 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒇𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒂 𝒃𝒆𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒍𝒊𝒇𝒆, 𝒇𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒕 𝒂𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒃𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒍𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒔𝒎𝒊𝒍𝒆, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒅 𝒇𝒂𝒄𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒔 𝒖𝒑 𝒐𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑾𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒏 𝒔𝒖𝒏𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒆, 𝒃𝒆 𝒔𝒖𝒓𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰 𝒇𝒆𝒍𝒕 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒊𝒏 𝒗𝒂𝒊𝒏. 𝑮𝒐𝒐𝒅-𝒃𝒚𝒆, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒇𝒂𝒊𝒕𝒉, 𝒎𝒚 𝑻𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒂𝒏𝒂." 📚

The Bronze Horseman: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tatiana and Alexander: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Summer Garden: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

• I listened to the AUDIO version. 🎧


📖 ᖴOᒪᒪOᗯ ᗰE Oᑎ IᑎᔕTᗩGᖇᗩᗰ: 🎉

📖 ᐯIᔕIT ᗰY ᗷᒪOG ᖴOᖇ ᗰOᖇE ᖇEᐯIEᗯᔕ:
Profile Image for Marisa Sauco.
302 reviews260 followers
January 20, 2018

Todas las estrellas son pocas.
Todas las palabras son insuficientes.
Todos mis sentimientos son indescriptibles.

Y Tatiana... Ay, Tatiana, Tatiana, Tatiana. El alma, el corazón, la esencia de la historia. Qué maravillosa protagonista. ❤️
December 7, 2022

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I read a lot of romances, so by now I have a pretty good idea of what I like and what I don't like. I don't tend to like romances about cheaters, hence my scathing review of the trash people in Molly McAdams's cringily-titled SHARING YOU, but sometimes if the story is good, I can make an exception or at least enjoy the story in spite of the cheating, like my favorable review of the trash people in Joan Dial's BELOVED ENEMY.

THE BRONZE HORSEMAN is a polarizing book among my friends and looking at the reviews, I guess what it comes down to is this: can you enjoy a book that's about trash people treating each other like garbage if the story at least is good? If yes, hop on this drama-filled train to Literary No Man's Land, where the heroine buys ice cream and caviar with her family's food money during wartime and the hero dates the sister of the woman he loves to hide their relationship from a man he knows wishes them ill.

THE BRONZE HORSEMAN is set during WII and covers the horrifying Siege of Leningrad, a period of terrible starvation in the middle of a cruel Russian winter that was the result of a German blockade. Tatiana Metanova struggles to survive with her family while also dreaming after the soldier she fell in love with on a summer day - the soldier she found out was seeing her sister: Alexander Belov. The conflict between them hinges on one of the most cowardly displays of passive-aggression I've ever seen, masquerading as selflessness. Tatiana doesn't want to hurt her sister, Dasha, who she knows is head-over-heels for Alexander... so she doesn't allow Alexander to simply break up with Dasha and see her instead. No, they continue seeing each other on the sly, eye-f*ck around her sister, and moon over each other, while Tatiana sort-of-but-not-really sees Alexander's friend, "Dimitri." Someone suggested to me that it would be difficult for Tatiana to live in the house with her family and share her bed with her sister, knowing that they all hated her for breaking up Dasha and Alexander, but that didn't go so well for Tatiana, anyway, did it? Tatiana's bitterness and resentment drove a wedge between her and her sister, anyway, and I felt like the author worked extra hard to make the cheating seem "okay" by making Dasha seem slutty, temperamental, selfish, and lazy.

To Simons's credit, the characters were all very well done, and war time does bring out the worst in people (I'd imagine) - or the best. So we see humanity across the spectrum, sometimes doing unexpected kindnesses, sometimes taking advantage, sometimes being unspeakably cruel. The "romance" aspect was one of the shakier elements to me, because Alexander wasn't my ideal romance hero by any means. He's weak and violent and full of rage, which he attempts to channel into honor. In some ways, he reminded me of Thomas Eden, from THIS OTHER EDEN. Thomas Eden was utterly obsessed with the heroine, had her publicly whipped before his people, and then went to extraordinary lengths to get her to be his by manipulating everyone around him. But he was also weak, and had only his honor to stand behind. That was how I felt about Alexander. He never whipped Tatiana, but he threw things at her, grabbed at her, yelled at her, and wouldn't listen to her when she said "no" or "stop." He had a tragic history because his parents were naive fools, and his manipulations kept him from safety and plunged him into a vicious circle of paranoia and debt.

