Monday, August 12, 2013

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

Title: The Bronze Horseman
Author: Paullina Simons
Genre: Historical Romance (WWII)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Number of Pages: 656
Source: My copy

The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler's armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad. Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana--and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander's impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects--a secret as devastating as the war itself--as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever
It seems like someone is always recommending this book to me everywhere I look, so one rainy day I finally broke down and got it from the library. I have to admit, I'm not sure it lived up to all the hype surrounding it. Did it have a tortured romance? Yes. A fantastic hero who is now a book boyfriend? Yes.

However, the heroine, Tatiana got on my last nerve. I just didn't see what Alexander saw in her.  She starts off a very young, naive 17, and while she does grow into a more mature 17 by the end of the book some of her actions just puzzled me. Why on earth would you go to the roof during an air raid? Why would you leave the countryside and go back to a city under siege? I get that you have a plan to get your man back, but really.

The other problem I had with this book was that the writing was a bit choppy in parts see my favorite quote below:

Favorite Quote:
"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."
We don't have a connection."
"No. We have communion."

Despite all the problems I had with this book, I literally couldn't stop reading it once I got past the 30% mark on my kindle. There were characters you really wanted to die, and others you cheered for. Every time Alexander was on the page, I fell in love with him a bit more. Honestly, if it weren't for him I don't think I would've been able to finish the book. At over 650 pages, it's a lonnnnnnng read, and  honestly? I felt like it could've been 200 pages shorter. The ending though, just about did me in....even though the blurb on book two totally took away any surprise from it. Why do publishers do that?????

If you like epic love stories, I really recommend this one. Even though I had trouble with it, I still liked it a lot and will be suckered into reading the next two in the series.