Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Bronze Horseman (Paullina Simons, 2001)

The Heroine: Tatiana Metanova, a young Russian girl coming of age at the moment the Soviet Union enters into World War II against Hitler. Smart, vivacious and so lovely you can't help but adore her, she becomes enamored with her sister's boyfriend, a soldier named Alexander. Her evolution from niave girl to freociously brave, independent woman as she struggles to keep her family alive during the German blockade and find a way to be with her soldier, is beautifully written and feels poignantly real.

The Highs: Tatiana is a force to be reckoned with, the kind of tiger woman that charges (literally) into the line of fire for someone she loves. There are so many moments when Tatiana acts so selflessly brave that I was brought to tears, not mentioning the gorgeous descriptions of the love between Tatiana and Alexander and the heart-wrenching dialogue.
For a history and travel buff like me, Leningrad (today, St. Petersburg) during World War II is a fantastic and unique setting. I wasn't surprised to find out the author was originally raised in Russia, due to the amount of rich detail provided (sawdust bread, anyone?). The Summer Gardens, white nights, the Neva river...so romantic. I have now added St. Petersburg to the list of places I MUST see before I die. Preferably with a man as hot as Alexander by my side!

And then there's Alexander. Sigh. While this blog is meant to be focused on female characters, I have to give a mention to the strongest, sexiest, swoon-worthy hero I have ever come across. You'll be in love by the time you've finished reading this book.
The Lows: Chalk it up to the lack of Russian history on the Canadian school cirriculum, but I was mostly ignorant to the hardships endured by the Soviets during communism and especially during World War II. Reading about Tatiana's life during the blockade, crafted so realistically by the author, broke my heart. This book prompted further research into the subject and, unfortunately, I was sad to find out that the conditions displayed in the book are all true to history.

I also wouldn't recommend this book if you're squeamish about scenes of a sexual nature. There is quite A LOT of sexy time going down.

Final Thoughts: The Bronze Horseman is one of my favourite books of all time. Its some of the most tender and emotionally-charged writing I've come across and you can't helped but be completely absorbed into Tatiana's world.

Rating: I give it ten vodka shots out of ten. To Mother Russia!

Buy The Bronze Horseman here on Amazon.
Connect to the author, Paullina Simons here at her website.
Photo from Enyaw Wetterhorn's blog.


  1. Ohh!
    I like the sound of this- and you sold me on the sexy times! - I'm going to add this to my shopping list!


  2. Wow! I'm so thrilled you're encouraged to grab this book! It's one of my faves - you won't be disappointed...and the sexy times are epic :)

  3. LOVED this trilogy. The only beef I have with TBH _is_ the sex scenes. It's not that they're there, but that it goes on, and on, and on for about 100 pages. Goodness, we get the picture! Check out 'Tatiana and Alexander,' and 'The Summer Garden.' Simons also came out with 'Tatiana's Table,' which is a collection of the recipes that were mentioned throughout the novels. These novels are keepers on my shelves!


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