Tatiana, on the other hand, did have some character development. She was like a pale imitation of Scarlett O'Hara, in the sense that she would survive anything and do what was necessary...but unlike Scarlett, she'd usually only do it for Alexander. (Maybe that makes her more like Melanie, who was selfless and kind of a doormat, but a doormat made out of steel instead of straw.) I liked her more when she became a nurse and started learning English, because that made her more interesting to me than the childlike (very childlike - at one point, Alexander refers to her as a "child-bride") heroine who was always bouncing up and down and clapping her hands like a five-year-old when she wasn't trying to hump Alexander's leg with the enthusiasm of a small poodle hopped up on Viagra (seriously, 200 pages of this book in the middle section are basically just smut). By the end of the book, I was having pleasant flashbacks to my first time reading Patricia Hagan's LOVE AND WAR, a bodice-ripper set in the Civil War with a female doctor as the heroine.

In short, I did like THE BRONZE HORSEMAN, despite its unlikable characters. The setting was great, and so convincing that I half-felt like I ought to perhaps conserve my dinner, too. It definitely made me extra grateful for my warm quilt that night. The antagonist, Dimitri, was also well done, and the shadow he casts over this story line is long and enduring. I didn't like him from the start, and my dislike of him only grew as the story went on. The romance, to me, felt less romantic than... I don't know, a portrait of an utterly dysfunctional and all-consuming passion doomed to end in tragedy, rather like OUTLANDER or ROMEO AND JULIET. This is not a selfless love, or a good love, or a love that ought to be emulated by others: instead, it kind of felt like a love story between two flawed characters trying to fill the holes in their soul with raw, unfiltered passion with such desperation that they didn't care who got hurt, or how they were hurting each other (and they did hurt each other quite a bit). If you don't care about cheating or selfishness or heroes that borderline on abusive, and enjoy watching literary train wrecks in action, then I encourage you - completely without sarcasm, mind - to pick up THE BRONZE HORSEMAN. It's a f*cked up ride with one hell of a view.

4 stars!
Profile Image for Maria Clara.
1,016 reviews538 followers
June 23, 2018
Desgarradora! Terrible, una historia dura y maravillosa a la vez, hasta que entramos en villa felicidad. A partir de ese momento, la historia decae de forma alarmante.
Profile Image for vale pao.
644 reviews358 followers
March 11, 2014

I just have no accurate words to describe how I'm feeling right now after reading this book. I had NO IDEA what I was getting into when I started it, I just knew everybody who read it adored it so I was almost certain I would probably be feeling the same way. Saying I adored this book is not really enough. It was such a surprise for me, such an emotional and heart-breaking read, a complete roller-coaster of all existing human emotions.
“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 important - ask: what do you love?

... I know who I am, she thought, taking his hand and turning to the altar. I am Tatiana. And I believe in, and hope for, and love Alexander for life.”


Time just froze for me while I read this book. Reality seemed to stop existing for me because all I could think about was what will Tatia and Shura have to go through next. I just needed to read more, and how not to when you get right into Russia at time of war, while the city where the main characters live gets surrounded by an enemy who will not let them get out of it, who will not let food get inside it, a city where bombs explode every single day right next to them... You just can't help getting hooked as if your own life depends on it.


This read completely took the floor from under my feet, my heart was being squeezed so harshly that I just couldn't breath normally. I have NEVER felt this way about a book before. I have cried, yes, but I have never felt so heart-broken and painfully aware of the characters and their actions. This read will torture you, but at the same time it will give you such tender and lovely moments that you just can't help but keep reading.

This was, IMHO, the PERFECT ROMANCE. It was real, It was everlasting, it was everything I picture as ideal. The time and space might not have been the greatest, but that only made the romance stronger because despite everything the main characters went through their love for each other never stopped existing.

This will be FOREVER a favorite of mine, and definitely a book to re-read in the future.
Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
October 11, 2014

It's hard to write a complete review when I'm not yet finished with trilogy, but I will say that I LOVED this book!

Alexander and Tatiana are, hands down, the greatest hero and heroine I've come across. Alexander is the usual gorgeous, possessive male but he has so much more; he is faithful and unconditionally honorable. And Tania is the strongest, sweetest, most selfless heroine I've ever come across. I'm head over heels in love with them both and I've never hurt more for any characters as I have for them. 

The writing in this book is exquisite. The tragedy seems relentless, but it is war. Alexander and Tania's unyielding love for each other is like no other- rivaling even Romeo and Juliet. 

I must admit to feeling like I was drowning in a sea of sadness most of the time while reading this, and just when I'd come up for air, another horrific event would pull me back under. It was not an easy read, but its strength and beauty pulled me forward.

