Liked It3 of 3 members found this review helpful
“One day, Tatiana's childhood life changes forever and it's not the beginning of the War that I'm talking about. It's the moment she was sitting on a bench in the sunshine eating ice cream, yes....that moment, the moment she saw Shura for the first time and her life would never be the same....”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It1 of 6 members found this review helpful
“It seems like everyone else in the world loved this book ... except me. Oh, I really do dislike it. To start with, in all the years I've been either a library patron or employee, this is the only book that I've checked out that I ruined. Not once, but twice did I spill stuff all over it. That...”see full review » see other reviews »
“A captivating and heartbreaking story! I couldn't stop reading. I highly recommend this book. It so vividly depicts the siege of Leningrad and makes your heart ache.”IDesignGirl wrote this review Sunday, September 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“One day, Tatiana's childhood life changes forever and it's not the beginning of the War that I'm talking about. It's the moment she was sitting on a bench in the sunshine eating ice cream, yes....that moment, the moment she saw Shura for the first time and her life would never be the same.
Okay, I'm sure you've seen it all before and you've maybe read a few reviews or at least a comment here or there...I think it's impossible to not have heard of this book somewhere. And you've thought, hmmmm....romance during World War II... I just don't know. Well, I'm here to somehow convince you to just give it a chance!
First, I have to give credit where credit is due and thank my wonderful friend, Chiqui, for finally convincing me to read it! I think that's what we all need is just someone to give us that little extra push and I'm sooo happy she did!
Anyway, back to convincing you...If you love epic love stories ~ something substantial, something with some meat on it, something that will bring you to the highest of highs and something that will drag you through the lowest of lows, something that has you smiling, something that has you crying and just something that makes you feel good...this is the story for you.
Need more? Well, I'm sure you've also heard of Outlander, heck, you may even have read it...this is very similar! It has all the same elements that you fell in love with in Outlander. And if you haven't read Outlander and want to but are put off by the length of the series and it not being finished, then, this is the series for you! There are only three books, well, four if you read the prequel but that's it and...the series is complete!!
Still not convinced? It's too long you say? Well, it's only 656 pages and yes, while that is considerably longer than most books, it's only about the size of two regular books and that doesn't take too long to read!
But Sharon, what about the boring history stuff? Okay, that was an issue for me too and while you do get a bit about WWII, it's not laden down with tons of facts. It's more about Tatiana, her family, and what regular people go through during a War. It will make you feel deprived but the real issue is that you will probably gain a pound or two just from the shear need of having to eat whatever your heart desires and to the fullest!
But what about the romance? What about the romance? Did you miss the part where I said "EPIC LOVE STORY"? Not only is there romance but there is every shade of romance ever dreamt of. There is every type of romance ever experienced...and then some.
Silly me...okay, it took me a minute, but you were really asking about S-E-X weren't you? There's no fooling me, I KNOW how your mind is thinking. Well, let me just tell you this...one way Chiqui got me to read this story is to tell me that Alexander (aka Shura) is a BREASTMAN! Yes, breast-man...and that means everything you think it means but he's not ONLY a breastman. Oh no, that would be too trivial....he's a Rock 'em Sock 'em #makelovealldaylongseveraltimesaday Robot!! I seriously doubt you will be unsatisfied!
How am I doing? Are you at least more interested than before? Well, unfortunately, I can't make you read this but I will tell you that you are making a HUGE mistake if you don't read it. This book will impact you!
And another bonus...you get both POV's! Most of the book is in Tatiana's POV but we do get a few chapters here and there from Alexander...and that is a wonderful bonus!
If I haven't convinced you by now, then I don't think I'm really going to be able to. And yes, I wrote this review the way I did so I wouldn't give anything away besides when they first saw each other. I hope you go in blind and open yourself up so you can fully experience everything that is Shura and Tania and come away loving it as much as I did. ♥
♥ “Oh, Alexander,” she said, “what do you want from me . . .”
“Everything!” he whispered fiercely.
♥ "Keep everything out. Except for you, Alexander. Keep you in."