I was amazed. I was scared.  I was deeply saddened. I was mortified. But above all, I was hopeful...

On to book 2!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Book Stats:
▪ Genre/Category: Historical Romance
▪ Steam Caliber: Moderate
▪ Romance: Intense/Slight love triangle
▪ Characters: Strong, sexy, honorable hero. Sweet, innocent, strong heroine.
▪ Plot: A passionate love story focused on survival and the tragedies of war.
▪ Writing: Exquisite, bold, extremely descriptive.
▪ POV: 3rd Person Perspective
▪ Cliffhanger: Steep cliffy
▪ Next Installment: Follow up (published)

Profile Image for Alexis *Reality Bites*.
757 reviews3,653 followers
May 27, 2013
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS -mature content reader discretion is advised.
5 STARS out of 5
Genre: Romance

“Tania,” he whispered passionately, “you are naked and underneath me!” As if he could not believe it himself.
“Alexander,�� she said, still trembling, “you are naked and above me.” She felt him rubbing against her. They kissed.
“I can’t believe it,” he said, his breath shallow. “I didn’t think this day would ever come.” He paused and then whispered, “Yet I couldn’t imagine my life without it. You alive, under me. Tania, touch me. Put your hands on me.” Instantly she reached down and took hold of him. “Do you feel how hard I am,” he whispered, “… for you?” “God, yes,” she said in crazed disbelief. Seeing him was a profound shock to her. Feeling him was entirely too much. “It’s impossible,” she muttered, stroking him gently. “You will kill me.” “Yes,” Alexander said. “Let me. Open your legs.”

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A lot of my friends consider this to be one of if not the BEST Love Story ever. Of course I had to know what they were all talking about so I bought it… months ago like in..November before I knew it January, February came and gone and I still did not read it. March then April, still it sat in my Kindle..Next thing I know my friends Chiqui and Atran double teamed me. Needless to say I read and LOVED the book!

Okay so I have to be honest.. I was a skeptic, so many claimed this to be “The BEST love story EVER” so of course I had to read it and I was not disappointed. I surprisingly enjoyed it! A LOT! I say surprisingly because when I first started it I did not like the heroine Tatiana but she slowly proved everything I thought about her wrong she is one of the best heroines I've ever had the pleasure of reading. And Alexander is her other half he matches her in intelligence, strength, determination, and faith.

The main story lies in the romance with Tatiana Metanova and Alexander Belov. A love that seems impossible for them to have due to the circumstances they both find themselves in. And no I am not talking about the war. When Tatiana and Alexander meet they have no idea that they share a common denominator. Dasha. Tatiana’s older sister and Alexander’s lover.

When the book starts it is the summer of 1951. You meet 17yr old Tatiana and her family the Metanova’s whom reside in a communist Russia in the city of Leningrad. The announcement that World War II has hit Russia, Tatiana is sent out to the market for food and so my dislike for her initially began. She came off as extremely immature to me and her lack of…her lack of will to get her family food on the one task she was asked to fulfill irked the living daylights out of me. Eventually I chalked her lack of will up to ignorance; the young girl simply did not understand what it truly meant to be at war. And I soon forgave her because that ignorance caused her path to cross paths with 22yr old Red Army soldier Alexander Belov.

He spots her sitting across the street humming and eating her ice cream and so begins THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD!

Later that same day Tatiana learns that Alexander, the soldier she is beyond smitten with is the same one her older sister Dasha has fallen in love with. Tatiana decides to put her feelings aside and she asks correction no she begs Alexander to stay with her sister. And so he does.
Stupid stupid stupid. *Shakes head emphatically*

I will re-frame from going in depth about this love triangle but I will say this you will be holding your breath, you will be waiting for all the scenes these two are in together and alone. And overall this book will make you mad, make you happy, make you cry, you will lose hope but they (Tatiana and Alexander) won’t so it will sustain you. Most of all you will experience heart ache of EPIC proportions. EPIC. PROPORTIONS.

As the war progresses and makes it way to the borders of Leningrad; we watch the Metanova family go through extreme changes and through it all Alexander remains in their lives through it all.

It took for me to read almost half of the book for my dislike for Tatiana to finally dissipate. As her maturity increased so did her will. I began to see her in a different light eventually her strength and determination caused me to see only the woman she became right before my eyes and not the young ignorant child she once was.

When she and Alexander finally get to have each other and become one it is beautiful
Their first time along with every time after..