♦ “I guess I thought this unalarming thing would . . . I don’t know . . . quietly sort of . . .” She coughed once. “Let’s just say the movement was also quite a surprise to me.”
♥ “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 even looking for me. I found you.”
Long pause. “Alexander, were you . . . looking for me?”
“All my life.”
♥ “Are all men this beautiful,” she whispered fondly, “or just you?”
“Oh, just me,” replied a grinning Alexander. “All other men are repellent.”
♥ "I remember everything. Every word, every breath, every smile you took, every kiss you laid upon my body, every game we played, every Bronze Horseman cabbage pie you cooked for me. I remember it all."
♥ 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." :(”
“Loved this book - could not put it down. Alexander, Dasha and Tatiana are infused in my brain. What a great book.”Marty C wrote this review Friday, July 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Perfect romance novel! I love how Alex and Tatiana are completely opposites of eachother; Alex being tall and dark and mysterious and Tatiana being tiny, almost albino, and childlike. Their love was pure and achingly raw, at times hard to read because it seemed like they would never be together, but it definitely left me wanting more!”Anna Budensiek wrote this review Monday, June 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Love the way Paullina Simons writes. The story is so graphic. Not sure I liked the length of the the chapters when Tanechka went to the village of Lazaravo and Alexander followed, looking for her. I'm sure Paullina put in the next pages for frustrated housewives....a bit of '50 Shades'. Loved this book!”Robyn G wrote this review Tuesday, April 16, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is going to be one of those reviews, so prepare yourself right now, okay? This is going to be a three star book review that reads like a rant of hatred, but, honestly, it's not. Every so often, there's a book you like, but that you have a lot of issues with, and you have to be up front about all of them. So, take this to heart: I did like The Bronze Horseman overall, despite my myriad issues.
The Bronze Horseman and I were somewhat doomed from the start not to have as happy a relationship as hoped, sort of like Russia and communism. Basically, I looked at this gorgeous, highly recommended book, and I made a set of assumptions. Based on the size, I believed this would be a historical, an epic one, full of feels and delicious historical factoids. I was wrong, which isn't really the book's fault necessarily, but that still colored my enjoyment of it.
Though historical fiction, The Bronze Horseman is first and foremost a romance novel. Now, I do not have anything against a good romance novel, but I really do not see the call for an 800 page romance novel. That just feels a mite excessive. A lot of readers are going to burn out along the way, I suspect. The first few hundred pages are romance, followed by some history, then a couple hundred pages of sexy times, and then more war-focused stuff. Readers here for historical will find the romance mind-numbing, and those just looking for sexy times will not appreciate the break to discuss starvation.
Unsurprisingly, the bit in the middle where Alexander disappeared for a good chunk of time was my favorite. The romance took a back burner to a depiction of life in Leningrad during the Siege. Simons does a brilliant job portraying the hunger, the desperation, and the hopelessness of that experience. The realities of survival, and how most people didn't, are conveyed unflinchingly.
Unfortunately, most of the book wasn't hard-hitting historical fiction: it was a romance that I just couldn't ship. From the beginning, I found Tatiana and Alexander's relationship off-putting, and I still haven't been able to forgive them for what assholes they were for so long. Now, I hope I can eventually so I can enjoy the next books in the series, but, for the moment, I'm very displeased with them.
To explain why, I have to delve into some SPOILERS, so now's the time to look away if you don't want things spoiled.
Tatiana and Alexander meet when she's just 17 and he's a soldier in the Red Army, several years older. The day they met, she was upset, unable to find food for her family on the day of the declaration of war, and comforting herself with creme brulee ice cream, when a soldier with eyes the color of her ice cream strikes up a conversation. His eye color already had me rolling my eyes with abandon, but it gets worse.
Alexander does what any red-blooded (Soviet pun!) soldier would do for a pretty girl he's just seen licking a cone: takes her to buy food for her family from a special store for the military. Once she has what she needs, he escorts her home, only to discover that he has flirted with her sister Dasha in the past. Dasha, who likes to hang around with soldiers if you know what I mean ;), immediately latches onto Alexander, with whom she believes herself to be in love. He exits swiftly, feeling really awkward, and Dasha proceeds to tell Tatiana how perfect he is and Tatiana fails to mention her own attraction to him.
Everyday, Alexander shows up to meet Tatiana after work and they fall in love. Meanwhile, whenever he visits her house, he pretends to like Dasha and even brings along his skeevy friend Dimitri for Tatania. To be fair, Alexander just wants to tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may, but Tatiana is unwilling to hurt Dasha's feelings. This charade goes on forever, and Alexander eventually proposes to Dasha. Head, meet brick wall.
All this time, Alexander's hooking up with both sisters, and I basically want to murder all of them. To make things worse, Alexander and Tatiana never have to fucking come clean about the deception to anyone. Conveniently Tatiana's whole family dies except for her, with Dasha the last hold out. Gag me, okay. Ugh. No love triangle should ever be resolved by the death of one of the people in the love triangle. It's the coward's way out. Characters should have to face the consequences of their actions.
Instead, Dasha dies and the two reunite and then have mind-blowing sex approximately fifty times a day for a month, until Alexander has to go back to work. While they're enjoying their honeymoon, he berates her for giving to much of herself to others and urges her to never leave his side. Of course, serving others is wrong, but she should do everything for her husband, because, you know, gender roles. Alexander is controlling, codependent, rude, and occasionally violent, not to mention a guy who would cheat on both his fiancee and his love for months. I can't root for that relationship. I just can't. Had I read this when I was a bit younger, perhaps when I was a teen, I would have been swept away by the romance and concern for the main characters, but now, as a jaded adult, I kept hoping for them to obtain comeuppance for their actions.
The Bronze Horseman is a well-written romance in a historical setting, but do not come to it expecting to learn much about the Siege of Leningrad. This novel has more in common with Diana Gabaldon than Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn; that's not a bad thing, but was not what expected or wanted.”
“Long book. Quick read. I try to escape but World War 2 keeps pulling me back..”Cindy S wrote this review Saturday, April 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“THE BRONZE HORSEMAN was recommended to me by a cousin, Adry, of ours over a year ago and I have to say I was both heartbroken and in love at the end. I had doubts at first because books set during the World War isn't really my thing but due to Adry's gushing I decided to plow through the thing. I have to say, it wasn't easy going through this 637 paged book not because of PSimons writing but due to the heart wrenching drama, tragedy and triumph that surrounds Tatiana and Alexander and the rest of Russia during the war.
Just like that Leo Tolstoy novel, War and Peace or the movie classic Doctor Zhivago (1965), this story is riveting as it illustrates not only the journey and hardships of the characters but dabbles in politics, communism and poverty during this time period. THE BRONZE HORSEMAN is filled with death, war and famine against the backdrop of a seemingly Winter paradise that is Russia and in the middle of all this tragedy is Tatiana and Alexander whose budding and enduring love for each other is the proverbial rose in winter. IMHO, there's nothing romantic in this book in the sense that though Tatiana and Alexander are in a relationship, there are a lot of factors that gets in the way of seeing that romance through. But if by romance you mean surviving every obstacle that crossed their paths, then THE BRONZE HORSEMAN gets five cauldrons for that.
This epic tale put my heart through the wringer, I can only imagine what it was like to live through a World War with rationed foods and curfews let alone survive it in the middle of a Siberian Winter. It painted a grim picture of what human survival truly is and there is nothing pretty about it. Tatiana has got to be one of my favorite heroines, I can't expound on the why without revealing major spoilers but she'd be a lot like Zoya Fyodorova or Anne Frank if she survived the Holocaust and lived to adulthood. As for Alexander, he'd be the human/ real version of Dimitri Belikov (Vampire Academy) or any soldier for that matter who went to war, fought and struggled to survive if only to go back to the peace, comfort and security of their family. ”
“Excellent well written book would recommend to any one to read covers an area of history that I did't know a lot about from this point of view brought to light what happened in Russia duing WW2. ”Ems wrote this review Saturday, October 6, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No