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And not just sexually… It is beautiful in every way. But let me tell you they have a whole lot of sex to make up for lost time! *wink,wink*

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The Bronze Horseman may not be for everyone I knew that off the bat. It's gritty, with a lot of history intertwined in to the story. Some won’t like that aspect. I loved the historical content, it gave the story an intensity that leaves you on the edge of your seat thinking “what will happen next?” The War has it’s own starring role as far as I am concerned so much so it could almost be a character itself. The war also brings out all of the characters by enhancing what you will love and hate about them. And the characters in this book are very colorful trust me you will get a little bit of everything.

If I had to use one word to describe this book it would be UNFORGETTABLE.

Favorite scenes and or lines said and unsaid

“Are you as close to her as you are to Pasha?” he asked. “Different. Pasha and I—” Tatiana broke off. She and Pasha ate out of the same bowl together. Dasha prepared and served them that bowl. “My sister and I share a bed. She tells me I can never get married because she doesn’t want my husband sleeping in bed with us.” Their stares locked. ~Alexander and Tatiana

Dear God, Tatiana prayed in bed that night, turning to the wall and pulling the white sheet and the thin brown blanket over herself. If You are there somewhere, please teach me how to hide what I never knew how to show.
She needed just one thing now— to lay her eyes on the boy who had breathed the same air as her for seventeen years, in the same school, in the same class, in the same room, in the same womb. She wanted her friend and her twin back.

“Babushka, where do you get your peace of mind from?” asked Tatiana one evening, brushing Babushka’s long hair that was just starting to go gray. “I’m too old to care, sunshine,” replied Babushka.

“Want me to stop?” He groaned slightly. “No!” “Tania, do you feel me against your hip?” “Hmm. I thought that was your rifle.” His hot breath was in her neck. “Whatever you want to call it is fine with me.”

“Dimitri,” Tatiana said without blinking, “woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has not another to pick him up.”

Lines that caused me to burst in to tears

“Tatiana, I love you. Do you hear me? I love you like I’ve never loved anyone in my whole life. Now, get up. For me, Tatia. For me, please get up and go take care of your sister. Go on. And I’ll take care of you.” His lips kissed her cheek.

“What did I ever show you?”
“That there is a God,”
whispered Alexander. “There is!” exclaimed Tatiana. “And I felt your need for me clear across the steppes. I’m here for you. And one way or another we will fix this.” She squeezed him. “You’ll see. You and I will fix this together.”

“How can I die,” Alexander said, his voice breaking, “when you have poured your immortal blood into me?”

Alexander whispered after her, “Tatiana! Thou shall not be afraid for the terror by night… nor for the arrow that flieth by day… nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near thee.”

My thoughts
The plot is meaty, well done, flavorful, a little tough to chew on but very filling. The plot makes the characters you meet UNFORGETTABLE.

My Ratings
Characters- Loved some hated others
Writing Style- Excellent
Plot/Storyline- Excellent
Steam Factor- High/Very Steamy
Overall- I LOVED IT!

Now go forth and read. Then come tell us about it on Goodreads!

For more reviews got to http://realitybites-letsgetlost.blogs...

Just got this for $1.99 on my Kindle, TODAY!!! 11/26/12
Profile Image for xrysa.
143 reviews920 followers
August 1, 2013

No matter what I write for this book it won't be enough. The bronze horseman is definitely a unique book. Tatiana's and Alexander's love story will take you into an emotional rollercoaster but I dont think that you will regret what you read,at least I didn’t.

“A bus came. The soldier turned away from her and walked toward it. Tatiana watched him. Even his walk was from another world; the step was too sure, the stride too long, yet somehow it all seemed right, looked right, felt right. It was like stumbling on a book you thought you had lost. Ah, yes, there it is.”

This is how their love story begins.

Tatiana is a 17 year old Russian girl who has the misfortune to experience war. Along with war she also meets her only love , Alexander. He is the soldier who steals her heart from the first minute that she lays her eyes on him. Their love is skinny , innocent and strong.
The first book takes us to the beginning of the war and when they meet each other. We get to know how these two heroes will outlive the destructive and heartless war. It's very emotional to know how people were trying to survive during a blockade. I was never bored with the details ( ex their bread rations) on the contrary I was curious to know more. It was amazing and heartbreaking. War is difficult but when you have a reason to live you can survive everything.

“Love is,” she repeated slowly, looking only at Dasha, “when he is hungry and you feed him. Love is knowing when he is hungry”
Aside all the difficulties they manage to survive , even if that means that they have to separate their lives.

In the second book we read how these two young people will try to find the happiness that they both deserve so much. In the past they had been sabotaged but now nothing can stand against their love. People have to accept that they are meant for each other. Tatia always belonged to Alexander and he always belonged to her. All the lies that were told in the first book will stop now. Apart from some tensed moments , the beginning is really smooth and so swoon worthy. I want to quote all their conversations. The way they love each other will tear you apart. I swear I dont think I have ever read a stronger love story than this one. All the other stories sound lame in comparison to this book.
These two will fight everything and everyone to be together. They will even change each other’s fate in order to be together. Tania will always be his guardian angel , she will always save him.

“I saved you for me.”

"I can't breathe" (..) "Open your mouth" she wispered leaning into his mouth "I'll breathe for you."

Whatever I write about this book won't be enough. I want to say more but I'll stop here. The truth is that I'm such a slow reader and it took me a while to finish it but I never regret reading it. It's a heartwarming book that will take you over the moon. You will swoon , cry and even laugh with Tatia's jokes. I only warn you that there is an evil cliffhanger. I hate it!WHY??? I cant read the second book right away , I need a break but I'll definitely read it. I want to know the rest of the story.

Profile Image for Sanaa.
413 reviews2,552 followers
July 10, 2015
[2.5 Stars] I think my updates pretty much sum up my feelings for this book, but let me go into a little bit more detail here. I'm going to begin with the things I liked: the world building for the historical setting, pretty much any of the parts about Tatiana and her family dealing with the hardships of war, and the writing. I loved getting to know this Russia, seeing the struggles of Tatiana's family and everyone else in Leningrad, and it was just overall really interesting being thrust into this time period. I also think that Simons's writing is really great. I felt like I flew through the book extremely quickly even though it was over 800 pages long.

All of that being said, this book seriously outraged me. Do you want to know why it outrages me: the characters and the romance. I would consider this book to pretty much be an epic romance. Most of the plot elements have to do with the romance and the two main characters' relationship. Essentially the plot is the romance and the romance is made up of interactions between the two main characters. The problem was that the two main characters were kind of terrible and therefore made the romance and the plot equally unappetizing. Alexander is emotionally abusive, physically abusive at times, overly controlling, and really manipulates Tatiana's emotions for his own selfishness. Tatiana on the other hand is incredibly naive, is so selfless that she doesn't care about anything but Alexander, and is overtly virginalized in this book to the point where it seemed at times that Alexander was just using her and being a bit creepy. Sure both of the characters have their good moments like when Alexander helps take care of Tatiana's family, but their overall actions made me feel a bit sick.

This also effected the plot because most of the book was the two characters running around in circles over each other. Even though I flew through the book, it definitely could have been shorter. Also, there could have been less sex because it takes up about a quarter of the book and honestly is just a bit boring and "too much" if you know what I mean. I know romance in books is a bit of a touchy subject, but I just wanted to get my opinion out there. Alexander is just not the kind of person I think needs to be romanticized.
Profile Image for Amy | Foxy Blogs.
1,474 reviews975 followers
June 1, 2014
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Every once in awhile a book enters our life that changes the way we think and feel.

Reading this book but felt like watching a WW2 documentary that included a love story. The Bronze Horseman could be categorized as a realistic historical fiction. The whole scenario felt real. When the characters suffered I suffered along with them in my everyday life. Watching this family struggle to survive in Russia during the winter while a war has taken over their city and one soldier making it his mission to save them had me inconstant emotional turmoil. Being able to see the war through the eyes of a soldier and the citizens made the story come alive right before my very eyes.

The beauty of the Bronze Horseman is it leaves you realizing to never take important things in your life for granted. It's rare when a book can make you reevaluate your life and makes you want to change for the better.

One word is so powerful that I get chills thinking about it now - Orbeli. I won't say anymore as not to ruin the power behind this word. After you're done with this book and realize what it means and you'll be awestruck.


A couple questions get asked when reading this book -
1. Love triangle? -
2. HEA? -
3. 800 pages, really? - I was nervous I would get bored through this book. I have a short attention span but not once was I bored. The writing and storytelling was amazing and kept me captivated the whole time.

**My pre-review**

The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1) by Paullina Simons Tatiana and Alexander (The Bronze Horseman #2) by Paullina Simons The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3) by Paullina Simons
Continuing story. Must be read in order.

Children of Liberty (The Bronze Horseman, #0.5) by Paullina Simons The Bridge to Holy Cross by Paullina Simons Tatiana's Table Tatiana And Alexander's Life Of Food And Love by Paullina Simons

1st book of 2014
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